Sunday, 12 February 2012

Last veteran of WW1 dies

This week, the last veteran of the First World War died at 110. Florence Green served in the Royal Air Force 93 years ago, joining in 1918 when she was just 17. Mrs Green was the last surviving veteran in the WORLD, after the death of Claude Choules in Australia last year. According to her daughter, Mrs Green would serve the pilots breakfast and dinner, and work round the clock on airfield bases across the country. She also spent a lot of time “admiring the pilots”. It’s a shame I didn’t meet this lady. Although she never saw action, the definition of a veteran includes all those who served in the Armed Forces, something, I think, that should have been highlighted by the news.

Her death signals the last connection we had to the Great War. Arguably, it’s now more important to remember those who served in the Armed Forces, and honour their memory by refusing to forget the sacrifice thousands of men and women made for their country, across the world. This was a passing of the generation, and now we have no living link to the First World War. More people must know about this conflict, as it remains largely absent from the National Curriculum. It plays a huge role in our consciousness – in Britain, every small village, town or city has a monument to the men and women who died in the Great War. Through our Remembrance Day celebrations, especially this year, we must remember all the men and women who fought, regardless of religion or nationality and keep their history alive.

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