End of an Era: Last Known World War I Veteran Dies at Age 110
The passing of an era:
The last veteran of World War I was a waitress, and for 90 years no one knew her name.
Florence Green, a member of Britain’s Royal Air Force who was afraid of flying, died in England on Saturday, two weeks shy of her 111th birthday.
She is believed to have been the war’s last living veteran — the last anywhere of the tens of millions who served.
Green, who joined the RAF as a teenager shortly before the war’s end, worked in an officers’ mess on the home front. Her service was officially recognized only in 2010, after a researcher unearthed her records in Britain’s National Archives.
That Green went unrecognized for so long owes partly to serving under her maiden name, Florence Patterson, and partly to conducting herself, by all accounts, with proper British restraint, rarely if ever flaunting her service.
It also owes to her life following the prescribed trajectory for women of her era: By the time the 20th century had run its course, Green had long since disappeared into marriage, motherhood and contented anonymity.
I wonder how many women have served, down through the years, in wars or military actions of one sort or another, only to have been lost in the records?