The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Fourteen

This is the continuation of a series of stories about men who died in World War 1, and whose photographs appeared in a publication called “Our Nation’s Roll of Honor.” The original post and explanation can be found at this link.  There will also be a complete listing of all the names researched at that same blog post.

LOST FACES OF WORLD WAR ONE: Our Nation’s Roll of Honor — Part Fourteen

Jerseyville, Illinois
Killed in Action

Charles Fred Kruse was born  17 March 1895 at Bethalto, Madison, IL, son of John F. & Anna/Annie (Geromini) Kruse of Jerseyville, Illinois.  His siblings included Katie, John H., Lillie and Nellie.

Charles F. Kruse, served in Company B of the Eighteenth Infantry of the second division in France. There are varying dates of his death, and his tombstone states he died October 4, 1918.  He was missing in action on that date.  Initially (in October of 1918) the U.S. Government informed his family that he was missing in action, and then in 1919 informed them that he was was killed in action between Oct. 8 and 18, 1918.  His death probably occurred at Bois de Very or Bois de Cheppy, just prior to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Before he left for military service, he married 30 June 1917 in Jersey Co. IL to Frances Henriette “Etta” Coleman, daughter of William P. & Catherine M. Coleman.  She also married 2d) James McCauley and had several children; and m3d) John Farmer. Charles and Etta had no children together.

He is buried Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial, in Romagne, France, in Plot D Row 39 Grave 34.  In 1933 Charles’ mother Anna went to France, as a Gold Star Mother, and visited his grave (as the following newspaper stories shows).

Gold Star Mothers in Paris France

A group of “Gold Star” mothers poses before the gates of the Suresnes American Cemetery near Paris, France. June 11, 1932. A. Robert Ginsburgh Papers, Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.

Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton Illinois, 6 May 1933
BRIGHTON, May 6 (Special) — Mrs. Anna Kruse is making preparations to go to  France as one of the last group of Gold Star mothers to make the pilgrimage as  guests of the government.  As yet she had not been informed as to the date of her departure. Her son,  Charles F. Kruse, served in Company B of the Eighteenth Infantry of the second  division. He was killed in action between Oct. 8 and 18, 1918.
Alton Evening Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) 7 Sep 1933 Thursday, page 8
BRIGHTON, Sept 7. — (Special)– Mrs. Anna Kruse who has recently returned from France, where she went on the pilgrimage of Gold Star mothers, has been  entertaining her friends with countless stories of her trip, in which the last of the Gold Star mothers to be entertained by the government. From the time she left Brighton on her six weeks trip she was on the subject of honor, with the other 165 mothers.
 In New York at the hotel, on ship-board, and at the Paris hotel, their accommodations were all in keeping with their position… [parts left out] L’Argonne cemetery, where Mrs. Kruse found the object of her pilgrimage, is surrounded by a 12-foot stone wall, and she found it to be the most beautifully kept place she had ever seen. The crosses row on row, were so symmetrically placed that no matter what position one stands in, the markers never are out of line. Flowers were everywhere, and the government keeps a corps of men there to keep these cemeteries in the best possible order.  The government provided each mother with a wreath to place on her son’s grave, and each had her picture taken at the headstone–another gift of the government.  Mrs. Kruse has her picture to treasure of herself standing in back of the white granite cross with the inscription plainly showing–“Charles F. Kruse, Pvt. 18th Inf., First Division, Ill., October 4, 1918.”
  When asked just what satisfaction she gained by making the trip, her answer left no doubt but what it was the finest thing that could have happened to her.
 For a year her 22-year-old son had been reported missing. After that the word was received that he had been killed in action between October 4 and 12.  Always
there had been a doubt in her mind as to what had really happened, and whether the grave so marked really was the grave of her son. She had the privilege there of talking to the man in charge of the cemetery, who also had had charge of the burying and marking of the graves. He assured her that if the stone had a name on it, there was no question but that was the name of the soldier buried, as no grave was marked with a name unless the identification tag had been found on the body…. All others, which were about one-third of the graves in the cemetery, were marked “Here lies an American soldier, unknown but to God.” This mother at least has returned home with her mind and heart at rest for the first time in 15 years……”


Boston, Massachusetts
Died of Wounds

John Francis Lindsay, son of Irish immigrants, John J. & Margaret (Griffin) Lindsay, and grandson of Patrick & Mary (Cassidy) Lindsay.

