WWI Veteran Alive

John A Silkstone

Mi General
MI.Net Member
Jul 11, 2004
A 108-year-old woman is believed to be Britain’s oldest surviving First World War veteran.

Florence Green, 108, is believed to be Britain's oldest surviving First World War veteran Photo: MASONS Florence Green served with the Women’s RAF (WRAF) in 1918 and although she did not see front-line action, the charity Veteran’s Aid said she qualifies as a veteran of the war.

Mrs Green, who turns 109 next month and is a great-grandmother-of-seven, worked as a waitress in the officers' mess during the war at RAF Marham and Narborough Airfield, both in Norfolk.

Mr Holmes tracks and validates the ages of people over 110 and also keeps track of British men and women who are older than 107.

He was amazed to locate a service record on the National Archive for Florence Beatrice Patterson, Mrs Green’s maiden name.

He traced the records further and found that Florence had joined the WRAF in September 1918 - two months before the war ended on November 11, 1918.

Mrs Green, who was born on February 19, 1901 and joined the WRAF aged 17, said she had been unaware of her status until very recently.

She said: ''I enjoyed my time in the WRAF. There were plenty of people at the airfields where I worked and they were all very good company.

''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.

''It was a lovely experience and I'm very proud.''

Mrs Green, who was born in London, lives with her daughter May, 88, in King's Lynn, Norfolk. She was married to Walter Green, a railway porter in 1920, for 50 years until his death in 1970.

Wing Commander Hugh Milroy, from the veteran's charity Veterans Aid, said: “This goes to show that there is a huge variation in the type of veterans we have in this country.

''Women like her played a vitally important role in the British war effort and the fact she is now the last surviving veteran is some achievement.”

Before the discovery of Mrs Green's service history, it was believed that British-born Gladys Powers, who died in Canada in 2008, was the last female veteran.

Harry Patch, from Somerset, was previously the last surviving World War one veteran and died in 2009 aged 111.

The penultimate survivor was Henry Allingham, who also died last year aged 113, and famously survived the Battle of Jutland.

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