This is part of a series of three essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Tennessee.
Lee Arvel Moss was born at Vigor, a community near Athens, in McMinn County, Tennessee on 4 March 1887, the second of the five children and eldest son of Hugh and Cammie Moss.
At the time of his enlistment he was living in Montreal and, although a blacksmith by trade, he was working as a steam fitter. He was a member of the Militia, serving with 4th Field Company, Canadian Engineers. He enlisted on 10 August 1916 for service with the 5th Pioneer Battalion, giving his year of birth as 1883, and was allocated the regimental number 1078503. Continue reading →
This is one of two essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Kentucky.
John Benjamin French was an African-American born on 22 July 1896 in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Ash and Lula French of 325 Race Street. Little is known of his family but John French was working as a ‘shoe shiner and jockey ’ when he enlisted in 1918. Continue reading →
This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Maryland.
Editors note: Private Fooksman is commemorated as by the CWGC as ‘Private Harry Ross’, the name under which he served.
Harry Ross is something of an enigma—the name under which he served, and by which he is commemorated by the CWGC, is an alias. He was born Harry Fooksman, the only son of a Russian Jewish family, both sides of which had emigrated to the United States in the late-1880s. Continue reading →
This essay is about the single First World War casualty commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Georgia.
“This is not for you fellows, this is a white man’s war.” 
The recruitment of Black Canadians for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force caused much debate in Canada. Many Black Canadians, swept along by patriotic fervour at the beginning of the war wanted to volunteer but prejudice prevented widespread recruitment. By November 1915 orders had been issued to allow recruitment of Black soldiers; it was largely ignored. Although small numbers of Black Canadians had managed to enlist from early in the war, it was not until after the introduction of conscription that Black soldiers served in any numbers; even then few made it to front-line battalions. The largest group of Black Canadians to serve with the Canadian Expeditionary Force did so in No.2 Construction Battalion.
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 →
This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Virginia.
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. He was a civil engineer by profession and married to Augusta (née Hageman). The family lived in Venice, Los Angeles, California, where their son, John William, was born in 1915.