Posts Tagged ‘world war i’

Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-18 (2)

The second item in Trinity College’s Long Room that I thought deserved a place on this blog is certainly a different kind of memorial than I usually encounter.  A copy of one volume of  Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918 was on display.  This book lists over 49,000 Irishmen who died in World War I: name, birthplace, rank, unit, cause of death, and place of death.

Ireland's National War Records 1914-18 (2)

Ireland's National War Records 1914-18 (4)

Ireland's National War Records 1914-18 (1)

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Lewis (1)

Lewis (2)

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Skeel (2)

Captain Burt E. Skeel died while representing the Army Air Service in the International Air Race at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. He crashed in front of spectators when the wings came off his plane. A native of East Cleveland, Ohio, Skeel had served in World War I, starting in the infantry and then transferring to the Air Service, where he remained as a pilot after the war.

Maurer Maurer.
Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919-1939.

Peter Vischer, “When Men Race with Death to Make the Air Safe.” Popular Science. January 1925.

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Nicholas Rose

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Miller Blair

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In today’s edition of things I never knew, we have the Dental Corps. Both the Army and Navy had a Dental Corps by World War I, formally established by an Act of Congress in 1911 and 1912, respectively.  This was not done out of altruism, but as a response to the need for a system of dental care for soldiers that had plagued the military since the Revolutionary War.

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Lentz (2)

Albert J.
Pvt Hdq Co 13th Infantry Div
Born in Gettysburg Oct. 17th, 1895
Killed in action at Catigny, France
April 27, 1918
The first Gettysburg boy to make the supreme sacrifice in the World War

Lentz (3)

What is it about being the first to die that grants one recognition? I’ve looked at this before, with David Eldridge (who has the distinction of being the first European to die in the Western Reserve). It’s certainly not an honor very many people would vie for. Albert Lentz, from what I can tell, had done nothing particularly noteworthy before his departure for service in Europe. I’m not saying he wasn’t a perfectly nice young man, loved by friends and family, because I don’t know – he seems to have been living an average unrecorded life. Suddenly, he has the misfortune to be the first Gettysburg fatality in the Great War, and he’s a household name – really, he gave his name to the American Legion post in Gettysburg. But what is it about being first? For a far-off war, is it the first body that is not just a body, but the shell of a person who we used to know? For a new place, is it the knowledge that even if we move from this spot, some small part of us will also remain here with the first person we have broken ground to bury?

*Any errors in transcription are my own. I tried to confirm my transcription with online sources, but others disagreed on items I am confident I can read clearly.

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All of the free-standing crosses I photographed in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg were stark and simple – a vertical bar with a horizontal crossbeam near the top.  All three were for World War I soldiers who had while in service and two of the three were these simple white constructions that resemble photographs I have seen of the vast World War I cemeteries in France.

Underwood Edward

Feldmann William John


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I was flipping through my photos from Lake View Cemetery the other night when I noticed something unusual about this particular monument.

Lieut. Harold Higgins

Did you catch it?  Lt. Higgins served in the Royal Air Force.  So what is a young man who died while serving in a Royal Air Force during the First World War doing buried in a Cleveland cemetery?

Unfortunately, my research has presently come up short on that count.  I’ve found a number of mentions of Harold Higgins that match his name, basic rank (they state he was specifically a Second Lieutenant), date of death, and branch of service.  Except that they all state he is buried in a churchyard in the United Kingdom.  One such mention is on a page for Canadian Veterans Affairs, and another is on a website entitled Canada at War.   I’ve determined that the churchyard mentioned – St. Andrews in Cranwell, Lincolnshire – has a large number of military graves due to its proximity to an Air Force school.  At least one transcription has Higgins listed but with a different date of death in the same month and year.  So maybe this monument in Lake View is a cenotaph, or maybe there were two Harold Higgins whose information has become melded over the years.

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