Private Samuel Corrodo

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

The grave of Private Sam Corrodo

Sam Corrodo was born on 15 April 1897 in Oriolo, Calabria, Italy, the son of George and Carmela Corrado [also spelled Corrado].[1] His father, a tailor, arrived in the United States in 1901 and the family followed between 1907 and 1909. While his parents and three brothers remained in New York, Sam Corrodo moved to Chicago where he worked as a floor-layer.

He enlisted on 27 February 1918 in Chicago (he stated that he was a Canadian by birth) before travelling to Toronto to join the 2nd Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment for training as an infantryman; he was allocated the number 3232427. After his initial training he embarked for England at Halifax on 8 April on the SS Tunisian, arriving at Liverpool on 19 April; he joined the 12th Reserve Battalion at Witley, where he completed his training. Having been posted to the 3rd Battalion, in 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division, he arrived in France with a draft of reinforcements on 20 August and joined his Battalion on 3 September.

The Battalion had just taken part in the attack on the Drocourt–Quéant Line and had suffered 185 men killed and wounded. For the next 11 days the Battalion was out of the line, training at Wailly and then at Haute-Avesnes, west of Arras. Moving father forward on 15 September, to the area recently captured near Hendecourt-lès-Cagnicourt, training continued. The Battalion’s final major action took place on 27 September during the crossing of the Canal du Nord, suffering a further 165 all ranks killed and wounded. By mid-October the Battalion was in Montigny-en-Ostrevent, where it would remain until after the end of hostilities.

Just before the end of the war on 7 November, Corrodo reported sick with a hernia (caused falling into a shell hole during the attack on 27 September). He was soon returned to duty but it continued to trouble him as the Battalion, with 1st Canadian Division, marched into Germany and across the Rhine. He reported sick again on 22 February. This time he was evacuated to England and admitted to the Canadian hospital at Basingstoke, where he underwent an operation, from which he recovered fully. After a period at the Central Ontario Regimental Depot at Witley, he sailed for Canada on 24 June 1919 on the SS Cassandra. He was discharged on 6 July 1919 and travelled to Cleveland via Buffalo, New York.

When he returned to the United States, Corrodo went back to work as a floor-layer. On 22 January 1920 he married Jennie Valenti, a seamstress and a young divorcée.[2] The couple lived on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland. Later that year Sam Corrodo fell ill with pneumonia, which was deemed attributable to his war service, and he died at home on 27 July 1920. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland on 29 September in Section 47, Row 86, Grave 3835, which in the northern part of the cemetery; his grave is marked by a flat Commonwealth War Graves Commission marker. He is one of two casualties in this cemetery: See Private John McGraw.

The Canadian Book of Remembrance showing the entry for Private Sam Corrodo

Private Sam Corrodo is commemorated on page 548 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance; that page is displayed on 22 November. For his war service he was awarded the British War Medal 1914-20 and the Victory Medal. His medals, memorial plaque and scroll and the Memorial Cross were sent to his wife.

Chris Dubbs, Patricia Dubbs, Pamelia Williams, and Frank Holowach for their efforts to visit and photograph the graves in Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

1. (Back) George Corrado (c1870-NK) and Carmela Blando (c1870-NK): Maria (c1889-NK); Nunziato (7 August 1891-11 August 1962); Salvatore (1894-10 October 1948); Santo (19 November 1898-June 1968).
2. (Back) Jennie Lorello (10 December 1897-1 February 1987) was born in Italy and emigrated to the United States in 1900. She married Guiseppe Valenti in Cleveland on 10 June 1917. The couple divorced on 6 April 1918 but remarried on 2 August 1919 and soon divorced again. On 3 January 1922 she married John Ferranti. That marriage also ended in divorce and on 11 July 1925 she married John Cavallaro.

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