WWI SoldiersWorld War I American soldiers. The Americans who fought the Great War were no less brave and faced no fewer challenges than the men who fought its sequel.

World War I Veterans Are America’s Forgotten 'Greatest Generation' 

By Michael Peck
via The National Interest magazine web site

Why does the First World War get no respect in America?

After all, it’s been seventy-five years since World War II, and we still praise the “Greatest Generation.” But on this hundredth anniversary of America’s declaration of war on Germany on April 6, 1917, our nation’s participation in World War I is seldom remembered except for a few old statues on town squares.

Perhaps this has to do with time. Many Americans alive today have parents or grandparents who fought in World War II, and as of 2016, there were still 620,000 of these veterans among us. The last American veteran of World War I passed away in 2011 at age 110, but most (including my grandfather) had long since departed by then.

Or, maybe it has to with with why the war was fought. In the First World War, Johnny went marching off to fight the “evil” Kaiser Wilhelm, and returned home to parades and adulation. But then the doubts set in. Had Germany really posed a threat to the United States, or had innocent America been manipulated by greedy arms manufacturers and British propaganda? Some fifty-three thousand Americans had been killed in action, but were they heroes or just victims, pawns in yet another intra-European conflict?

And then there was the general revulsion aroused by the First World War itself. World War II is remembered as a war of motion, of glorious thrusts by tanks and aircraft and ships. The symbol World War II is blitzkrieg: the symbol of World War I is trench warfare, of dutiful sheep sacrificed on the altar of the machine gun and the barbed wire fence.

Given enough time, the “Great War” might have gone down in history as the “Greatest War.” But just twenty-one years after the armistice was signed in November 1918, the world was again engulfed by global war. And what a war the sequel was! No cartoony Kaiser Bill with spiked helmet and giant mustache. Now there were real villains—real monsters—to battle: Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo. America wasn’t being duped into intervening in a squabble between rival European empires. Now there were real causes to fight for: democracy versus fascism, good versus evil, barbarism versus civilization. Surely the men and women who fought in such a conflict must have been the Greatest Generation?

Yet far from diminishing those who fought in World War I, it only enhances their courage and commitment. In 1941, Americans had the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor to galvanize their patriotism. In 1917, America declared war on the basis that German submarines wouldn’t stop sinking neutral ships, including American vessels. This was hardly a Pearl Harbor moment, yet ultimately four million Americans served in the military during the conflict.

Comparing which soldiers had the harder war is a question that generates much heat but rarely any light. In World War II, America saw 417,000 people killed, nearly eight times the number killed in action in World War I. Yet in 1941–45, America was also able to lavishly support its armies and fleets with the most powerful war economy in history. In 1917, America was so ill equipped for war that it needed to be supplied with British tanks and French aircraft. The Doughboys of World War I had it no easier than the GIs of World War II. 

 

Pt5 Eber Onward and Forward rotatedA statue honoring Marine Corps Pvt. George Eber Duclo, born in 1893. “Eber,” as he was known, was an only child who moved to Manitou when he was 4 years old. Eber enlisted in the Marine Corps and was among the first to go “over there” for World War I. He saw combat in 1918, and was killed on June 15, 1918 at Belleau Wood, France. 

Remembering a Manitou Springs World War I Veteran 

By Matt Cavanaugh
via the KRCC Public Radio Station (CO) web site

A few years ago, I was standing in Memorial Park in Manitou Springs when I noticed this enormous rock in the middle of the park. It was a platform for a bronze statue of a World War I-era soldier, a “Doughboy,” lunging forward towards Pikes Peak, as if to meet some unseen danger.

But, who was he?

I dug into historical records and old newspapers. The statue honors Marine Corps Pvt. George Eber Duclo, born in 1893. “Eber,” as he was known, was an only child who moved to Manitou when he was 4 years old. He was the second-best hitter on his high-school baseball team. He won a box of cigars in a speed-walking contest.

Eber enlisted in the Marine Corps and was among the first to go “over there” for World War I. He saw combat in 1918, and was unfortunately killed on June 15, 1918 at Belleau Wood, France.

Tragically, a boy from Manitou Springs, known for its artesian water, died in a place named by joining the French words “belle” and “eau,” meaning “good water.”

