"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness;
Psalm 17 : 15
Fine youth! That sees the vision like a star
When he went forth with earnest modesty
And we, who follow him with yearning thought,
Great youth! Who sees his vision face to face.
MORE perhaps than in that of any other there exists in the life and achievement of Richard Nelville Hall a fineness and a poignant glory of self-sacrifice. "What better ideal can we have?" writes an associate in the Field Service, "A strong spirit drawing on a frail body to unselfish work for others."
In 1915, when the Middle West felt only vaguely the throbbing of the Great War, "Dick" showed his spirit by going eagerly along the uncertain path of service. His death brought sharply home to the whole country the bitter reality of the conflict and the necessity of having a share in it. Ambassador Jusserand wrote Dick's parents: "More has been accomplished by your son, in the brief space allotted to him, than can be the fate of millions who lead long, plain, ordinary lives."
As a small boy he said to his mother, after much thinking: "It seems to me it's awfully foolish to let yourself get to wanting something you know you can't have." And this philosophy of his own devising was a guide to his life. For while "he had a good deal to make him happy," yet he was happier in living than many a boy who had much more. On November 11, 1915, Dick wrote from France: "It is rather nice to know I can be happy in the face of some hard and dirty work, even with privations. I am extremely happy . . . . . I am not talking or thinking about Christmas. I don't dare."
At Michigan the words of a friend, who feels himself "a better man for having known Dick," typify the esteem in which Richard Hall was held. His constitution was not, however, robust, and after a year at Ann Arbor, he sought the invigorating open-air life afforded by Dartmouth. Dr. Nichols, the president, wrote his parents: "Certainly not in recent years has a young man of my acquaintance given so fine an example of what a young man ought to do . . . . . His memory will be cherished through many college generations." He completed his college work a month early and sailed for France on June 5, 1915. "Full of enthusiasm, tenderness, and quiet power . . . . . We knew, when he went, that a soldier indeed had gone . . . . "
Lovering Hill, leader of Section Three in Alsace said that Dick became known as its "most refined, likeable, and conscientious" member, "immediately liked by the French people for his sympathy, and respected by the ambulance men for his efficient work." "The ugly facts of war in some mysterious way were consecrating him to the highest ideals of service." "Dick's devotion to duty" Stephen Galatti called "a source of inspiration" and said, "It has been a privilege to be with him continually, at work and at play, to depend on him always, to look for his cheerful smile and to learn patience and kindness from him."
Late in December vicious attacks surged over Hartmannsweilerkopf. "Dick" never faltered, until during the black night of Christmas Eve, on the road up the mountain he was killed by a chance shell, "in the morning of his youth." Just before dawn a comrade found him there, dead beside his shattered ambulance, his hands still clutching the wheel, and his face wearing a smile as though he thought of the Christmas at home. He is buried at Moosch, in the valley of St. Amarin, his grave kept fresh with flowers by the village folk who knew and loved him.
Richard Elliott spoke truly, when he said: "It seems to me Dick had less need of this life than most of us . . . . . Had n't he already found that key to true living which is reflected in our unfailing confidence? How beautifully the mantle of heroism falls about his young life. . . . The lives of all who knew him will always be richer for his having lived."
"There fell a very modest and valiant Gentleman."
Born March 19, 1889, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Son of Joseph H. and Mary Reuss Kelley. Educated Philadelphia high schools; Rock Hill College, Ellicott City, Maryland; and University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1911. Automobile business, Philadelphia. joined American Field Service, August 26, 1916; attached Section Four. Killed by shell at Marre, near Verdun, night of September 23, 1916. Croix de Guerre. Buried at Blercourt, Meuse.
EDWARD KELLEY belongs to that small and heroic band of American youths who gave their lives for France while their own country still hesitated to take issue. In the summer of 1916, while employed in the service department of a Philadelphia automobile manufactory, he read a magazine account of the work which Americans were doing in France. On August 26th, he sailed as a member of the American Field Service, with the intention of devoting to the cause the expert knowledge of automobiles which he possessed.
He had expected to remain in Paris, as may be gleaned from letters written home shortly after his arrival, but an opportunity presented itself almost immediately of joining Section Four at the front and he eagerly hailed this chance to see active service in the field. Section Four was at the time one of three sections located in the Verdun sector, whose work lay in the region of the famous Mort Homme.
His term of service was to be short. Six days after joining the section, on the night of September 23, 1916, he was making his first trip to the dressing station in the little ruined town of Marre, and was being shown the road by a veteran of the section named Sanders. They had almost reached their destination, a heavily protected cellar, when a German shell struck about three yards in front of the ambulance, sending its fragments in all directions. Kelley was instantly killed and his companion seriously wounded. They were carried back in another ambulance, which was waiting at the post, to Blercourt.
He was buried there with military honors, just a month from the day he had sailed from New York. Mr. Andrew, the commanding officer of the Field Service, wrote a few days later to Kelley's sister, describing the scene: "Imagine a sunny, warm September morning and a village street sloping up a hillside. In the open entry of one of the houses, the front of which was hung with the black and silver drapery of the church and the tricolor of France, the coffin was placed, wrapped in a great French flag, covered with flowers and wreaths, at the head a small American flag on which was pinned a Croix de Guerre with a gold star, the tribute of the Army Corps General to the boy who had given his life for France. Six French soldiers bore the coffin and then followed representatives of our sections, each carrying wreaths, then the General, a group of officers, and after them the fifty or more Americans surrounded by a detachment of soldiers with arms reversed. The scene was one which none there could ever forget."
Short as his stay had been with his comrades at the front, the place he had made for himself among them is more than evident in the following extract from a letter sent back to America and signed by every member of the section : "We do not know that it is as he would have wished, since he had much to live for, but we do know that the sacrifice, great as it is, was made ungrudgingly. On us who have served here at the front with Edward, his sincerity and strength of purpose, his never failing willingness to help out, no matter what the assistance needed, no matter at what hour of the day or night, his earnestness in the work to which he had put his hand, his cheerfulness under all conditions,---on us, proud to feel that we were his comrades, these qualities have made a profound and lasting impression. Always we shall hold it a privilege that we served with him, and that it was as one of us that he met his heroic end."
