This is the anniversary of the beginning of WWI in Europe on July 28, 1914. Although there were many events which impacted the United States in the following years, our nation officially entered the war in 1917 and the War ended in late 1918. American causalities numbered more than 200,000. This war remains one of the deadliest in history with 37 million lives lost in the combined allied and enemy countries.
Infantryman Raymond France was a 21 year old plumber in his family’s business when he was called to war in June 1917. He was part of Co M 104 Infantry until his death at The Battle of St Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne; as part of the Defensive Sector, American Expeditionary Forces. He was killed in action 16 Oct 1918. His draft registration lists him as a short, slender man with blue eyes and medium brown hair.
Red Poppies are the memorial symbol of this war because of the poem “In Flanders Fields” describing a battle scene on English soil where thousands of foot soldiers lay dead. The first world war is considered the first modern war because of the use of aircraft, mechanized guns, tanks and communication technology. There are 22 soldiers known to have died in WWI buried in Calvary Cemetery. Their bodies were recovered from field burial sites where they fell.