Eber’s funeral was “one of the largest ever held in Manitou,” according to the Gazette’s coverage on September 12, 1921. The American Legion post in Manitou, named for Eber, held dances and took donations to fund the 7-foot bronze statue—“Over the Top to Victory”—in his honor. They placed the statue atop a 20-ton boulder of Pikes Peak granite, taken from near what’s now the Manitou Incline.

In the public address books of those days, thereafter, Eber’s parents listed two addresses: the house where they actually lived, and Memorial Park, where their only son’s memory lived on.

 

4th of July in Paris France 1918 7466415374 1200x0 c defaultAmerican troops parade through the French capital on July 4, 1918. Throughout the beleaguered French nation, impromptu celebrations cropped up to mark American independence, with one American soldier remarking in a letter home dated July 8, 1917, “Whenever one sees a French flag, there is an American flag.” 

Champagne and Hot Dogs: How the Allies Celebrated the Fourth of July During WWI 

By Claire Barrett
via the HistoryNet.com web site 

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more,” John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776.

For 245 years the Fourth of July has been synonymous with hot dogs, red, white, and blue outfits purchased from Old Navy, and fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. Precisely as our Founding Father predicted.

But in 1917, as war continued to rage on the Western Front, the newly arrived American doughboys expected little pomp and circumstance to mark their nation’s independence.

However, leave it to the nation’s oldest ally, the French, to throw a party.

French soldiers and citizens gathered across the country to celebrate the American holiday while U.S. troops marched through Paris as crowds of people cheered them on, according to the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

The following year the celebrations were even more grand, with a ceremony being held to rename Avenue du’Trocadero after President Woodrow Wilson.

“There was a warmness there. Roughly a third of [France’s] male population between the ages of 18 and 35, died in the first few years of the war,” Lora Vogt, Curator of Education at National World War I Museum and Memorial, told HistoryNet. “So anyone else who’s willing to come in and help defend their nation… I would say that most French were quite pleased that the Americans were coming in to be a bulwark.”

After three long years of brutal fighting, the U.S. entrance into World War I all but spelled defeat for the Germans. Only a mere three months after President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on the Central Powers American boots were on French soil.

That gratitude played out in the embracing America’s day of independence from the seats of both the Allied governments — King George ordered that the American Flag fly from Victoria Tower to mark the Fourth of July — on down to ordinary civilians. 

LaRue cemetery tour OHWashington C.H. WWI Cemetery Tour July 19 

By Paul LaRue
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

The Fayette County (Ohio) Genealogical Society is hosting a World War I-themed tour of the local Washington Cemetery Monday July 19, 2021at 6:30pm.

The program will be led by Paul LaRue, local historian, retired educator and member of the Ohio World War I Centennial Committee.

One of the featured graves is 1st Lt. Paul Hughey, shot down near Tronville, France Sept. 14, 1918. Lt. Hughey's body was returned to Washington C.H. from France July, 1, 1921. Thus July 2021 is the centennial of Lt. Hughey's burial in Washington Cemetery.

Other featured World War I Veterans will include:

Private Donald Michael and Private John H. Burns.

Private Michael died of influenza at nearby Camp Sherman.

Private Burns served in an elite Black Battalion; the 325 Field Signal a Battalion, organized at Camp Sherman. The 325 was the only Field Signal Battalion in World War I composed of Black Soldiers.

The stories of service and sacrifice of World War I service members continues to educate our communities.


 

 

 combo picturesYoung author Charlotte Yeung wrote a newly-published book about battlefield preservation, and in the process learned a lot about World War I, and the importance of respecting and preserving memorials to those who served their nation in wartime.

High School Perspective: Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book on Battlefield Preservation in 4 Months

By Charlotte Yeung
Special to the Douhboy Foundation web site

In May 2020, I was 1 of 15 youth chosen to be a representative of the American Battlefield Trust, America’s largest battlefield preservation organization. As I attended workshops and meetings in the Trust, it became clear that I knew very little about this topic.

Charlotte Yeung 1000Charlotte YeungBattlefield preservation is often justified by saying it’s good for history. Preserving battlefields also means preserving delicate ecosystems, ensuring better local quality of life by ensuring open space, and honoring the soldiers, nurses, and others who died. Soldiers, historians, and history buffs walk the land to better understand what happened there. Children and students can visit the parks as an opportunity to learn outside of the normally restrictive classroom.

Battlefields also serve as economic engines that draw visitors for historical fairs, educational purposes, and other events.