Born March 25, 1889, in Cambridge, Massachusetts' Son of Alvin Foye and Gertrude W. Sortwell. Educated St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire, and Harvard University, three years, Class of 1911. In business with Ludlow Manufacturing Associates; three years in India, from 1913. Joined American Field Service, April 26, 1916; attached Section Eight to September, 1916, then Section Three in Salonica. Died November 12, 19116, of injuries received in accident, Salonica, November 11. Buried, Salonica. Body transferred to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"EVERY person has some trait in his or her character which dominates all others. With 'Ed,' as one remembers him as a boy, later at college, and finally in business, the one word 'affectionate' strikes the keynote of his personality. His happiest moments were spent with his family in the country and his love of horses and dogs was phenomenal. His next most dominant trait was generosity. College friends and mess-mates in India have all spoken of the pleasure he received in giving. The last and possibly the most important characteristic was courage. As a youngster at St. Paul's School, one can remember his flying tackle, his willingness to take a chance of a mighty hard bump in the hope of getting his man. He usually got him."
On the death of his father, a former mayor of Cambridge, he left Harvard College at the end of his junior year and entered the employ of the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates. It was in pursuit of this firm's transactions in jute that he was sent to Calcutta, where he remained for three years. In the spring of 1916, on his way back, to America, he stopped over in Paris and, becoming interested in the work which the American Field Service was doing at the front, enlisted for a term of six months. Section Eight was just leaving for action, and as one of the original members of the section he served from May until September, 1916, in Champagne and around Verdun.
Austin Mason, chef of Section Eight, has written of the work of the Section: "My memory of the fellows is most vivid at the time when we had the hardest work. This was at Dugny, near Verdun, and our poste de secours was the Fort de Tavannes. One of the hardest attacks on the Verdun sector was going on at the time, in June, 1916, and those who were with us came through that time with great credit. Volunteers were called for every so often for some particularly dangerous job, and there was never a lack of them. I can remember Sortwell, with his earnest eager face, volunteering among the first. He did excellent work while he was with us and all the fellows were very fond of him, for he enjoyed a good time when he was not on duty and was always ready to take part in any amusement or party that was planned. It was a great blow to all of us to have him taken away with two others of the crowd when the section for Salonica was formed."
Late in September he volunteered for duty with Section Three in the Orient and was accepted. Barely two weeks after landing in Salonica and while waiting for the cars to be made ready, he was struck by a heavy motor car while crossing a dark street, concussion of the brain resulting, and he died the following night, Sunday, November 12th, 1916. He was buried in the French Cemetery on the outskirts of Salonica, his coffin covered with a French and an American flag.
In a letter to Sortwell's mother, A. Piatt Andrew, head of the American Field Service, wrote: "Your son has left in the memory of all those who were associated with him a fine record of arduous and in many cases dangerous work, eagerly and courageously performed; an example of manly endurance in the performance of duty which will never be forgotten. He never hesitated and never shirked before a dangerous mission. He is the third of our American volunteers to give his life in the service of France in her hours of peril, and with his sacrifice he has added one more link to the bonds of friendship which have bound our two countries since their earliest days."
Born March 5, 1891, in New York City. Only son of Dr. Ernest Howard and Elisabeth L. Lines. Home, Paris, France. Educated Anglo-Saxon School, Paris; University of Paris, Sorbonne, "baccalaureat" 1908; Dartmouth College, Class of 1912; Harvard Law School, 1915. Joined American Field Service, September 8, 1915; attached Section One to December 30, 1915 ; reenlisted September 17, 1916; attached Sections Eight and One. Died at the front, of pneumonia, December 23, 1916. Buried Christmas Day, La Grange aux Bois, Argonne. Croix de Guerre. Body now in American Military Cemetery, Suresnes, near Paris, Seine.
"RAINY" LINES,---as he was known by his classmates at Dartmouth and Harvard, and by many of his friends in the Field Service,--- died while on active duty at the front, December 23, 1916, and was buried on Christmas Day, with all military honors, in the little town of La Grange aux Bois, in the Argonne.
Educated in France, and loving intensely her people and her traditions, Lines was prepared from the beginning to make any sacrifice for her cause. "Devoted and courageous," read an Army Order of the Day, "he was sent to the rear, ill. He returned again eagerly to the front after his recovery, contracted a grave malady, and died for France."
On graduating from the Harvard Law School in the early part of the summer of 1915, "Rainy" Lines enlisted in the Field Service and was attached to Section One, then working under unusually hard conditions in the neighborhood of Dunkirk. "What a comfort it is to have Lines with us," wrote one of the directors of the Field Service. "His work is always well done, he is never rattled, and, at the same time, he has a quick, cheerful, and sympathetic nature from which others draw encouragement."
In the summer of 1916 he was operated upon for appendicitis and an abdominal injury. He also was compelled to spend several weeks in the hospital suffering from chicken pox complicated by an attack of grippe. Only those who saw him at this time can know how much he chafed at this enforced withdrawal from active service, how he coaxed the doctors to permit his return to the front, and how eagerly he resumed his work.
This time he was temporarily attached to Section Eight, where, as in Section One, he soon became at home, and did sterling work, but he was insistently reclaimed by his old Section, and to Section One he was presently reassigned. Lines made many friends, both among his fellow volunteers and among the French with whom his work constantly brought him in contact, and with whom he loved to spend his time when off duty. Just before his death he was recommended for the Croix de Guerre. It had also been decided to appoint him Sous-chef of the Section, for every one was coming to rely more and more upon his experience, his steady sense, his ability to co-operate with the French authorities, his enthusiasm, and his qualities of leadership.
The immediate cause of death was cerebral meningitis following an acute attack of pneumonia. Four of his comrades in Section One acted as pallbearers; the funeral services were read by a Protestant clergyman serving with the armies as a stretcher bearer; and the interment was witnessed by his father, mother, and sister, who had, been given special permission by the Ministry of War to proceed from Paris to the front; by Robert Bacon, formerly American Ambassador to France; and by A. Piatt Andrew, Inspector General of the Field Service.
None of the little group of Americans who stood that Christmas Day by the open grave of this volunteer could foresee the future, but in retrospect they will always. think of " Rainy" Lines as the advance guard of the formidable thousands of their countrymen who, two years later, hallowed with their blood the valley of the Meuse and were laid to rest, as he was laid to rest, beneath the white crosses which dot its hillsides.
