Last surviving first World War veteran dies at 110


LONDON – The world’s last surviving first World War service member has died aged 110.

Florence Green died in her sleep at Briar House care home in King’s Lynn on Saturday. She would have celebrated her 111th birthday on February 19th.

She was believed to be the last person alive who served in the war.

The world’s last known combat veteran of the first World War, Claude Choules, died in Australia aged 110 in May 2011.

Florence Green, a great-grandmother, joined the Women’s Royal Air Force as a 17-year-old in the late summer of 1918.

Her youngest daughter, June Evetts (76), who lives in Oundle, near Peterborough, told the Eastern Daily Press: “She led an amazing and extraordinary life. She must have seen a lot of changes in her time.

“I never heard anyone say a bad word about her. She would never blow her own trumpet and certainly wouldn’t shout about the fact she was the last veteran.

“She was, however, very proud of what she did, and we are all very proud of her. Her death does close the book on the first World War as there are no veterans left now.”

Mrs Green had been at the home since the end of November. She had lived with her daughter May (90), in King’s Lynn, until then.

Mrs Green served as a mess steward at RAF bases in Marham and Narborough in Norfolk.

She married her husband Walter – a porter at King’s Lynn station – two years after the war. Mr Green died in 1970.

As well as June and May, they had a son, Bob (86), who is thought to live in Edinburgh. She is also survived by four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Born in London before moving to Norfolk, Mrs Green joined the Women’s RAF two months before the armistice and left in July 1919.

Though she never saw frontline action, she is classed as having served in the war.

Mrs Green’s story emerged in 2010 after a researcher uncovered her records. It had been thought that veterans Harry Patch and Henry Allingham – who both died in July 2009 – were the last Britons to serve in the war.

On Mrs Green’s 109th birthday, wing commander Adrian Burns, and Hannah Shaw, one of RAF Marham’s current mess stewards, visited her to present a birthday card. Speaking at the time, Mr Burns said: “We thought it fitting that Hannah – who does the job Florence did 92 years ago – should be here to mark the day.” – (PA)