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Last known World War I veteran dies at 110
Question of the Day
“It was very pleasant, and they were lovely,” she said. “Not a bit of bother. They kept us on our toes, and there was no slacking.”
A delegation from the air base had been due to visit Mrs. Green on Feb. 19 to celebrate her 111th birthday.
“When we heard the news, there was a palpable silence, because we all hoped she would make it,” said Squadron Leader Paula Willmot.
World War I — “the war to end all wars” — killed about 20 million people in four years of fighting between the Allied powers — including Britain, France and the United States — and Germany and its allies.
The last known soldier to have fought in the brutal trench warfare that has become the enduring image of the conflict was Britain’s Harry Patch, who died in 2009 aged 111.
The last American veteran of the conflict was Frank Buckles of Charles Town, W.Va., 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 left alive.
After Choules’ death, Mrs. 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.
Andrew Holmes of the Gerontology Research Group, the researcher who found Mrs. Green’s service record, also said she was the last known survivor of the conflict — and the sixth oldest person in Britain.
Mrs. Green’s husband died in 1970. She is survived by two daughters, a son, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The date of her funeral was not immediately known, but Squad Leader Willmot said air force personnel would attend and the RAF Association would provide a bugler and a Union Jack to drape on the coffin.
“It will be a real send-off for her,” Squad Leader Willmot said.
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