Lines was one of the first Dartmouth men to join the Field Service, and a Dartmouth bed at the American Ambulance at Neuilly, endowed by college friends, was dedicated to "Howard Burchard Lines, son of Dartmouth, a sympathetic, loyal, generous friend, whose death befitted his life and who needs no words to pay him honor."
Born November 21, 1891, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Son of Chester W. and Isadora Leech Bliss. Home, Boston, Massachusetts. Educated Springfield schools, Fay and St. Mark's Schools, Southboro, Massachusetts. and Harvard University, Class of 1914. Left college junior year to enter business, with Ellsworth and later Union Collieries Companies of Pennsylvania. joined American Field Service, January 28, 1917. Died of pneumonia in Paris, February 22, 1917. Buried in Paris, France. Body transferred to Peabody Cemetery, Springfield, Massachusetts.
BORN in Springfield, where he had his earliest schooling, Addison Leech Bliss went when about ten years of age to Fay School at Southboro. In 1904 he entered St. Mark's to prepare for Harvard, and joined enthusiastically in the activities of his companions. He was an athlete of no mean ability, playing for two years upon both the school football and baseball teams, in his last year captaining the latter. He became extremely popular, and was a monitor as well as president of his class.
An old friend, who had known Addison since he was a small boy and seen a great deal of him at the Bliss summer home in New London, was, he said, "greatly attracted because of his winning personality," adding, "I am told he was very popular both at his school and with his classmates at Harvard." Upon entering college with the Class of 1914 Bliss continued to win friends and athletic successes. A subsequent class report says: " His generosity, geniality, and whole-heartedness made him one of the most likable men it is given us to know." His second year he spent at Haverford College, returning to Harvard in the fall of 1912. His popularity was undiminished and while he was, elected to several clubs, unfortunately his studies did not receive a great deal of attention. The late Lawrence Sexton, a classmate of his father's at Harvard, remarked of Addison that "he did not graduate owing to the fact that he was not a diligent student. Notwithstanding his lack of diligence, he is a bright, capable, energetic young man." Proof of this last is the success which he made of his business affairs.
Bliss left college about Christmas time and took a position with the Ellsworth Collieries Company, after a while joining the Union Collieries Company of Pittsburgh. He was active in the development of the mines, being concerned with the installation work. As a result of his efforts he was made a director of the company, which he left only to enter the ranks of the Allies.
The following, which concerns his War service, is quoted from "St. Mark's School in the War against Germany," edited by A. E. Benson: "Bliss' record is in one sense a short one, for he was not granted the time in which to accomplish the work for which he went to France; but this bare fact, though cruel to him, makes little difference to his friends, and none in the honor and love in which they hold him. Before his country entered the war he left his home and his business, volunteered from pure sense of personal duty, and died in the service. Such a record needs no longer life in which to emphasize it, however bitterly his friends may grieve that he could not have lived and had his reward."
Addison resigned his position in Pittsburgh, sailed for France on the Touraine, January 28, 1917, a volunteer driver in the American Field Service. After a stormy voyage and while in Paris waiting to be sent to the front, Bliss caught a severe cold from which pneumonia developed, and on February 22d, less than a month after leaving the United States, he died. Two days later he was buried, with very beautiful services, at the American Church in Paris.
A fitting tribute and expression of their regard for him comes from his Harvard Classmates in their second Report: "The multitude of friends he has left, who loved him so dearly, will miss him always and the place he filled in the hearts of all of us can never be refilled."
Born March 14, 1887, in Chicago, Illinois. Son of Judge Samuel P. and Sarah Rogers McConnell. Home, Carthage, North Carolina. Educated Morristown School, New Jersey; Haverford School, Pennsylvania, and University of Virginia, Class of 1910. In business, New York City. From 1912, Industrial Agent, Randolph and Cumberland Railroad, North Carolina. Secretary, Carthage Board of Trade. Joined American Field Service, February 11, 1915; attached Section Two until December 12, 1915. Croix de Guerre. Enlisted French Aviation, October 1, 1915. Trained Pau and Plessis-Belleville. Breveted February 6, 1916. Attached as Sergeant, Lafayette Escadrille, N. 124, April 20, 1916. Killed in combat over the German lines, March 19, 1917, near Petit-Détroit, southeast of Ham. Croix de Guerre with palm. Buried Petit-Détroit, Aisne.
IN the long list of those who gave their lives in the War, there is one small group of names which must ever rank above the rest. These were the men who, before America entered the struggle, fought and died for the cause which they had made their own, side by side with the blue coated soldiers of France. Of these James R. McConnell was one.
When war broke out in Europe he was employed in Carthage, North Carolina, as the land and industrial agent of a railroad company. He soon came to the conclusion, as he is quoted in the introduction to his book, "Flying for France," that: "These sand hills will be here forever, but the war won't, so I'm going." From February to December, 1915, he served with the American Field Service, first as one of a group of drivers attached to a hospital at Beauvais, and, from April on, as one of the original members of Section Two at Pont-à-Mousson, where he had the reputation of being the most fearless member of the section.
It was undoubtedly in no small part his love of danger and adventure which first drew McConnell to France, but by the fall of 1915, these motives had given way entirely, before the keen realization of what the war meant, to a desire to give his utmost to the cause of France. He left the Field Service and enlisted in the French Army with the idea of training for aviation and in April, 1916, was sent to the front in the newly formed Lafayette Escadrille, with such comrades as Rockwell, Lufbery, Prince, and Chapman.
At the front he seemed destined to have bad luck from the start. Twice he was left without a machine, once after an accident at Luxeuil, and again at the time of his first trip over the Verdun sector. In the latter instance he boldly attacked six German planes and in the unequal combat had his machine riddled with bullets. In August he and Lufbery brought down a two-seated German machine and each was officially credited with half a share in the victory. Soon afterward, however, while making a landing in the dark, he so badly wrenched his back that the resulting rheumatism confined him to the hospital until the following spring. Then, despite the fact that he was still unfit for service, he insisted upon returning to the squadron on March 10, 1917.
