Firing on the First World War’s Western Front ended on Nov. 11, 1918 at “the eleventh hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.” Thousands of Americans served in this war both at home and abroad and many lives were lost. As the centennial of Armistice Day is commemorated, I can’t help but remember the friends and family of Maud Hart Lovelace who were touched by this war.
Delos Lovelace (Joe Willard) was in First Officers Training Camp and stationed at Fort Snelling when he met Maud Hart (Betsy Ray) in 1917. Just six months later, on November 29, 1917, the couple was married while Delos was on a weekend pass from Camp Dodge, Iowa. Delos was sent to France as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 339th machine gun battalion. When the war ended, the Army sent him to Trinity College in Cambridge for four months of study while he waited for space on a troopship to come home.
Charles Harris (Jack Dunhill), husband of Marjorie Gerlach (Tib Muller) enlisted in the U.S. Army at the beginning of the war and served as a sergeant in Company C of the 212th Engineers.
Marguerite Marsh (Emily Webster) enlisted with the YMCA for canteen work in the fall of 1917. She went overseas with the 82nd Division to operate a YMCA Cafe at Tours, France, and later at Gondrecourt. She wrote home about the work she was doing in France. “Starting a canteen means bushels of work,” she wrote. “We calcimated the ceiling a blue grey, stained the rafters brown, put burlap on the walls and curtains on the windows. We got a new Delco moving picture machine — with the same engine we have electric lights in the hut. We use a tar paper over the windows at night to prevent the light from being seen outside. We have shades over the lights. Everyone says it’s very pretty. There are millions of flowers on the hillside, so we can have fresh ones every day. We furnish the boys stationery, envelopes, pen and ink — free. The writing tables are in use most of the day. A bunch of boys who came in recently are from the South and cannot read and write, so we are arranging classes for them. The teachers are boys from their own companies who have had at least a high school education.”
Myron Wilcox (Jed Wakeman) served in Chaumont, Dordogne, and Aquitaine, France. He was a 1st Lieutenant Infantry on General Pershing’s staff in Chaumont, France. It’s unknown if he and Marguerite knew each other at that time they were serving in France. Myron and Marguerite were married in 1923.
William Everett (Sam Hutchinson), husband of Marion Willard (Carney Sibley), was ordered to active duty as a first lieutenant in the Aviation Section in August 1917. After training, he was sent to France with an aero squadron in January 1918. He and Marion were married a month after he returned home in August 1919.
Tom Fox (Tom Slade) attended West Point in 1915. His classmates were Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley. Tom had a lifelong career in the military. He died in 1955 and is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA.
James Baker Jr. (E. Lloyd Harrington) was overseas serving in the Norton-Hordjes ambulance corps and he later became a lieutenant in the French military.
The war interrupted and changed the course of the lives of these young men and women as it did for thousands of others. 100 years later…we remember…and continue to pray for peace. Never forget.