The Process of Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book

I felt that these reasons weren’t communicated to me adequately. So I decided to make a project that would highlight these reasons to preserve battlefields. I would take this a step further and target a demographic that is often left out of the historical preservation discussion: children. I wanted to create a children’s book that I would have wanted to read as a kid, one that promoted environmental/historical preservation and youth activism.

What I Learned About WWI and America

While researching historical preservation, I came across the history of sanctification in terms of WWI. That war is unique in the global scope of the conflict, the military tactics, carnage, and the swathe of Americans involved. Women worked as nurses, the Harlem Hellfighters and 370th Infantry Regiment (known as the “Black Devils” by the Germans) made waves, and Choctaw and Cherokee code-talkers participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the fall of 1918.

After the 1918 Armistice, communities ranging from states to colleges marked the conflict in a diverse collection of memorials.

Memorials ranged in all shapes and sizes. Doughboy sculptures were specifically for WWI soldiers (Doughboy was a term used for American WWI soldiers; supposedly because of the piping on their uniforms). Honor rolls listed the names of those who fought. Other memorial types include neo-classical works such as arches, murals, and gates. Bridges, librairies, and other practical structures were dedicated to people who aided in the fight.

The United States World War One Centennial Commission was formed to commemorate the Americans involved in WWI and to educate the American public.   It also constructed the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, honoring all Americans who served during the conflict. The Commission employs creative tactics such as bell tolling and podcasting.

Belleau WoodIn mid-1918, US Marines saw action in Europe for the first time, facing the Germans at Belleau Wood. The battle had tremendous impact on the Corps and is still revered in Marine Corps history. 

Why the Marines' first battle in Europe still influences the Corps a century later

By Benjamin Brimelow
via the Business Insider web site 

June is usually marked by commemorations of D-Day, when thousands of Allied soldiers landed in Normandy to begin liberating France from the Nazis.

But 26 years before D-Day, 9,500 US Marines fought what became one of the Corps' most defining battles, facing the Imperial German Army in fields and woods about 45 miles northeast of Paris.

The Battle of Belleau Wood in June 1918 was an attempt to halt a German offensive making its way through the battered French and British armies.

It was the first battle for the Marines in Europe and one that had tremendous impact on the Corps. A century later, it still holds a sacred place in Marine Corps history.

A badly needed relief force

The US joined the war on the side of the Allies in April 1917. The French and British armies were exhausted after years of fighting, and the hundreds of thousands of fresh American soldiers were a badly needed relief force.

By the end of June that year, the first American Expeditionary Force soldiers had arrived in France. But the Americans were mostly newcomers to this new kind of warfare and did not join the trenches until October.

At first, American soldiers mostly augmented French and British defensive positions. On March 21, 1918, however, Germany — which had 50 more army divisions available after signing a separate peace treaty that ended Russia's involvement in the war — launched a push in France to defeat the British and French before US forces could fully deploy.

German successes meant the Americans were soon in the thick of the fighting. On May 28, they went on the offensive and retook lost territory at the Battle of Cantigny — the first major American battle of the war.

But the Germans were still advancing elsewhere. By June 1, they were locked in battle with French and American forces at the town of Château-Thierry and were moving toward Belleau Wood.

Desperate to stop the German advance, the Allies sent the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division, which included the 4th Marine Brigade, to hold the line.

The Marines' orders were clear: "No retirement will be thought of on any pretext whatsoever."

Pandemic 1918Although World War I made employers reconsider the jobs given to women, women often remained on traditionally feminine roles. 

Life after the 1918 flu has lessons for our post-pandemic world

By Kristen Rogers
via the Gwinette Daily Post newspaper (GA) web site 

A widespread sense that time has split into two -- or pandemics creating a "before" and "after" -- is an experience that's associated with many traumatic events.

That's the reflection of Elizabeth Outka, a professor of English at the University of Richmond and author of "Viral Modernism: The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature."

This social phenomenon is both psychologically and practically relevant, in that pandemics -- including the 1918 influenza and Covid-19 pandemics -- significantly affect how we assess and act on risk, or stay resilient, but also how we work, play and socialize.

The startling and harrowing nature of the 1918 flu and its fatal consequences induced a sense of caution that, in some places, had permanent implications for how people would respond to disease outbreaks in later decades -- such as using isolation and quarantine, according to a 2010 paper by Nancy Tomes, a distinguished professor of history at Stony Brook University.