Nine days later he fell at the little village of Petit-Détroit, southwest of St. Quentin. One of his comrades, C. C. Johnson, wrote: "Like old Kiffin, Mac died gloriously and in full action. It was in a fight with three Germans in their lines. Genet took one Hun and was wounded. The last he saw was a Hun on Mac's back. Later we learned from the cavalry that there were two on Mac and after a desperate fight he crashed to the ground. Three days later we took that territory . . . . . and Mac was buried where he fell, in a coffin made from the door of a pillaged house." In his lifetime "Jim" had said were he killed he desired to be buried where he fell, and so it is. The French 165th Infantry used stones from a nearby ruined village to erect there a beautiful monument. The grave is decorated with flowers by the peasants, and in the words of one of them, "It will always be covered with flowers; you know he was a volunteer."
No words can add to the record of his achievements, nor can any one who knew him ever forget the impression of his manly nature, whimsical humor, fearlessness, and above all his love for France. One phrase from his posthumous citation for the Croix de Guerre with palm, is sufficient proof that these qualities were not unknown or unappreciated by the army he so nobly served: "Pilote modeste, autant que courageux, disait souvent à ses camarades: 'Tant mieux si je dois être tué, puisque c'est pour la France.' "
Born February is 1887, in Orange New Jersey. Son of Robert Bowne and Elizabeth Montgomery Suckley. Home, Rhinebeck, New York. Educated abroad, Phillips Academy, Exeter, and Harvard University, Class of 1910. In business, New York City. joined American Field Service, February 12, 1915; attached Section Three; Sous-chef, May, 1915 to September, 1916. Recruited for Field Service, in America, September to November, Commandant Adjoint Section Ten, November, 1916. Croix de Guerre. To the Balkans. Wounded by avion bombs , March 18, at Zemlak. Died March 19, 1917, at Koritza, Albania. Buried in Koritza.
"These boys who have gone, taking our colors and our spirit into the outposts of civilization, will one day be honored and remembered as having deserved well of their country and having by their example and their sacrifice kept alive a noble tradition and a true American spirit . . . . . In a dark period, perhaps the darkest in our whole history, it is the example of boys like Suckley which gives us hope even in despair."
Editorial, "New York Tribune," March 28, 1917.
HENRY SUCKLEY, one of the first Field Service men to reach France and participate in the work at the front, was mortally wounded on March 18, 1917, at Zemlak, Albania, while in the active discharge of his duties as Chef of Section Ten. He died a day later in a hospital at Koritza, where he was buried with all military honors by a Protestant chaplain, in the Allied cemetery, among the remains of many of the soldiers for whom he had given his life.
Speaking by his grave the senior French officer present said: "Henry Suckley always joined to the highest qualities of a leader the humble patience of a soldier, believing that the best way to obtain obedience was himself to set an example in everything." And one of the directors of the Field Service wrote when he heard of his death: "Of the many hundreds of Americans who have come and gone in this organization, he was one of the three or four on whom we depended the most and who was the most liked and trusted by those who worked with him or for him."
Suckley joined the Field Service in February, 1915, and in May of the same year he went to the front with Section Three. He remained continuously with that unit, on the Alsatian, Lorraine, and Verdun fronts until September, 1916, was awarded the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, and appointed Sous-chef of the Section. He then made a short trip home to recruit men and collect money for the Service, and returning in November to France was put in command of Section Ten, the money for the organization and support of which had been contributed by the New York Stock Exchange.
Section Ten was ordered at once to join the Army of the Orient at Salonica, and, when it was given work to do at the front, began immediately to make an enviable reputation. But Suckley, to whose influence as leader so much of its success was due, did not live to receive his share of the credit, for on March 18th there was an enemy air raid over Zemlak, where Section headquarters had been established, and he was mortally wounded by a fragment of a bomb.
He was carried in one of the Section's ambulances to a hospital in Koritza where he died quietly the next morning. He retained consciousness all night and gave directions about the work of the Section and said repeatedly to everybody who saw him, "Don't bother about me."
To the lot of Henry Suckley, while a volunteer in the Field Service, fell many tasks,---to work and to wait in the rear while the foundations of the Service were being laid, to be one of the first to take part in active battle operations at the front, to return to the United States and interest others in the vital work which was being done in France, and, finally, to assume his first command upon a distant front amid strange and perplexing surroundings. He met each demand that duty made upon him with a success and a modesty which won the affection and the admiration of his fellows, and he will always remain with us, noble in memory and in influence.
Born September 30, 1896, in Buffalo, New York. Son of Alexander J. and Maud Langmuir Porter. Home, Niagara Falls, New York. Educated Ridley College, St. Catherines, Ontario, and Cornell University, Class of 1919. Plattsburg Camp, 1916. Joined American Field Service, March 12, 1917; attached Headquarters. Died in Paris of pneumonia, April 25, 1917, at Hospital Buffon. Funeral services in Paris. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls, New York.
ALBERT AUGUSTUS PORTER, when war broke out in 1914, was at Ridley College, St. Catherines, Ontario. His residence in Canada gave to him, far more than to most boys of his age in the United States, a realization of the true significance of the struggle, and although but eighteen years of age he was eager from the first to enlist with his Canadian school-mates for service in France. It was consideration for his family's wishes, however, which induced him to postpone for the time his project and to continue his studies at Cornell University.
The summer of 1916 he attended Plattsburg, returning to Cornell in September, but by mid-winter his desire to take an active part in the war was too great to be longer denied and in February he enrolled with the American Field Service. He wrote from New York early in March, a day or two before sailing: "Naturally I feel a little too happy, but it is because I am going to do what I have always longed to do."
The sort of youth he was, who sailed so happily away, is admirably shown in a letter to his family from one of his headmasters at Ridley College: "Since he entered the lower school as a little boy, my admiration and affection for him have never waned. I never knew him to say a mean word or heard of his doing a thing which would not bear the full light of day. Full of enthusiasm for all the good and true things of life, he was one of my ideals of what a boy should be. His boyish consideration for others, his constant desire to do what was right, his intolerance of wrong, all these grew to manhood with him and made it impossible for him to stay at home while there was such work to be done."
Upon his arrival in Paris he was assigned to Section Four and was on the point of leaving for the front when he contracted measles which necessitated his being sent to a hospital. Here he remained, chafing under the delay, and more and more anxious each day to join his comrades, at the front. It seemed to him particularly hard to be on the verge of realizing his dream and then to be held back by a trivial illness.
