Thursday, 5 May 2011

Last WWI Veteran

Stuff has an article on their front page today about the death of Claude Choules, a 110-year-old man who was believed to be the last surviving male veteran of World War One. He served in the navy in both world wars and died yesterday in Australia. The article mentioned that he was not, in fact, the last surviving veteran of the war.

Florence Green, 110, joined the Women's Royal Air Force in 1918. The WRAF was formed in order to provide female mechanics to the Air Force and free up servicemen for combat positions, but so many women signed up that it diversified, with women serving as drivers and filling other positions on Air Force bases - such as working in the canteens, as Florence did.

People often forget the women who contributed to the war effort, and they forget that they weren't just nurses, but drivers, mechanics, secretaries, telephone operators (incredibly important in a war) and countless other positions - even waitresses.

On a similar note, I was surprised and happy to spot, while I was watching the Royal Wedding (Whatever, I watched it for the hats. And the music. And the pretty dress. OK, so I'm a giant sentimental fool with a thing for weddings), the National Monument to the Women of WWII, which was unveiled by the Queen in 2005.

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