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Last Known World War I Veteran Dies

Florence Green, the last known Veteran of World War I, passed away last week in eastern England, two weeks before her 111th birthday.

She was born Florence Beatrice Patterson in London on February 19, 1901.  She joined the newly-formed Women’s Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of 17. The service trained women to work as mechanics, drivers and in other jobs to free men for front-line duty.

Green went to work as a steward in the officers’ mess, first at the Narborough airdrome and then at RAF Marham in eastern England, and was serving there when the war ended.

Several other World War I Veterans passed away just last year, including the last known American Veteran of the conflict, Frank Buckles of Charles Town, West Virginia, who drove ambulances in France for the U.S. Army. He died in February 2011.

The war’s last known combatant, Royal Navy veteran Claude Choules, died in Australia in May. There are no known French or German Veterans of the war still living. After Choules’ death, Green became the war’s last known surviving service member, according to the Order of the First World War, a U.S. based group that tracks Veterans.

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