At last his eagerness was so great that he insisted upon going out to test his strength, but the raw Paris spring weather was too much for him and pneumonia developed. He died on April 25, 1917, when not yet twenty one, a month after reaching France. A military funeral was held at the American Church, the first since the United States had declared war, and was attended by many of his comrades and officers of the Field Service and by prominent American and French residents. His casket, draped in an American flag, was sent back to Niagara Falls.
It seems especially sad that one who had so long desired to join the struggle should die in this way. He had already traveled thousands of miles to achieve his purpose and it was only a seemingly cruel chance which snatched him away just as he was about to reach the front. His very eagerness to serve would have rendered him of exceptional value to the cause, yet, dying as he did, his name stands, for all who knew him, as that of a soldier who gave his all for his country.
Born May 21, 1189,5, in New York City. Son of Dr. H. V. and Hansine O. Barclay. Early home, East Elmhurst, New York. Educated New York public schools. Two years in business. joined American Ambulance Field Service, November 24, 1914; attached Section Two until August, 1915. Three months leave in America. Re-enlisted Field Service November, 1915; attached Section Two to June 12, 1916. Enlisted French Aviation, June 26, 1916. Trained Buc, Avord, Cazeau, Pau, and Plessis-Belleville. Breveted, October 6, 1916; attached Escadrille N-82, April 12, 1917 Promoted Sergent May 31, 1917. Croix de Guerre with palm. Killed in aeroplane accident June 1, 1917, at Chaux, north of Belfort. Buried Chaux, Territoire de Belfort. Body probably to be transferred to American Cemetery, Belleau Wood.
AT the outbreak of the war in 1914, Leif Norman Barclay was in Norway visiting the country of his ancestors. Contact with this land that had bred heroes long before America was known to exist, fired his Norse blood and fixed his determination to serve under the Tri-color of France in the struggle that represented to him romance, adventure, and sacrifice --- life at its broadest and fullest. In November then of 1914 he joined the ranks of the American Ambulance, going into the field with Section Two, in which he served, except for a three months' furlough to the United States in 1915, until June of 1916. Immediately his term of enlistment expired Leif entered French Aviation. Delayed some weeks in reaching the front, because of an accidental pistol wound, after successfully passing through the schools, Barclay made up for lost time by going after the Huns with an enthusiasm and dash that electrified his companions. Captain Echard, his commander, said of him: "Impatient to distinguish himself in daring action, never permitting a day to pass without seeking battle, it was constantly necessary to restrain his zeal."
Harold Buckley Willis, the first member of the Lafayette Escadrille to be captured, and Leif's comrade in both Field Service and aviation school days, gives this striking account of him and his worth:
"The surviving poilus of the 1915 Bois-Le-Prêtre offensive of the 76th Division will certainly remember the genial 'blond' of 'les américains,' our comrade, Leif Barclay, long after the rest of us are forgotten. His cheery faculty of quickly putting himself on a footing of friendly intimacy with those bearded warriors was such that eventually he was known throughout the length and breadth of our eight mile front as 'Mon pot.'
"Leif shared with Vivian DuBouchet the distinction of being both one of the earliest and youngest volunteers for the American Ambulance Service, for he joined Section Two in the winter of 1914 at the age of nineteen. Newcomers to the section and later to the aviation schools and squadrons to which he was attached will always have a kindly remembrance of Leif for the trouble he took to help them learn the ropes and to teach them how to make themselves comfortable. At Buc, Avord, and Pau, Barclay did more than any of us to lend friendly aid to newly-arrived compatriots.
"Leif was one of the first Americans to be assigned to an entirely French pursuit squadron. This was no hardship, for his genial good-nature caused him to be welcomed with open arms into the French pilots' mess. The courage and audacity which had carried him, grinning, through smoke and éclats on bombarded roads did not fail him now. His eagerness to volunteer for special patrols early won the affection of his fellows and the respect of his superiors. His lieutenant stated that Leif was more pleased by an opportunity to make an extra sortie, than by a permission to Paris --- a feeling hardly typical of aviators in general.
"A pitiful accident over his home field, due to a structural fault in his plane, caused his death and prevented his making that great name for himself in the air which such fearless energy as his must otherwise ultimately have won."
Leif was one of those adventurous spirits for whom no other end could have been more fitting or inevitable---in the air, on duty, as he might have wished.
"He had proved his metal."
Born August 5, 1886, in Stockton, California. Son of Benjamin Russell and Ruth G. Woodworth. Home, Germantown, Pennsylvania. Educated Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts. Traffic Department, Pennsylvania Railroad, Philadelphia, 1905 to 1912. Lumbering, Maine woods. Joined American Field Service, May 31, 1915; attached Section One, to July 5, 1916. On leave in America to October. Rejoined Section One, October 21, 190.- Commandant Adjoint, March, 1917. Killed in aeroplane accident near Soissons, June 15, 1917. Croix de Guerre. Buried, Châlons-sur-Vesle. Marne.
ON leaving Milton Academy in 1905, Benjamin R. Woodworth made his residence in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad, traffic department, in Philadelphia. Here he remained until 1912, when, finding the confines of an office too irksome, he left for several seasons in the Maine woods. He spent some time at Cedar Swamp, West Sebois, Maine, following the woodsman's life in all its phases: lumberman, hunter, and guide. In the spring of 1915, drawn by the opportunity for action which the war offered, he enlisted in the American Field Service and joined Section One at Dunkirk in June.
It has meant much to any American who had any share in the life of France during those first years of the war, and how much more to anyone who served as a part of the French Army at the front. One of the members of Section One, writing in the "History of the American Field Service in France," has described an impression of those early days: "At our base, Dunkirk, we shared the life of a town under sporadic but devastating bombardment; still farther forward, in Ypres, we beheld a town bombarded from the face of the earth in a single night. There we shared no life, nor yet in Nieuport, for there was none to share."