Similarly, as the Covid-19 pandemic fades, "some existing trends will remain," said Jacqueline Gollan, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

For example, the recent expansion and use of online shopping, telehealth services, hybrid work models and technology that allows virtual gatherings will endure, Gollan said. And "given our recognition that global crises occur," she added, "we're likely to retain an inventory of cleaning supplies and personal protection materials. We are also likely to adopt habits that improve cleanliness to promote personal or group hygiene."

As the world gradually reopens in a patchwork of ways amid other crises -- much like how states' reopenings varied after the 1918 flu and World War I -- we'll be evaluating many of the lifestyle habits we've engaged in before and during the pandemic, said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

These are the changes that might stick around post-pandemic.

Annie Oakley takes aim with a Lever Action Rifle towards the end of her careerAnnie Oakley takes aim with a Lever Action Rifle towards the end of her career. The famous American sharpshooter played an interesting and unique role during World War I. 

“Little Sure Shot”: Annie Oakley during The Great War

By Charles Pauley
Staff Writer

Annie Oakley is renowned for being probably the best Woman Sharpshooter to ever live. Through her talent with firearms, she became a national celebrity in the United States during the late 1800s and into the early 20th century. While she was most famous for her feats of skill and shooting tricks during her time performing with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, she was also a huge supporter of the war effort when the United States entered into World War I.

She participated in a number of ways, and even tried to raise a small army to be used at the United States’ disposal. Some might even say that at one point, she had the opportunity to “prevent” the war with a single shot. Despite her involvement’s relative obscurity, the role she played during the conflict was quite interesting and unique.

Annie Oakley’s Humble Beginnings

A young Annie Oakley leveling her shotgunA young Annie Oakley leveling her shotgun.Phoebe Ann Mosey (or Moses on some accounts) was born on August 13th, 1860 in Darke County, Ohio. Phoebe endured a difficult childhood. Her Father, Jacob Mosey, died when she was very young leaving her mother, Susan Wise Mosey, to raise Phoebe and her 6 siblings on her own. When her mother remarried to Dan Brumbaugh, he died soon after, leaving her with another child to support. After her mother’s third marriage to Joseph Shaw, Phoebe found herself using her father’s old Kentucky rifle to hunt and sell game to a local grocery store in order to help support her family. Through necessity, Phoebe began to discover her talents as an excellent shot. She was so successful in hunting game that at the age of 15, she was able to pay off her mother’s home mortgage. Considering her age and the time period, this was a truly remarkable feat. Little did she know that this would prepare her for a lifetime in show business.

Phoebe found her way into stardom through her participation in a shooting competition with renowned sharpshooter of the time, Frank Butler. Butler was one of the popular travelling marksmen of the day and thought that he could beat most anyone. When he was on tour in Ohio, the locals there told him they had a shooter who could best him. On the day of the competition, Frank was quite surprised to find that his opponent was an unassuming young woman. Despite their skill being evenly matched for the duration of the competition, Frank eventually missed a shot, handing the competition over to Phoebe.

Of course, Phoebe found herself the victor of the close competition, and with that winning shot, her life changed forever. After his loss, Frank began to fall in love with her. They eventually married in 1876. It was once she started performing with Frank that she adopted her iconic stage name, Annie Oakley. 

Rabb Forest Mobley with wife Irma Hollywood from grandson Robert WilsonRabb Forest Mobley, pictured with his wife Irma, after World War I. (Photo courtesy of Robert Wilson, Mobley's grandson.) 

The World War I Diary of Private Rabb Forest Mobley 

By Mike Forster
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site

In the late 1980s, my wife found a notepad of lined paper on a sidewalk in Menlo Park, California. The notepad was misplaced in our home for a decade, rediscovered in 2001, packed again into a box, and found again in 2017. The notepad appears to be the diary of an American World War I Doughboy, from June 28th through October 3, 1918.

Mike ForsterMike ForsterI had more time available after my retirement, a lifelong interest in history, and enjoyment in researching unusual situations. So, I decided to investigate to determine the author, and to see if I could find a family member that would like to have this memento.

The investigation concluded that the diary's author was a Private Rabb Forest Mobley. This diary was not just the story of great battles and heroism. I felt as if I were walking alongside the Private Mobley as he experienced day-to-day life in the army, crossing the Atlantic and in the French theater.

