Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (page 1 of 8)

Wentworth Doughboy Preserved

Last week the US WW1 Centennial Commission published this article about the proposed sale of the Viquesney ‘Spirit of the Doughboy’  statue on the grounds of the former Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO.  The creditors of the academy have maintained that the statue was collateral on the academy’s debts, but the Alumni Association of the academy has counterclaimed that they own the statue because it was entirely paid for by alumni.  A judge has ruled in the favor of the Alumni Association and the statue may end up at the National WW1 Museum in Kansas City, MO. ...read more

Memorials to the Missing – Polygon Wood

There is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Memorial to the Missing located in the northeastern corner of a small forest called Polygon Wood, near Zonnebeke, Belgium.

The memorial is on the site of the CWGC Buttes New Cemetery, which is a post-war concentration of over 2,000 burials of remains recovered from the surrounding area, mostly 1917 casualties. It’s considered an extension of the older Polygon Wood CWGC cemetery nearby – there is a connecting walk – and so the Cross of Sacrifice is in Polygon Wood Cemetery and the Stone of Remembrance is in Buttes New Cemetery.  ...read more

Look it up in the ABMC Blue Book

If you’ve been following my posts here you’ve heard about the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). Created by Congress in 1923 (36 U.S.C., Chapter 21), the ABMC is an independent agency within the Office of the President that has the following missions: ...read more

The first time the Star Spangled Banner was played at a World Series Game

The first time that The Star Spangled Banner was played in a World Series game was on Sept. 5th, 1918 during the seventh inning of game 2 between the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. It was performed by a US Navy band from the Great Lakes Training Center, which was led by John Philip Sousa, although he wasn’t at this performance. Although it was a popular patriotic song in 1918, The Star Spangled Banner didn’t become the National Anthem until 1931. Read more about this here. ...read more

Found in Kansas City, Kansas

Sitting today in Shawnee Park at 77th St. and Shawnee Ave. in Kansas City, Kansas is an interesting artillery piece with a WW1 background. This howitzer has a curved shield, which means that it was made in France, used by American gunners in 1918, shipped to the U.S. in 1919 and later significantly modified. According to the plaque mounted on the front, it was declared scrap by the Army in 1942 and donated to the city by the Wyandotte County Salvage Committee. ...read more

Commonwealth War Graves Commission sites in Kansas

Throughout the world there are numerous examples of individual burials that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has accepted responsibility for but relocation of the remains to a CWGC location is impractical. In the U.S. there are 356 such graves.

Nick Metcalfe MBE is a former British Army officer who is compiling data on all of the individual graves in the U.S. which are maintained by the CWGC. There are two of these here in Kansas. ...read more

Kansans of the Great War Era – Nellie Blanche Smirl

I am Coming Back to Kansas

© Nellie Blanche Smirl Sept. 7th, 1918 E 432374

When I have time to dream about you,
Pleasant mem’ries I’ll recall,
For I’ve lived in many places,
But you’re dearest of them all.
I can see the rolling prairies
And can breathe the fragrant air,
And Kansas-land shall be my home
When I get thro’ over there. ...read more

Native Americans in the Great War – ND tribes honored for service

The United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota is honoring the men of their member tribes who volunteered for the US armed forces in WW1, especially the Lakota code talkers of Co. D, 1st Bn., 139th Infantry who served with distinction at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge in 1918. Remember, this was only 28 years after Wounded Knee. Click here to read more. ...read more

Memorials to the Missing – The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate is located in the city of Ypres (Flemish: Ieper), West Flanders, Belgium. Although the city is in the predominantly Flemish part of Belgium, due to the British the French spelling and pronunciation are still prevalent today. During WW1 the city was the center of the Ypres Salient, that little corner of Belgium not occupied by Germany which was tenaciously defended, mostly by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Ypres became a special place to the British and today the city is clearly the most British place on the Continent. In future articles I’ll highlight some of the other important sites, monuments and markers in the area (I’ve already covered the Essex Farm Aid Station). ...read more

Artist Soldiers Exhibit at the Smithsonian

Here’s another sight well worth seeing if you’re visiting our nation’s capital sometime before November 11th, 2018:  a collaborative exhibit by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of American History that features the work of US Army Signal Corps artists. Recommended highly to me by two WW1 enthusiast friends. Click here to read more. ...read more

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