Woodworth played no small part in the life and activities of the section. W. Yorke Stevenson, who succeeded him as leader of the section in June, 1917, wrote: "Absolutely fearless, of remarkable cheerfulness under the most unpleasant circumstances, a born leader, he made war for me almost seem pleasant. He met every disagreeable happening with a laugh and a shrug. A born athlete, he was always the first to make us, many of whom were distinctly lethargic, get busy. At times of repos, football, baseball and other sports kept us in condition and checked the 'growsing' and 'Benny' was the one that started all the games. In time of stress he made the most cowardly of us feel ashamed. Many a time I said to myself, 'Well, if that bird can do it I suppose we've got to. And above all his unfailing cheerfulness I shall never forget. Of all the bully crowd that I had the privilege of knowing he stands out alone. He needs no monument nor written words, all those who knew him can never forget 'Woody.'"
In July, 1916, having served for more than a year with the section, he returned to America. He spent some time in the vicinity of Boston and Philadelphia, getting in touch with old friends, and made a trip to the Pacific Coast to see his mother who resides in San Francisco. While there he was instrumental in collecting the money for an ambulance which he subsequently drove. He reenlisted in October and returned to France, rejoining his old section in the Argonne, and the following March he was appointed Chef while the section was en repos at Vadelaincourt, near Verdun.
His term of leadership was to be brief. Three months later, June 15, 1917, Woodworth was instantly killed while riding as a passenger in a French aeroplane. The accident occurred as he and Chatkoff, a pilot from an escadrille near Muizon where the section was quartered, were leaving the grounds of the Lafayette Escadrille not far from Soissons. One of his comrades wrote, a short time afterward: "Woody was buried Sunday morning, June 17th, with all military honors, in the little cemetery of the shattered church of Châlons-sur-Vesle, while the guns thundered. Every day some of the men coming back from twenty-four duty at the front line posts stop off a few moments at the little cemetery and we keep his grave covered with wild flowers plucked near the lines."
Born June 24, 1894, in Rochester, New York. Son of Albert S. and Elizabeth Dunbar Osborn. Home, Montclair, New Jersey. Educated Montclair High School and Dartmouth College, Class of 1917. Joined American Field Service, May 5, 1917; attached Section Twenty-eight. Wounded near Village Gascon, Champagne, June 21. Died of wounds, June 26, 1917, at Hôpital Farman. Croix de Guerre. Buried Hôpital Farman, near Mourmelon-le-Grand, Champagne.
"Youth must give up youth itself, and give
Even its life --- that the ideals of youth
May thus be cherished and forever live."
IT was on his first night of service at the front, with the American Field Service, that Paul Gannett Osborn was called upon to make his sacrifice. His little span of service was brief, but "the swift, clear glow of sacrificial youth" flamed high, before it died, illuminating all it touched, and leaving the radiance of his memory to burn through the years. To him falls the sad distinction of being the first American killed after our entrance into the war.
Paul Osborn and his brother together joined the American Field Service with the Dartmouth unit, in May, 1917. Section Twenty-eight, of which Paul was a member, received its baptism of fire on the night of June 21st. Driving over a muddy road, near Village Gascon, Champagne, Paul came upon a comrade's machine stuck in a shell hole, and stopped to help, despite a heavy German barrage. Before the car could be extricated Paul was hit, and mortally wounded. He was hurried to the Farman hospital, near Mourmelon-le-Grand, where every effort was made to save his life, but gangrene set in and he died a few days later. Stanley Hill, a fellow member of that section, who himself died of wounds a year later, wrote of Osborn's courage and consideration in those last days: "Paul was wounded on Thursday night but fought death until Tuesday morning. If anything happens to me, I pray God that I may be as noble, as courageous, and as thoughtful of others as Paul was. One of the first things he did was to ask for cigarettes --- he does not smoke himself--- to give to the blessés and attendants around him. About the last thing he said was, 'I am going to fight this and win out.' Then he went to sleep, became unconscious, and died . . . . . just as if he were going to sleep. He lost the battle of life, but he did 'win out,' for he won a place of honor in eternal life." Paul Osborn was buried with all the honors that a great nation can bestow. The Divisional Surgeon, speaking at the grave, said in part: "Ahead of your armies you came, American volunteers, to submit yourselves to this stern test, and one of you has already sealed with his blood the close fraternity that unites you to the people of France." General Baratier, of Fashoda fame, closed his beautiful tribute with these words: "Soldier Osborn, sleep on among your French comrades, fallen like you, in glory! Sleep on wrapped in the folds of the American flag, in the shadow of the banner of France!"*
From one who knew him well comes the following: "Paul Gannett Osborn was a splendid type of young American manhood. His was a buoyant and irrepressible spirit that enjoyed life to the full. He was electrical with life. College was an unbounded joy and privilege to him. Vibrant with youth, clean and strong in his living, happy in comradeship, there was underneath a seriousness of outlook and purpose."
The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine remarks:
"It is always that great promise of youth, thwarted by the pitiless veto of war, that abides as a never-ending source of grief ; unless the friends and families of these boys find consolation in such philosophy as that of Osborn's father who in a letter writes this brave sentence : 'It is hard to do so, but we try to think that our boy has done more by his death in this noble endeavor than he could do in any other way.' "
*NOTE. General Baratier's complete address appears on page 289, Volume II, of the History of the American Field Service in France.
Born March 22, 1886, in New York City. Only son of Charles and Anna Freeborn Myers. Educated Cornwall Heights and Brooklyn Polytechnic Preparatory Schools. Chubb and Sons, Marine Insurance, two years; insurance broker with Myers and Eadie. Joined American Field Service, March 2, 1917; attached Section Fifteen to May. Croix de Guerre. Sent back to America, July, 1917, suffering from shell-shock. Died at home in New York City, October 4, 1917. Buried Greenwood Cemetery, New York.
ARTHUR MYERS was a mature man when he went to France in the American Field Service, with all of a man's seriousness of purpose. It was no joyous adventure for him, but a duty carefully thought out and prepared for. He had French blood in his veins and had stimulated a natural and profound admiration for France by extensive reading in French history. He felt very keenly the obligation of America's debt to her and the necessity of its payment. On account of a severe illness in his boyhood that threatened the loss of one leg, he had never been physically strong, and because he was determined that he should not fail in his undertaking, he spent the summer before the date of sailing, travelling in the Canadian Rockies for the express purpose of hardening himself so that he might undergo the rigors of the service with the others. With the same end in view he became a member of the New York Athletic Club.
