Florence Green, world’s last-known veteran of World War I, dies at 110

Florence Green, the world’s last-known veteran of World War I, died Feb. 4 at a nursing home in King’s Lynn, England. She was 110.

The nursing home confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause.

Born Florence Beatrice Patterson in London on Feb. 19, 1901, she joined the Women’s Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of 17.

She went to work as a waitress in the officers’ mess at RAF Marham in eastern England and was serving there when the war ended in November 1918.

Mrs. Green remembered her wartime service with affection.

This Feb. 19, 2010, photo released by the British Ministry of Defense shows Florence Green, left, on her 109th birthday being presented with a cake by Hannah Shaw at her home in King's Lynn, in east England. (Sac Chris Hill/AP)

“I met dozens of pilots and would go on dates,” she said in an interview in 2008. “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.”

Her husband, Walter Green, died about 30 years ago. Survivors include three children, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, according to British news accounts.

The war’s last-known combatant, Royal Navy veteran Claude Choules, died in Australia in May.

After his death, Mrs. Green became the war’s last-known surviving service member from the war, according to the Order of the First World War, a U.S.-based group that tracks veterans.

She was officially recognized as a veteran when a researcher found her service record in the National Archives.

The RAF marked her 110th birthday in February 2011 with a cake.

Asked what it was like to be 110, Mrs. Green said, “It’s not much different to being 109.”

— Associated Press

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