Project Update – October 2019

The pressure of another project with an impending deadline has kept me from adding as many biographies as I would have liked but behind the scenes there has been significant progress recently in correcting the errors on the online commemorations and on incorrectly inscribed gravestones maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the First World War casualties buried in the United States.

Here is what we have achieved:

Lieutenant Louis Bennett Jr.

Lieutenant Louis Bennett Jr. was killed in action while flying with No. 40 Squadron, Royal Air Force. His remains were reinterred in Machpelah Cemetery, Weston, West Virginia on 14 April 1920 alongside his father. His mother was buried beside them in 1944. For many years Bennett had been commemorated incorrectly as having been killed on 7 October 1918. This had been challenged previously but a ruling by the Royal Air Force’s Air Historical Branch in 1995 resulted in this error being maintained until challenged again in 2019 using, primarily, the evidence presented in the thesis by Dr. Charles D. Dusch’s, who also wrote the piece for the project. The CWGC commemoration now reflects the correct date of death. Continue reading

Sapper Byron Everard Nash

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

The grave of Sapper Byron Everard Nash

Byron Everard Nash was born on 16 May 1891 at North Beverly, Massachusetts, the only son and youngest of the two children of Dana and Ella Nash.[1] The family lived in Essex County, Massachusetts for a period, where his father was a newspaper salesman, before his mother and the two children moved to Ellsworth, Maine, near where the family originated. His mother was a telegraph operator and when Byron left school and became a telegraph linesman.

Byron Nash travelled north to Canada in April 1916 and enlisted on 25 October at Windsor, Ontario. He joined the Canadian Engineers Signal Service and was allocated the regimental number 506265. He arrived in England onboard the SS Grampian on 6 February 1917 and joined the Signal Company, Canadian Engineers Training Depot at Crowborough. Nash reported sick in March 1917 and was admitted to No. 14 Canadian General Hospital at Eastbourne suffering from diabetes. Deemed unfit for further service, he was evacuated to Canada in May 1917. On his arrival in Canada he was admitted for treatment London Military Convalescent Hospital in Ontario. In early 1918 it was determined that no further treatment was possible and was discharged from the Army in March 1918. Nash died of diabetes exacerbated by tuberculosis on 8 March 1920 at the family home on Franklin Street, Ellsworth. He is buried in the family plot in Forest Hill Cemetery, Harrington.

Private Byron Everard Nash is commemorated on page 552 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance; that page is displayed on 24 November. For his war service he was awarded the British War Medal 1914-20; his medal and the memorial plaque and scroll were sent to his father, and the Memorial Cross was sent to his mother.

The Canadian Book of Remembrance showing the entry for Sapper Byron Everard Nash


J. Fenn-Lawson on Find A Grave for the photograph of Nash’s gravestone.

1. (Back) Dana J. Nash (7 January 1869-16 December 1929) married Ella G. Leighton (25 March 1863-NK) on 25 September 1888; Jessie M. (later Howard) (24 March 1889-8 June 1949).