Cadet John Dunn IV

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.

The memorial window by Tiffany Studios in All Saints' Episcopal Church, Richmond dedicated to Cadet John Dunn IV, Royal Flying Corps
The memorial window by Tiffany Studios in All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Richmond dedicated to Cadet John Dunn IV, Royal Flying Corps

The state of Virginia is rich with beautiful windows and other commemorative and decorative pieces from the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany. There are so many sites of interest that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers advice on driving tours to see them.

In Richmond, the state capital, one such window commemorates Cadet John Dunn, Royal Flying Corps, who died of scarlet fever on 26 March 1918, aged 20. When it was dedicated at All Saints’ Episcopal Church on 22 December 1918, it became the first war memorial to be placed in the city to commemorate a casualty of the First World War. Continue reading

Company Sergeant Major George Mayer Symons

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.

Panoramic Photograph of Camp Lee, 1917
Panoramic Photograph of Camp Lee, 1917

Company Sergeant Major Instructor George Symons was a pre-war regular soldier. In 1918 he was posted to the British War Mission in the United States, where he died at Camp Lee, Virginia on 8 October 1918 during the influenza pandemic. Continue reading

Captain Walter Frederick Fitch MC

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.

The graves of Captain Angus Alexander Mackintosh of Mackintosh, younger; Major Hon. Charles Henry Lyell; and Captain Walter Frederick Fitch MC
The graves of Captain Angus Alexander Mackintosh of Mackintosh, younger; Major Hon. Charles Henry Lyell; and Captain Walter Frederick Fitch MC

Captain W F Fitch MC was one of two instructors serving with the British training mission who died during the influenza epidemic in 1918 and who were buried in Virginia (the other is Company Sergeant Major G M Symons). Fitch died on 1 November 1918 while serving as an instructor at Camp Lewis in Washington state. His body was transported by train across the country to Washington DC, where he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on 12 November. Continue reading

Lieutenant William Strong

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in VirginiaThis account is incomplete, however, due to the process to digitise Canadian service records; it will be updated when his service record becomes available.

Lieutenant William Strong, Canadian Machine Gun Corps
Lieutenant William Strong, Canadian Machine Gun Corps

This is a fight for humanity and I want to be in it.’[1]

William Strong came from prominent family in Washington DC—his paternal grandfather, also William Strong, was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.[2] His maternal grandfather, John Watkinson Douglass, had been President of the Board of Commissioners for Washington DC, as had his uncle, Henry Brown Floyd MacFarland. Reportedly, William Strong was the first man from Washington DC to volunteer to fight. He served with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps in France, was gassed and died in 1919. Continue reading

Private John Paul Mantell

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.

The grave of Private John Paul Mantell
The grave of Private John Paul Mantell

There is little information available to complete the service record of Private John Paul Mantell—the little that is available is difficult to substantiate.

John Paul Mantell was born about 1882 at Bowling Green, Kentucky.[1] He was a civil engineer by profession[2] and married to Augusta (née Hageman).[3] The family lived in Venice, Los Angeles, California, where their son, John William, was born in 1915.[4]

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The Military Attachés

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.

The first British military attaché in Washington DC was Major General J D McLachlan DSO, who had taken up his post in September 1917.[1] He was supported by an experienced and well-connected staff. When influenza struck—no discriminator between rich and poor, or the titled and working class—he lost two of his small team within days.

Major Hon. C H Lyell and Captain A A Mackintosh of Mackintosh, yr
Major Hon. C H Lyell and Captain A A Mackintosh of Mackintosh, yr

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Private Charles Philip Gruchy

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.

The Canadian Book of Remembrance showing the entry for Private Charles Philip Gruchy
The Canadian Book of Remembrance showing the entry for Private Charles Philip Gruchy

Charles Philip Gruchy, a Canadian, served in France with the 3rd Battalion, where he was wounded. He succumbed to illness after the war while living in the United States; his death being attributable to his war service.

He was born at D’Escousse on Isle Madame in Nova Scotia on 12 June 1880.[1] His father, Peter William Gruchy, a merchant and trader, married his mother, Eliza Lucy (née Ward), in 1874. They had eight children, of which only three—Charles and his sisters Nellie and Violet—survived beyond childhood.[2]

After leaving school, Charles Gruchy worked as a bank clerk and he served for three years with 17th Field Battery, Canadian Artillery in the Non-Permanent Active Militia.

He enlisted for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force early in the war, on 12 August 1914, when he joined the Active Service Mobilisation Detachment of 27th Lambton Regiment (St. Clair Borderers). Continue reading