The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Fifteen

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 Fifteen

Horeb, Wisconsin
Died of Wounds

Frank Elmer Malone, was born 17 March 1892 in Springdale, Wisconsin, son of William A. & Caroline (Ottenberg) Malone. He had one sibling, a brother Alva.  His was a farming family.  At the time of filling out his WW1 Registration form, he was unemployed.Malone Frank 1918 newspaper notice

According to the local newspaper, “he enlisted in Madison July 23, 1917, and was assigned to the Milwaukee company E, first regiment, but was later transferred to Company I, 128th infantry, from which company he sailed to France. From Madison, Wisconsin he had previously been sent to Camp Douglas and about a month later was transferred to Camp MacArthur, Waco, Texas.

Frank E. Malone died 29 May 1918 in France, from wounds received in battle. He is buried in Somme American Cemetery in Picardie, France, in Plot C, Row 14, Grave 8. The Frank E. Malone Post Number 113 of the American Legion was named in his honor, organized in 1919.

Shelton, Washington
Killed in Action

Allen F. Malpass, was born July 27, 1890 [or 1889 according to his WW1 registration card] in Arcadia, Mason Co., Washington, son of William H. & Mary M. (McCaffery) Malpass.He has siblings: William E., Earl B., Alice Mary, Franklin C., and Gladys V. Malpass.

In 1917 when he enlisted he was working as a marine gas engineer for the Olympia Tug Barge Company. The Morning Olympia newspaper of 5 August 1921 states: “he was admired for his quiet, gentle, kindly disposition. October 3, 1917 he was sent to Camp Lewis and remained there until October 29, when he was sent on to Camp Mills, New York and placed in Company B, 161st Infantry. He remained there until December 10, when he was sent to France. Arriving there he was found to be suffering from an attack of scarlet fever and was removed to a French hospital where he was confined for 72 days. On leaving the hospital he was assigned to the automatic rifle squad in Company K, 18th Infantry (AEF), going to the front about June 1, 1918. His Victory medal contains four stripes. He was killed on the night of October 2, in the second defense of the Meuse-Argonne forest.”

At first buried in France like others who fell in WW1, in July 1921 his body was returned to the United States. He was buried in his family’s plot in Odd Fellows Memorial Park and Mausoleum, in Tumwater, Thurston Co., Washington.


Newark, New Jersey
Killed in Action

Clifford R. Manchester was born 19 October 1895 in Newark,  New Jersey, son of George I. and Kate Thompson (Danser/Dancer) Manchester.

According to a newspaper of 1921, Corporal Clifford R. Manchester enlisted on May 29, 1917 at Newark, New Jersey, and was sent to Fort Solcum. He was transferred from there to Gettysburg for further training, leaving Gettysburg on October 28 of the same year for service in France. During the first few weeks of his service overseas he was a member of a replacement battalion and also served as field clerk for several months, before his transfer to the Machine Gun Company in which he was serving at the time of his death. His promotion to corporal was made soon after arriving in France. At the time of his death he, with his lieutenant and three other members of his company were guarding the bodies of a number of dead comrades when a German shell burst in the center of the group, killing them all.  He was 22 years old.

He was corporal in the First Machine Gun Company, First Battalion of the First Division and died 28 May 1918 near Cantigny France. Like many of his comrades, he was first buried in France.  In December of 1921 his body was returned to the United States, for reburial.  The following is an excerpt of the newspaper report of his funeral.