His WW1 draft registration form states he was born July 15, 1894 in Boston MA, however his birth certificate shows July 15, 1895, and  a Boston Herald newspaper report, printed after his death, states his birth date was July 23, 1895 at 56 Wall Street, also in Boston. His siblings included: Mary (who m. John J. Miles), Walter, and Nellie.

He attended the Washington school and at the time of his enlistment was employed by the Andrew J. Lloyd Company as a mechanical optician. He was assigned to the post at the Watertown Arsenal when he entered the service of the 9th regiment, Massachusetts National Guard and was transferred to the 101st regiment when sent to France. Before entering the service he was a member of the Foss Social and Athletic Club and director of the Armstrong Cubs, known as one of the strongest baseball clubs in the state.He was also a well know amateur boxer and semi-professional baseball player. In the boxing circles he was known under the alias of “Jerry Donahue.”

In the army, he served as a Private, 1st class in I Company of the 101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Division. He was the first Boston “West End Boy”  to be mentioned in the army casualty list, having received a slight wound in the Seicheprey battle, April 20, 1918. He was wounded again and died at the Evacuation Field Hospital, in France, June 4, 1918, from wounds received in action, May 31, 1918 [possibly as a volunteer at Richecourt].  He was buried at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, in Lorraine, France — Plot D. Row 1, Grave 5. [The war monument incorrectly gives his middle initial as L.  All of the other details exactly match up with this soldier].

In 1921 a square in Boston was named in his honor.  September 12, 1921, Boston Herald
DEDICATES SQUARE OF JOHN F. LINDSAY West End Association Honors Memory of Athlete Hero. “John F. Lindsay square [formerly known as Merrimac Square], at the junction of Causeway, Stanford, Wall, Lowell, Merrimac and Prescott streets, was dedicated in honor of a West end boy who died at the Evacuation Field Hospital of the 103d regiment in France. The exercises were under the auspices of the John F. Lindsay Associates and the committee in charge included Chairman Mathew Cummings, Joe Mannino, William Dillon, James J. Flanigan and Leo Bashitzky. Speakers were Congressman Peter F. Tague, Capt. Walter I. Grant of the 101st infantry, former Mayor James M. Curley, Fr. James V. Canary, Fr. Dewarti, Hyman Manevitch and Harry Silver.


Dallas, Texas
Killed in Action

John W. Low, son of son of Calvin C. & Ina Belle (Rylie) Low., was born in Glory, Lamar County, Texas 10 Oct 1895 and moved to Dallas County Texas with his parents when he was 2 years old.    He had several siblings (see grave site link for some of their names).

John W. Low enlisted on 1 May 1917 at Fort Logan, Colorado, and assigned to Company L, 16th Infantry until his death.  He was promoted to Private 1st Class on 11 February 1918.  He was sent overseas June 14. 1917, and served in the Front line sectors in France Nov 10-20 1917, from Jan 20 to March 1, 1918 and from April 24 to May 9, 1918.

The night he died John W. Low and two comrades were sent against the lines of the enemy in the darkness to learn their whereabouts. They gained the information and returned to their own lines, entering a deserted dugout for refuge and a shell burst hurling John W. Low and killing him and one companion. The surviving companion was a pall bearer at his funeral.  [Excerpts from The Waxahachie Daily Light, 19 Jan 1922, page 6].

Trench Warfare, World War, 1914-1918, United States Signal Corps, War Department, Washington; Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs; Photography Collection

Trench Warfare, World War, 1914-1918, United States Signal Corps, War Department, Washington; Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs; Photography Collection; New York Public Library Digital Collections.

He was killed in Action: May 11, 1918.  At first buried in France, his body was returned to the United States, and is currently buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.

His funeral service was held in the Dallas Municipal auditorium and transmitted throughout the gulf coast area by wireless telegraph. The service began at 2 o’clock and lasted 45 minutes.  Flags hung at half mast on city buildings.

