Private Laughlin Black

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

The grave of Private Laughlin Black

Laughlin Black was born on 20 September 1876 at Darlington, a hamlet near Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, the son of Albert and Annie Black.[1] His parents were both immigrants to the United States—his father from Scotland and his mother from Prince Edward Island; his parents had married in Maine some years before. After his birth, they moved to Sommerville, Massachusetts. Laughlin Black either remained with his mother’s family or returned to Prince Edward Island sometime in his youth, before rejoining his family in Sommerville in 1889. Like his father he became a house painter. Continue reading

Private William Francis Bent

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

The Bent family plot

William Bent was a tragic figure, whose war was not how he later made it out to be, and who took his own life some years after he returned home.

William Francis Bent was born on 27 July 1872 in West Hartford, Vermont, the youngest of the three children of Charles and Mary Bent.[1] His father, a Civil War veteran, was a shoemaker but William Bent and his brother George were mechanically minded and both went to work in the early automobile industry. In 1892 his mother died of pneumonia and ten years later his father shot himself with his pistol. Continue reading