Private Mobley includes observation such as:

"Have been passing through some beautiful country – reminds me of California. But everything is so far behind the times. The French people are still using oxen to ploug with and 2 wheel carts are all the go – if they use 2 horses they are always drove in tandem."

" Had supper with a French family and had a great time showing the French girl how to make hot cakes."

But the diary also reminds us that our World War I American Expeditionary Force of front-line troops were heroes. They risked their lives just crossing the Atlantic, with encounters with German submarines that could have sunk them at any moment. They could be killed at any moment by enemy artillery shells hitting their encampments. And despite the risks, they carried through on their missions, such as repairing railroads. These missions might seem mundane compared with front-line fighting, but just as necessary for victory.

Once Rabb Forest Mobley was determined to be the author of the diary, the hunt for his relatives began. Ancestry.com was a very useful resource in this quest. Rabb married Irma Smith in 1924, and they had one daughter in 1925, Barbara Helene Mobley. She married Robert Dean Wilson, and had three children. This story about the discovery and investigation of the diary was emailed to those three descendants. The original physical diary was mailed to one of these grandchildren, Robert D. Wilson. A scanned copy of the original is available.

This diary was not just the story of great battles and heroism. I felt as if I were walking alongside the Private Mobley as he experienced day-to-day life in the army, crossing the Atlantic and in the French theater.

But the diary also reminds us that our World War I American Expeditionary Force of front-line troops were heroes. They risked their lives just crossing the Atlantic, with encounters with German submarines that could have sunk them at any moment. They could be killed at any moment by enemy artillery shells hitting their encampments. And despite the risks, they carried through on their missions, such as repairing railroads. These missions might seem mundane compared with front-line fighting, but just as necessary for victory.

Lafayette Escadrille ceremony B 52A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber flies over the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, France, April 20, 2016, during a ceremony honoring the 268 Americans who joined the French Air Force before the U.S. officially engaged in World War I. (Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. Joshua DeMotts) 

The Lafayette Escadrille: Americans who flew with French in WWI honored

By Bob Alvis
via the Aerotech News web site 

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, I wanted to look back at America’s involvement in World War I and specifically, those daring young men in their flying machines.

Little did I know that my research would open some doors into the subject that would end up with me having a talk with the head of the American Battlefield Monuments Commission in Virginia.

Living here in the Antelope Valley with all its aviation history and firsts, it is easy to think that the warbirds of the world and especially the United States were home grown — but that is actually far from the truth. The development of the modern-day combat aircraft came into being in the skies over France and Germany in World War I, when two individuals took to the skies with only side arms and attempted to shoot each other till they ran out of ammo, and then just waved at each other and flew home. That was the beginning of what would grow into a worldwide quest to own the skies. The United States would soon have their own chapter flying in those same skies and would form a group of volunteers who would become legendary in the world of American aviation: the famous Lafayette Escadrille.

The Lafayette Escadrille was formed thanks to three individuals: Norman Prince of Boston, Mass., William Thaw of Pittsburgh, Penn., and Dr. Edmond Gros, an American expatriate living in France.

Seeking to aid the Allied cause, they lobbied officials in Paris to create an all-American squadron within the French Air Service. The Allies were in need of more combat forces, and were fully aware of the positive propaganda value that Americans flying under the French flag could afford in garnering United States support for the Allied cause.

French officials approved the concept on Aug. 21, 1915, and the beginning of American Combat aviation was born.

 

Lakewood, WA Helps Relocate Living WWI Memorial

By Charles Woodman
via the Patch-Lakewood-JBLM (WA) newspaper web site  

LAKEWOOD, WA — The City of Lakewood is recognizing two men who have helped preserve a living memorial to the thousands of American soldiers who died in World War 1.

The memorial in question is the Boulevard of Remembrance Oaks. Shortly after WWI, 500 oak trees were planted along the highway running from Fort Lewis to Tacoma, a memorial to those who served and died in the war.

But as the city explains, in the decades since the highway was expanded into I-5, and encroached upon the boulevard.

"Over time those 500 trees got whittled down very severely," says Michael Farley from the DuPont Tree Board. "A lot of the trees fell victim to the 'chainsaw-bulldozer disease'."