Early in 1917 he sailed for France via Spain and on April 10th he set out for the front at the wheel of a car of the newly-formed Section Fifteen. Fifty-four hours after he had driven slowly out of the garden at 21 rue Raynouard, he was on duty as a front-line poste near Verdun, and was experiencing the first of the many bombardments that he was to undergo in the next months. It was an extraordinary thing, to which all of his section will testify, that in a comparatively quiet sector he should have had so many terrible and nerve-racking experiences. So often did his appearance at the front line seem to act as a signal for a prolonged bombardment that he was nicknamed "Obus" by his comrades. But he did not falter in spite of the almost malignant persecution to which he was subjected, continuing his service under difficult and oftentimes apparently impossible conditions. On one occasion he volunteered to evacuate a badly wounded man from a little poste in the Bois d'Avocourt, over a road that was being methodically "watered " by high-explosive shells, and so excited the admiration of the French sergeant in charge of the poste that he was recommended for and eventually received the Croix de Guerre. He was promoted to the office of sous-chef and won the confidence and respect of the men. His friend, Earl Osborn, wrote, "As chief of Section Fifteen I should like again to bear witness to the bravery and devotion of Arthur Myers."
"Then we noticed a change in him," wrote one of his closest friends in the section. "He kept by himself and seemed morose . . . . . We little thought it was a symptom of that common disease 'shell-shock,' which so often claims the strongest and best." He kept bravely on till one day after a particularly frightful experience, as he wrote later from Paris, "I got back to the section and felt good for nothing but to lie on my back . . . . . and wonder when the pains in my head would let up." He was sent back to Paris to rest and for a time he seemed to rally, confidently expecting to return to the section; but his weakened constitution had received a severer shock than he realized, and in July he was sent home to America. He grew steadily weaker till on October 4, 1917, he died.
Arthur had led a quiet, cloistered existence in his home, his desires leading him to books and music rather than to people and conversation. His sacrifice in going to the war was all the finer, for he gave up completely and irrevocably the things he loved, that were so much a part of him,---his home, his books,---to enter upon a task for which he had no inclination nor any fitness save his unwavering resolution. In the words of a member of his section, "Because war had no romance or attraction for him, Arthur saw only too clearly its horror and its tragedy, and yet he was not afraid. His was a far higher order of courage, a far greater measure of devotion!"
Born October 28, 1876, in Elk Grove, Christian County, Kentucky. Son of Ex and Lucy Moore Norton. Educated at Lawrenceville School, Class of 1894, and Staten Island Academy. Partner in firm Ex Norton & Company, stockbrokers, New York City, eight years. Took up farming, Orange County, New Jersey. Joined American Field Service, May 26, 1917; attached Section One, Croix de Guerre, Corps d'Armée citation. Killed at Ludes by aeroplane bomb July 12, 1917. Buried in Ludes, Marne. Body subsequently transferred to Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp, Staten Island, New York.
FAR afield some men travel adventuring, and return grown old, to die in their own soft beds, dreaming of great days that are past. Not so George Frederick Norton, who died near Reims on the Western Front at the height of his adventure. North to the ice-fields of Greenland with Peary, south to Ceylon, westerly to the Rockies and Alaska, and around the world he had travelled, exploring, hunting, studying, and making friends. He returned to farm with his brother, William P. Norton, near Goshen, New York, only to have the war call him away again; and this slim, quiet gentleman, judged too old for aviation or even for the draft army, sailed for France, hoping later to transfer to his country's fighting forces. But before American troops reached the front, he had been killed while on duty with the French. "Fred" said in a letter left behind for his brother: "My love for my country and for France is very great. I expect to return, but if not, what more glorious death could a man die!"
After attending school at Lawrenceville and studying law, "Fred" made the first of his many expeditions. There followed several to Wyoming and Alaska, and he brought back numerous hunting trophies, among them the skull of the extremely rare Alaskan blue bear, and the head of a previously unknown grizzly, now called the Norton bear. He contributed much material to the Smithsonian Institute, made a study of the glacial bear for Dr. Merrian of the Bureau of Biological Survey, and his collection of bear heads in Washington came to be one of the largest and most complete in America. In 1901, with only a Japanese servant, " Fred " made a trip around the world. In Egypt he contracted typhoid and lay for one hundred days in a hospital at Colombo, in Ceylon, undergoing two operations without anesthesia, before completing his voyage. He helped finance the successful Peary expedition, and accompanied it on the "Eric" as far north as Etah, narrowly escaping disaster on the return, when the ship struck an iceberg.
"Fred" had meanwhile been in partnership with his brother, Ex Norton, in Wall Street, but after eight years took up farming with his brother, William P. Norton. This home life he dearly loved and spoke of it often in France. He had gone through many strange experiences, but kept always his simplicity and unaffected enthusiasm for worth while things.
Three times he was rejected for the air service as beyond their maximum age limit of thirty-five. He then joined the Field Service. For a time he was in charge of the general office in the Passy headquarters, and after the long days' work, "Fred" found his enjoyment in the simplest ways,---sipping citronnade before a Passy café, or walking the winding streets, talking of the days ahead. At his own urging he was sent to the front with Section One. W. Yorke Stevenson, the commander, wrote: "Although only out with us a short time, his charming personality and quiet, unassuming manner, no less than his marked ability, had endeared him to us all."
At a château near Ludes, on July 12, 1917, hardly a fortnight after reaching the Section, "Fred" was killed by a bursting bomb. He was buried at night because the village was in view of the Germans. "He died on duty at his post," said his Chef, "like a soldier and a gentleman, in a great cause." He was a fine-grained American of the highest type,----courageous, adventurous, generous, animated by the highest idealism,---- a reserved, undemonstrative Christian gentleman. As " Fred's" brother says, " . . . . honest and loyal with all people, greatly beloved by family and friends, his supreme sacrifice is not in vain, for Fred's example and character are a memory to be cherished by those of us left."
Born July 1, 1895, in Boston, Massachusetts. Son of John and Mary Young Craig. Home, Boston, Massachusetts. Educated Brookline High School and Harvard University, Class of 1919 Joined American Field Service, February 19, 1917; attached Section Two. Died July 16, 1917, at Ville-sur-Cousances, of wounds received at Dombasle, Meuse, July 15. Croix de Guerre with gold star. Buried Ville-sur-Cousances, Meuse.
