Last WWI veteran, a woman, dies at 110
Florence Green celebrates her 109th birthday in 2010. She died Saturday.
February 8th, 2012
10:38 AM ET

Last WWI veteran, a woman, dies at 110

The last known surviving veteran of World War I has died. Florence Green, 110, was a waitress in Britain's Royal Air Force.

"In a way, that the last veteran should be a lady and someone who served on the home front is something that reminds me that warfare is not confined to the trenches," Retired Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye told Time.

"It reminds us of the Great War, and all warfare since then has been something that involved everyone," Dye, director-general of the RAF Museum, told Time. "It's a collective experience. ... Sadly, whether you are in New York, in London, or in Kandahar, warfare touches all of our lives."

Green was 17 when she joined the Women's Royal Air Force in 1918, two months before the armistice, the BBC reported.

She recalled her wartime experiences in a 2008 interview, retold in Time.

"I met dozens of pilots and would go on dates," she said. "I had the opportunity to go up in one of the planes but I was scared of flying. I would work every hour God sent. But I had dozens of friends on the base and we had a great deal of fun in our spare time. In many ways, I had the time of my life."

Two weeks shy of her 111th birthday, Green died in her sleep Saturday night at a home care facility in King's Lynn, Norfolk, according to the BBC.

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Filed under: United Kingdom • Veterans
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Badly-Bent

    I bet she had some interesting stories about the sepsis problem since WWI was fought before the discovery of penicilin.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cleat


    February 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Holdupaminute

    WOW! Talk about a significant milestone. The last one. Incredible. Vets live longer than any other population group.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Golyadkin

      I don't think it's that they live longer, so much as there were just so many people involved in WWI that out of those millions there were bound to be a few that reached such an old age.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Actually, Vets probably live shorter lives than most most other population groups. Full disclosure, I am a Vet myself.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JustOneGuy

    RIP, all the veterans of WWI. Too bad it wasn't the War to end all Wars as thought at the time.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LV

      War is part of human nature.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      The next world war will end all wars. Einstein said "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

      February 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Minorkle

    She was a lovely lady and will be missed.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • john smith

      ...and a lovely goatee as well.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Me

    I saw articles like this many times before – last human being who was there and done that passes on – besides the fact that this woman lived to a very blessed age, I don't understand the relevance or the need to report on it. Can anyone help me to widen my horizon?

    February 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I think it's reported on to kind of show the official passing of an era. I like to hear when this happens, it makes myself (and probably others) reflect on the past.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      It's a milestone that officially makes it part of "history."

      Take, for instance, the 9/11 WTC attack. There are still many people alive today who lived through that ordeal. Many people who escaped from the towers, or were outside to watch them fall. As such, we consider that a current event. Even though it happened over a decade ago, we know people who were there. We can hear first hand stories of what it was like, and the survivors share a bond that most people outside the military will never know.

      When the last one of them shuffles off this mortal coil, it will be another passing of an era.

      In another 50-60 years, there might not be anyone alive who actually saw it. Only the stories, TV clips, newspaper articles

      February 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. binky42

    That's a woman??? You could have fooled me! She has a beard.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C.


      February 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly

      You are an idiot.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lroy

    I always wondered to it would be. Many vets from WW2 are getting very old so we will revisit this when THAT one dies, and the last one of the Korean, Vietnam, and so on until there are no more wars. This lady proves that if WE ran the show, there'd be a heck of a lot more peace in the world.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • nessus68

      Ummm, how does this prove any sort of thing???

      February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Who exactly is "WE"?

      February 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hobbits

    Thank you, Ms. Green for all you did for your nation and the world. RIP knowing that we will remember all you did for so many in need.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andrew

    She got a Beard !

    February 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • lathebiosas

      Not right bro, cut her some slack, she's 110 years old!

      February 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • cpc65

      You should have seen here tattoos.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • roger dodger

      being 110 is no excuse for poor grooming. i'm guessing she wasn't overly active so she had all day (every day) to take a shave. at least for the birthday picture, come on!

      February 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly

      another idiot.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minorkle

      and you got no class

      February 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • burnz

      Birthday shave is mandatory regardless of age or gender, a real soldier would understand the importance of inspection.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Just Saying

    It seems a little bit of a reach to call this lady the last veteran of WWI. She was 17, signed up 2 months before the war was over, only worked there for 10 months, and served lunch to real soldiers at home in England. Does that really make her a "veteran"?

    February 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Henry

      Yes, it does.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      Would you be asking the same thing had she went to the front lines saw ppl shot and killed, held the dying in her hands and came home with a leg blown off, even though she spent 2 months there or even if she was the last person out of there before the war ended and only spent ONE day there? Dude, what an idiot.... I'm just saying....

      February 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • roger dodger

      no, it doesn't.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • burnz

      Tammy, we wouldn't be saying the same things if she ACTUALLY served. Fine, she did Special Ops of waitressing, she never saw combat or even helped in relation to ACTUAL combat.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ca Ed

    Think of all the new things she saw and did. Electric lights coming to the city streets and homes, automobiles and not horse carts, airplanes, transatlantic flights taking hours vs days or weeks on a ship, man standing on the moon, TV, Radio, Records, women voting and holding public office.

    Sadly too she saw 2 major world wars and many undeclared conflicts where people died.

    RIP Florence Green.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fred Deefender

    When you're a woman and you have a beard, it's time to go.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly

      idiots abound... and pigs, too, it seems.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. burnz

    I didn't have a beard like that until I was 20.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      she and her generation probably has and had more balls than you'll EVER have too, so what's your point?

      February 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David in Houston

    Even with her facial hair, Florence still had more class than any of the jokers here commenting on her looks. I could only wish to look as good as she does if I were to hit 110. R.I.P...

    February 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
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