Now only 31 of the original 500 oaks remain standing. Fortunately, Farley and fellow DuPont Tree Board member Kyle McCreary have been working on a solution: collecting the acorns of the old oaks, and nurturing them to maturity.

Las Olas postcard l1600A postcard from the 1940's show the palm trees planted in the median of Las Olas Blvd. as a World War I memorial in what is now the Idlewyld neighborhood of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Gripes are growing: Don’t mess with Las Olas and its tree-lined median

By Susannah Bryan
via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper web site 

Judging from the rumblings, not everyone is in love with the idea of an extreme makeover for Las Olas that will forever remove the tree-lined median — a timeless touch that helped the iconic boulevard win a national competition for most beautiful street in America.

The coming redesign of the 2.4-mile historic corridor has tongues wagging and keyboards clacking, with residents blasting their opinions on social media and in emails to City Hall.

Las Olas Blvd. Sun Sentinel photoA dramatic transformation is on the way for historic Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Carline Jean/South Florida Sun Sentinel“Removing … the center trees is crazy to me ,” one man from Las Olas Isles griped.

Another complaint came from a longtime resident and activist in the Harbor Beach neighborhood: “Majority are very critical of removing the trees for both loss of charm and shade. Not a popular plan with little support. What’s the alternative?”

Even a guy from Denver weighed in.

“I’m 1,703 miles away, haven’t been a part of the discussion and may not know all the facts about the changes to Las Olas Boulevard,” he wrote in a letter to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “But there is the old phrase about the forest and the trees. This decision will come back to haunt city leaders.

“I remember after the tree-lined median was planted how bearable it was to visit the Las Olas Arts Festival at midday because of the shade. … Leave the center median in place and prevent those inevitable head-on collisions.”

The redesign will cost close to $140 million, according to early estimates. Now Fort Lauderdale leaders have to find a way to pay for it.

Commissioners signed off on what they called “ the vision ” Tuesday night, but they say there will be tweaks along the way.

“All of this will be fleshed out as we continue,” said Commissioner Steve Glassman, whose district includes Las Olas and the surrounding neighborhoods. “We are accepting a vision, then we will go through the design phase. All along the way we will have public input. It’s still a long road.” 

Marlborough MA WWI veterans composite(left) Two large frames memorialize Marlborough’s World War I veterans and were found in the attic of American Legion Post 132. (center) Ralph J. Lord, who was killed in July of 1918, is buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France (right). 

World War I artifacts discovered in American Legion attic

By Cindy Zomar
the Community Advocate newspaper (MA) web site 

MARLBOROUGH – Nearly everyone can identify with the feeling of finding long-forgotten items stored in the attic. But, when the items are more than a century old, such a find becomes newsworthy.

Commander Mike Ferro of the Akroyd Houde Post 132 American Legion recalls that Marlborough resident Matty Sargent, a Navy reservist and ardent history buff, recently asked about taking a look in the attic to see if there were any interesting artifacts stored up there.

Ferro admits that he’d only been up there once himself and was completely shocked when Sargent unearthed two framed pictures that had been donated to Post 132 in 1920.

One is a compilation of vignettes of all the Marlborough WWI veterans, while the other details the births and deaths of those veterans, including where they were killed, for those who did not come home.

According to Ferro, the list appears to have been written in calligraphy drawn painstakingly by hand by a woman named Mazie Kane Wells. Nothing is known about her as of yet.

Find keeps memories alive
According to Sargent, this photo collage will be a big boon to how history is remembered in Marlborough.

“As more information becomes available online, it is easier to tell these men’s stories, but their photos really add a new dimension to their life and sacrifice,” he said. “As there are no living World War I veterans, it is important for families of not only those who died but those who served, to keep photos, mementos, journals and the stories of these men and women alive.”

History buff reaches out to descendants
Quite adept at researching veterans’ lives and tracing families through tools like Ancestry.com, Sargent has been finding connections to those pictured in the photo collage.

Many of the relatives have subsequently shared newspapers, copies of citations, or even pictures of medals their loved ones had received so that he can make appropriate tags to hang on the monuments.

In one such case, Sargent reached out to Bob Lord, a former Marlborough resident living in Westborough. Sargent asked if Lord was related to the Ralph J. Lord who was killed in July of 1918. He found that not only was Lord related to the young man on the photo, it was his paternal uncle. 

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