AT the hospital where he had been brought mortally wounded, Harmon Bushnell Craig was told that his leg would have to be amputated. Fully conscious and suffering intensely, he smiled, "Go ahead. I'll only have to buy one shoe then." A few hours later he died ..... And in the diary he had kept faithfully, following the entry of July 15th, there is a blank sheet, for the entries that would have gone on that page are written in red in the biggest Book of all. His citation for work at this time says: " . . . a montré, notamment les 28 et 29 juin, la plus grande énergie en accomplissant son service sur une route découverte et bombardée."
"Ham" was a member of the class of 1919 at Harvard, when, in February, 1917, he left college to enter the American Field Service. On March 2d he landed in France, writing in his diary, "It is wonderful to realize that I am here to help!" and three weeks later he was at the front as a member of Section Two. "Ham" chafed rather at the inactivity of the comparatively quiet sector in the Argonne, but on June 20th he returned from a permission of six days spent with his mother in Paris, to plunge into the work and danger of an attack. For two weeks he toiled almost without rest on the Esnes-Montzéville roads through one of the severest ordeals an ambulance section could experience. The evening of July 15th, as he was loading wounded into his car in the village of Dombasle, near Verdun, Harmon was wounded in the right leg, when a shell struck only a few feet from his car, killing three brancardiers and severely wounding a French lieutenant. "Ham" refused to allow his wounds to be dressed until the Frenchman had been made comfortable, and the delay, with consequent loss of blood, undoubtedly lessened his own chances. He died next morning, at two o'clock, in the hospital at Ville-sur-Cousances.
"Ham's" character was as many-sided as his interests were numerous. In his year and a half at Harvard he won a place on the editorial board of the daily paper and already showed such knowledge and appreciation of the theater that older men predicted a brilliant future as an actor and producer. His diary --- in his five months of service he wrote almost 30,000 words --- is valuable for its literary worth as well as for the intimate, beautiful picture it gives us of his personality. It is written with a charmingly light touch and leavened with humor including little sketches and fragments of versification, as:
Paint, paint, I'm covered with paint ---
There's hardly a part of my clothing that ain't."
No subject was too dreary for the sunny, healthy treatment of his pen, and his observations upon the serious questions of the day are remarkable for their keenness of perception. When noticeable lowering of Allied morale marked the spring of 1917, he prophesied that "the wave of pessimism will recede as it came, leaving hope and determination in its place." He read a great deal at the front, commenting on the books and frequently quoting passages that he particularly liked. Describing the experiences of a night ride when he lost his way in the rain and blackness, he concluded quite simply: "Darkness and loneliness can certainly exaggerate one's difficulties." He loved children and they adored him. One entry begins, "Romped about the fields with Madeleine and René"; and Paris appealed particularly because "it is just made for kids with its big parks and boulevards."
One of the many friends who had known him at Harvard and in the Service describes him as " one of the most beautiful, friendly, open natures I have ever known, -sturdy, upright, and generous," and a friend in his section cried out for all who knew him,
". . . . we never knew
A braver heart,---- a finer man!"
Born July 20, 1895, in New Park, Pennsylvania. .Son of Joseph A. and Vilura Wilson Gailey,. Educated Fawn Township High School, Perkiomen Seminary, Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and Princeton University, Class of 1917. Joined American Field Service, May 26, 1917; attached Section Sixty-six. Killed by shell , July 29, 1917, Chemin des Dames. Croix de Guerre. Buried Beaurieux, Aisne.
JUST a whole-hearted, care-free boy-that was the "Jim" Gailey, a direct descendant of Myles Standish and of twelve Revolutionary figures, who sailed for France with the American Field Service in May, 1917. Barely two months of active war service and he had grown to man's estate with "the spirit of a boy and the soul of a man." Gailey gave his life for France and America those brief two months later.
In June he wrote to his family, "I am now really and truly in the war. All the realities of a terrible warfare have been opened before my eyes. For three years I have read about it in a careless, rather unsympathetic manner, but my heart never beat faster for it then. Now I am interested, heart and soul." Before young Gailey had been in France two months he was cited for bravery. A few days later he was awarded the Croix de Guerre with the gold star, in recognition of his supreme sacrifice.
The story of "Jim" Gailey's war service is necessarily brief. Enlisting in Section Sixty-six in May, 1917, he was sent at once to the Chemin des Dames region, then a theater of some of the most intense fighting on the western front. For three weeks previous to his death, Gailey and his companions had been working day and night, carrying wounded over shell-pocked roads lighted only by occasional flashes from rockets far above the streams of moving artillery, troops, and other traffic of war.
On the night Of July 25th, Gailey, hearing of another ambulance stalled by shell holes and ruins, ran to a neighboring poste through the extremely heavy barrage and transferred the wounded from the damaged car to the hospital. For this he received his Croix de Guerre.
On the following Sunday morning, the twenty-ninth, just after dawn, Gailey and his companion, Hamilton, were loading their ambulance with wounded when a shell struck the car, killing both the American boys and two of the wounded Frenchmen.
They were buried the next day with all the honors of war. General Niessel, commander of the corps, found time despite the battle to deliver the address of tribute and farewell. Of the ceremony, Colonel Andrew wrote, "Certainly no one who was there could think of a more fitting or moving termination of any human life than such a ceremony on the soil of France in the midst of so many French soldiers and American boys who are daily risking all that they have and can hope for in the great cause."
Among the many tributes to Gailey, the following seemed most characteristic of the boy. His closest friend wrote: "It was a privilege for me to have known Jim and to have driven with him. No braver nor more generous chap ever lived. I am sure Mr. Rice has written you of Jim's willingness to go anywhere at all times and of course his citation and Croix de Guerre testify that. But even this does not wholly tell of the esteem in which he was held by the whole section because of his bravery and cheerfulness."
Another companion added, "Several times I had an opportunity to see him display his energy and indifference to personal danger. His only concern was the work to be done, and his spirit was a real help to the men in touch with him."
The Dean of Princeton University wrote Gailey's mother, "May God in his wisdom enable you, with the passage of time, to find sweet comfort in the knowledge that your boy was one of Princeton's honored sons, a splendid friend, a fine scholar, a lovable gentleman, an honest, simple man. His name shall always be honored as one who gave his all for humanity and civilization --- a splendid, a beloved Princetonian."
Alphabetical Index of Names
Table of Contents: History of the American Field Service in France.