Published February 20, 2011
Florence Green, the world’s last surviving female veteran of World War I, and one of only three people still alive from that war, celebrated her 110th birthday yesterday, The Independent reports.
Hailing from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Green joined the Women’s Royal Air Force to fight in the world conflict when she was 17 years old in the summer of 1918. At 110, Green will now follow that honor by joining a highly exclusive club of “supercentenarians.”
“It’s not much different to being 109,” said Green, who was only identified as a surviving veteran in 2008 when a researcher found her service record listed under her maiden name, Patterson.
While Green never saw action on the front line, her service in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) qualifies her for veteran status. Green is also only one of two Britons still alive from the war. The other, Claude Stanley Choules, a Royal Navy veteran, now lives in Australia and will be 110 in March, according to The Independent.
"I had the opportunity to go up in one of the planes, but I was scared of flying,” Green said in a 2008 interview. “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.”
The only other living survivor from World War I, an American ambulance driver named Frank Buckles, also turned 110 this month.