The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Eighteen

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 Eighteen

East Boston, Massachusetts
Killed in Action

George Patrick O’Driscoll was born 24 March 1895
in East Boston, Massachusetts, son of Michael T. & Catherine F. (Burns) O’Driscoll, and grandson of Dennis & Ellen (Fallon) O’Driscoll and Thomas & Rosanna Burns.

At the time of his draft registration, George P. O’Driscoll was an ironworker for PW Fletcher of 155 Border Street, East Boston MA.  He entered the service in September, 1917, with the first detachment sent from East Boston to Camp Devens. He was attached to Company E of the 60th Infantry and was afterward transferred to Company F of the 301st Infantry.

U.S. soldiers of 2nd Division engaged in the Argonne Forest, from Wikipedia.

U.S. soldiers of 2nd Division engaged in the Argonne Forest, from Wikipedia.

George P. O’Driscoll was killed on November 5, 1918, at the Argonne Forest, in France.  There appeared to be some confusion about him, at first being listed missing in action, then reported with his unit, and then finally reported killed in action on the date previously named.  His parents being Catholic, had requiem masses held on the anniversary of his death for several years.

Like others who died in WWI, he was originally buried near the battlefield.  It is reported on a family tree at that he was returned home and buried 16 Oct 1921 in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden MA.

In 1922, Councilor Brickley offered an order–That the space at the junction of Marion and Eutaw streets, East Boston, be named George P. O’Driscoll square, in honor of said O’Driscoll, who died in the United States service during the World War, and that said space be suitably marked with signs. Passed under suspension of the rule. [Sadly, this square does not seem to exist today].

Carlisle, Iowa
Killed in Action

Everett Powers was born 30 November 1896 in  Clarkson, Warren Co. Iowa, son of George Albia & Martha Ann (Alber(t)son) Powers. His siblings included May, Ethel, Blanche, Ray, Ina, Glenn. In 1900 and 1910 he was living with his family in Richland, Warren Co. Iowa.

Powers Everett large ad

Clipping from The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa) 2 Feb 1919

The local newspapers offered insight into his military service.  [Everett powers] “went from Winterset with Company A of the 168th and met his death May 27 [1918] in the gas attack that so depleted the ranks of the Winterset company.” A family tree on mentions that he died at Pexonne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France, though I could find no mention of that in records or newspaper stories.

Like his comrades-in-arms, he was at first buried in France, but in 1921 his remains were returned to his parents.   The Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) 24 September 1921, page 5 reports: “Everett Powers, a farmer boy residing southeast of Des Moines, lost his life upon the battlefields of France. The remains were returned to his parents and a public funeral was held at Carlisle, Warren county, attended by thousands. The highway leading from Des Moines to Knoxville and thence southward has been named in honor of the soldier boy, the Everett Powers road and painted on telephone poles along the way are red, white and blue stripes surmounting by a gold star, and below it the initials E.P. It is planned to erect a pillar in every town through which this road passes on which will be carved the names of the men from that town who died in the late war. Cottonwood trees will be planted in honor of all the service men, along the entire highway stretching across the entire country from north to south.”

There is a burial marker for Everett Powers in Carlisle Cemetery, Carlisle, Warren Co. Iowa (which is where the newspaper notice above stated he was going to be buried).    A second listing can be found in a cemetery database that states he is buried in Winterset Cemetery, in Winterset, Iowa.


Chicago, Illinois
Died of Wounds

Wellborn Saxon Priddy was born 1 March 1894 in Findlay, Hancock, Ohio, son of Emerson & Gertrude C. (Sholl) Priddy. His siblings included Wilhelmina, Emerson B., Gertrude E., and Warren S.

His WWI Draft Registration card of 1917 shows that he was attending R.O.T.C. training at that time. He served in the 168th Infantry and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross at his death.

The Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago Illinois) of 4 July 1918 printed this story: “Washington DC-Two Chicago soldiers, one of whom is now dead, are included in Gen. Pershing’s’ latest list of American heroes awarded the distinguished service cross for acts of gallantry in France. They are Second Lieutenant Wellborn S. Priddy, son of Emerson Priddy, 1650 East Fifty-third Street, who died as a result of gas poisoning, and Corporal Louis Liberman, whose uncle, M. Kline is given as next of kin. Kline’s address is 712 Ashland block. -What they did. Of the service of these two soldiers. Gen Pershing’s reports says: Second Lieutenant Wellborn S. Priddy, infantry: While in command of an important post near Dadonviller, France, on May 26, 1918, he displayed courage, judgement and devotion to duty in heroically defending his post against a large force of the enemy, continuing to perform his duty after having been badly gassed. He has since died as a result of the gas poisoning.”

Wellborn S. Priddy was originally buried in France.  His remains were returned to the United States and reburied in Woodland Union Cemetery, 14 August 1921.



West Philadelphia, PA
Died Airplane Accident

Harry Walter Prince was born 30 June 1893 in Bryn Mawr, Delaware Co. PA, son of John Walter & Emily Hester (Pope) Prince.  His siblings included Allice and Percy.

He first enlisted in the ERC at Cambridge MA on August 4, 1917, serving as Private 1st Class.  He had an honorable discharge Feb 26, 1918, to accept a commission.Prince WWI pension files

2nd Lieut. Harry Walter Prince was called into active service Feb 27, 1918, in the 183rd Aero Squadron. Principal stations included  Ft Worth TX, Garden City LI NY, AEF.  He served overseas May 3, 1918, to his death in France on 11 June 1918 during an aeroplane [airplane] accident.  He was with Lt W R Bowick, RAF who was also killed.  [RAF = Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force], 12th Training Squadron.

The local newspaper printed a brief story of the accident. Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) 22 June 1918 page 16. Many Boyertown people are well acquainted with and feel sorry to hear the news of the death of Lieut. Harry Walter Prince, of Forty-sixth street and Springfield avenue, Philadelphia, who was killed in England on June 11, when he met his with an accident with his aeroplane. Lieut. Prince was a member of the British Royal Flying Corps and prior to his enlistment was an employee of the Burkenbine Engineering Company, with whom he did civil engineering work. For some time he stayed at Boyertown, where the Boyertown ore mines were in operation here, and shortly after the Rittenhouse Gap mines were started in operation, he was put in charge of that place. WHile there he made frequent visits to this place. Lieutenant Prince is betrothed to a young lady from Rittenhouse Gap.  [Editor’s note: I have been unable to discover who he was betrothed to].

Harry Walter Prince  was buried in American Cemetery Gr #1, Plot 525.  He is now listed as being buried in Brookwood American Cemetery, Woking, Surreymetery, England, Plot D., Row 6., Grave 18.


Philadelphia, PA
Killed in Action

William Anthony Purcell, born 23 Jan 1896 Philadelphia PA, son of William D. & Jennie (Gartland) Purcell. He grew up and attended school in Philadelphia PA.  He had one sibling, a sister, Caroline (who died in 1946, unmarried).  They lived at 253 S. 44th Street, Philadelphia PA.

PURCELL ww1 ambulance

WWI Ambulance from the U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History.

He enlisted 22 May 1917 at Philadelphia in the U.S. Army Ambulance Corps to June 13, 1917 [became the S.S.U. 523rd U.S. Ambulance Service.] He served as a Private and was promoted to the rank of Mechanic, April 1918. He was sent overseas beginning August 23, 1917.

Mechanic William A. Purcell was killed in action at Soisson, France on 3 June 1918. He, along with other members of the Princeton Section 523, U.S. Army Ambulance Corps, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.  He is buried at Old Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA.PUrcell MEMORIAM

As long as William A. Purcell’s immediate family members were alive, they remembered him. In 1920 William A. Purcell’s family paid for a memorial tribute for him in the local newspaper as shown: Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia PA, 3 June 1920, page 20. IN MEMORIAM. PURCELL–In Memory of WILLIAM A. PURCELL, killed in France, June 3, 1918. He was a member of Princeton Section 523, U.S. Army Ambulance Corps.  HIS PARENTS AND SISTER. 



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2 Responses to The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Eighteen

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

  2. Amy says:

    Another sad post. Having just written about my cousin Frank who survived World War I, I found this post particularly moving.

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