Last First World War veteran dies


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The Independent Online

The last surviving veteran of the First World War has died aged 110, two weeks away from her 111th birthday.

Florence Green passed away on Saturday at the Briar House Care Home in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Mrs Green was 17 when she joined the war effort, and was working as a waitress at an RAF air base in Norfolk when the guns fell silent on 11 November 1918. She enlisted with the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF), which trained women to work as mechanics, drivers and in other jobs to free men for frontline duty. She went on to work as a steward in the officers' mess, first at the Narborough airfield and then at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

It was not until 2010 that she was identified as a surviving war veteran, when a researcher of gerontology found her service record, listed under her maiden name, Patterson, at the National Archives. Although she never saw the front line, her service in the WRAF qualified her for veteran status.

The First World War's last known combatant, Royal Navy veteran Claude Choules, died in Australia last May. After his death, Mrs Green became the war's last known surviving service member, according to the Order of the First World War, a US-based group that tracks veterans.

She leaves behind three children, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her husband, Walter, died 42 years ago.