Thursday, December 29, 1921, Trenton Evening Times (Trenton NJ) page 5
HIGHSTOWN, N.J., Dec 29.–What will without doubt be the last funeral service for a World War hero to be held in Hightstown will take place tomorrow afternoon, when the body of Corporal Clifford R. Manchester of Newark, will, with full military honors, be laid to its final resting place in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Although Manchester was not a resident of this place, having always resided in Newark, a large number of relatives live in Hightstown, and the family burial plot is in the Cedar Hill Cemetery. The body of the veteran arrived in this country from France several days ago and Tuesday it was brought to Hightstown and taken to the home of his cousin, Postmaster Addison Robbins, Jr., on Mercer Street. The body will be take to the Presbyterian Church tomorrow morning, where it will lie in state until the services begin at 2:30 o’clock. He [Clifford Manchester] was corporal in the First Machine Gun Company, First Battalion of the First Division, and a firing squad and military band from the First Division, now located at Camp Dix will take part in the services. The Hightstown Post No. 148 of the American Legion, will also participate. The Rev. Arthur Northwood, pastor of the Elizabeth Avenue Presbyterian Church of Newark, of which church the young hero was a member, will officiate at the funeral and will be assisted by the following local pastors: Rev. Harry E. Owings, pastor of the Baptist Church; Rev. Thomas Tyack, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. C.D. Whitton, pastor of the Methodist Church. Besides the large number of friends and relatives of the young man in Hightstown, a large number of friends and relatives from Newark, Asbury Park, and New York City will attend the services.”   He was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hightstown, New Jersey.


Americus, Georgia
Killed in Action

John Dawkins Mathis was born 3 August 1890 in Buena Vista, Georgia, son of Dr. Evan T. & Jessie (Lane) Mathis.  He grew up in Americus, Georgia, and at the time of his enlistment in the United States Army, he was a bank clerk.   His siblings include, Emory, Hattie, Jessie, Linda, Lula, Thomas, Evan T., and Theodosia.

John D. Mathis was called into active service as 1st Lt. Infantry, on August 15, 1917, commission at officer’s training camp, Ft. McPherson, Georgia.  He served in the 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division.  He began overseas service on 6 September 1917, and was killed in action, on 6 June 1918 in the Chateau Thierry Sector.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. “He was leading a platoon on the first day of the Chateau Thierry battle and, it was claimed by the commander-in-chief, that Lieutenant Mathis showed conspicuous bravery and ability, fearlessly going forward at the head of his commmand through hostile machine gun fire.” [The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Georgia, 25 October 1918, page 6]

1st Lieut. John D. Mathis was buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, in Picardie, France.  A cenotaph exists in Oak Grove Cemetery, Sumter Co. GA. John D. Mathis Post 2, Americus, Georgia, was named in his honor.



Saxonville, Massachusetts
Killed in Action

James J. McGrath, born 15 Aug 1892 in the Saxonville section of Framingham MA, was the son of James H. & Mary (Mellen) McGrath.  His father was an Irish immigrant.  James had a brother John who died as an infant, and a sister Hannah who married Frank X. “Paul” Neal.  In 1910 James can be found in the U.S. Census, living with his family on Meadow Street in Framingham, 17 years old, a mill operative.

He enlisted in L Company, 9th Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard, in April 1917, “and was with that outfit at the border.” That regiment became part of  Co. L., 101st Infantry, 26th Infantry Division–part of the famed “Yankee Division.”

I happened across a “Welcome to Framingham” brochure online, with mention of McGrath Square. The description stated that it was “named for James J. McGrath a Saxonville lad killed in WWI while trying to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.”  I had not yet located any evidence that James had performed special service.  A quick call to the Framingham History Center, put me in touch with Fred Wallace, a researcher, who helped me with the piece of James’ biography that I was lacking.  He stated that the June 8-July 24th, 1918 edition of the local Framingham News said, among several things that James J. McGrath was the fifth Framingham resident killed in WWI, but the “first and native son born and raised here.” The article went on to say that “During a raid on German lines at Rupt De Mad Creek, for which he had volunteered, and was in charge of the liaison runners, he was killed trying to warn others of incoming German shells.” The article goes on to say that his officers and fellow soldiers spoke of highly of him, and that he was buried at Mandres, Meuse in the NE area of France.

James J. McGrath was listed as killed on 31 May 1918. The Boston Globe newspaper of Monday, June 10, 1918 stating: “Corp. James J. McGrath of Saxonville, killed in action May 31, was the son of James H. McGrath of Meadow St., Saxonville. Only a few hours before the telegram announcing his death came from Washington, his family received a letter from him saying that he was well and in good spirits.”

Corporal James J. McGrath was initially buried close to the battlefield, and then when the war ended, he was moved to one of the American monuments.   Today his remains lie in St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, Lorraine, France in Plot B Row 4 Grave 25.  James J. McGrath Post, No. 74, Framingham is named in his honor.


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