San Antonio Evening News, San Antonio, TX, 14 Jan 1922, page 2
Dallas Texas–Jan. 14 — Dallas turned out today to pay its last respects to John W. Low, first Dallas soldier to meet his death in the World War. The body of the soldier for whom the local American legion post is named arrived her late yesterday and was to rest in state in the rotunda of the city hall until 2 p.m. Sunday when funeral services will be held.


Morrisdale, Pennsylvania
Killed in Action

Joseph W. Luther, was born 12 Feb 1899, in Snowshoe, Centre Co. Pennsylvania, the eldest son of  Austrian immigrants, Martin L. Luther/Lutter (1874-1934) & Anna (Smolko) Luther/Lutter (1880-1960).  He had siblings: Martin, Mary Agnes, Anna Lucy, Veronika, Bonerka, John (?-1923), Elizabeth, Agnes, Helen (1912o-1917), Andrew (1915-1915), Edward (1916-1993), Margaret, Josephine (1920-1920) and Cecelia. His family was living in Morrisdale, PA at the time of his enlistment.

Position of 7th Field Artillery, 1st Div. in the Franco-American advance. Missy-aux-Bois, France. July 15, 1918.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art; The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Position of 7th Field Artillery, 1st Div. in the Franco-American advance. Missy-aux-Bois, France. July 15, 1918.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art; The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

He was a Private in Battery F, 7th Field Artillery, serving overseas in France from Aug 7, 1917 to death on May 9, 1918 when he was killed in action.  Like others who died in France during WW1, he was buried there, and then his body was returned after the war.  He rests in St. Agnes Cemetery, Clearfield PA.



Buffalo, New York
Died of Wounds

John Macikowski, son of Jacob J. “Matt” & Rozalia “Rose” Macikowski was born 23 Dec 1888 in Nierzniewcz Germany/Poland, and had immigrated in 1891 with his parents to the United States. In 1900 they were living in Buffalo NY, his father was a naturalized citizen, working as a day laborer. He had siblings Walter, Sophie, Mary and (?)Feofil.

He enlisted in the US Marine Corp at Buffalo NY on 22 December 1914. He served on the USS Arkansas on April 6 1917, in Quantico VA August 10, 1918 as part of the 84th Co. 6th Regiment. Sent to France on Nov 20, 1917.

He was promoted to Corporal on April 20, 1917; to Sergeant Sep 19, 1917, and to Gunnery Sergeant on Nov 10, 1917. He served in the following engagements: Toulon, Aisne, Chateau Thierry Sector, and in Aisne Marne Offensive (Soissons) where he was wounded in action on July 19, 1918. He died of his wounds the same day. His grave site is unknown.

His official US Marine Corp papers state “Would have been awarded CHARACTER EXCELLENT had he been discharged.”

–Additional Reading–
A Regiment Like No Other: the 6th Marine at Belleau Wood (PDF)



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4 Responses to The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Fourteen

  1. Michael Dyer says:

    These posts are moving and what you’re doing is important work. It’s particularly difficult to read about soldiers like Private Kruse who were killed just a month before the Armistice.

    The government-organized trips for Gold Star Mothers to see and pay final respects at their sons’ graves was news to me. I wasn’t aware that had happened, but was glad to read of it. It seems it was the least that could be done mindful of their sacrifice.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Thank you Michael. I’ve received a few messages from family members by email (they did not post a comment here). One man found his great-uncle, and learned about the origin of his great-grandfather, and his genealogy. I’m hoping that over time it will connect more families to these men who would over time be entirely forgotten. The Gold Star Mothers trip was entirely new to me too.

  2. Pingback: Not New Hampshire: The Lost Faces of World War One | Cow Hampshire

  3. Marjorie B. Searl says:

    My grandfather was Hyman Manevitch, who is mentioned as having spoken at the dedication of John F. LIndsay Square. I never knew this. My grandfather grew up in the West End, may well have gone to school with Lindsay, and my grandfather also served in France. Thanks so much for posting this.

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