Monday, July 10, 2017

Young Man Meets His End in the Trenches--This Week in World War I

     Upstairs in the Local History/Reference Department is a large display on World War I. Part of the work in putting together this project was finding all the obituaries printed in the Crawfordsville Daily Journal of Montgomery County soldiers who died during this war. The young man who lost his life one hundred years ago on June 30 was Alexander Colman.  His death was reported in the July 13 edition of the "Crawfordsville Daily Journal."
    Alexander Colman was an English-born Canadian lad when he came to live here in 1912-13 with the James Thomas family to attend high school.  He was well-liked and had many friends in our area. The Thomases learned of his death from a letter they had received from his broken-hearted mother, Annie Coman Griffie, in Toronto, Canada. She reported that her son had died at the sixth clearing station in France on June 30,  two days after he had been wounded. She received a letter written by her son two days after learning of his death. It was a cheerful letter, full of his thanks for a parcel received from home full of gifts.
   Colman had been in the trenches for over a year and a half. He had served as a Lewis machine gunner for the last six months, and had earned the rank of corporal. He had recently celebrated his twentieth birthday.

   This entry for Colman in the Gold Star Honor Roll Book, that lists the dead from Indiana in World War I, states that he died in the battle of Lens, but I found that that battle happened in August, so we are not sure exactly what battle he was in. 

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