February 29, 1896 (Springfield, MA) – April 20, 1918; 22 years old
Father lived at 19 Quintard Avenue, South Norwalk when PFC Burwell entered the service
Entered service on July 17, 1917
No Army Serial Number
Unit: 25th Division, 101st Ambulance Company
Born to William Lewis Burwell (1859-1936) and Carolyn Elizabeth Cheshire Burwell (1867-1953). John was their only child.
Worked as a contract agent for New England Telephone Company prior to service.
Died from wounds suffered during the Battle of Seicheprey, Menil-la-Tour, France when a German shell hit the ambulance he was driving on the road from Hamonville to Ansauville.
From unknown newspaper dated April 24, 1918
NORWALKER KILLED IN ACTION ABROAD
William L. Burwell of 19 Quintard Avenue received a telegram from the Adjutant General’s office at Washington yesterday which said:
“Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that John C. Burwell, sanitary train, is dead of wounds received in action, April 20th.”
Mr. Burwell, upon receipt of the telegram immediately left for Hartford, where his wife, Mrs. Burwell was visiting. Mr. and Mrs. Burwell arrived in this city today.
Private Burwell’s full name was John Cheshire Burwell, and he enlisted in the First Massachusetts Ambulance Company at Boston on July 25, 1917. When this company was mustered into service it became the 101st Ambulance Company of the 101st Sanitary Train, 26th Division, A.E.F. Private Burwell and his company left for France on September 7, 1917, from an Atlantic port, and arrived at a French Fort on September 20, 1917.
The last letter received by his parents, which was dated March 4, said that he was acting as orderly to the officer in charge of the sanitary train, but the telegram would indicate that he had met his death while engaged in driving an ambulance.
Private Burwell was 22 years old, and a graduate of the Pittsfield High School. He was unknown in this city as his father, an employee of the Adam’s Express Company came to this city about a year ago.
He is survived by his father and mother and a grandmother, Mrs. E. E. Cheshire, all of 19 Quintard Avenue.
From webmatters.net Belleau, France’s church which was originally in the center of the village, was destroyed by American artillery prior to the final assault on the village by the 26th Division. Having liberated Belleau, General Edwards told villagers that he would ensure that the church was rebuilt. Money was raised by the Division’s veterans and on 10th October 1929 the new church was dedicated in a ceremony attended by Brigadier General John Sherburne. Within are commemorative plaques and stained-glass windows honoring those from the Division who died in France. It is the only memorial to the Division. The plaque over the door carries the inscription:
Cette église, détruite durant la guerre mondiale a été reconstruite par les vétérans de la XXVIe Division du Corps Expéditionnaire américain en mémoire de leurs camarades qui sont tombés sur le sol de France en combattant pour la cause commune.
TRANSLATION: This church, destroyed during the world war, has been reconstructed by the veterans of the 26th Division of the American Expeditionary Force in memory of their comrades who fell on the soil of France fighting for a communal case.
Charles B. Street renamed Burwell Street in 1921 in honor of PFC Burwell
Private Burwell is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Springfield, Massachusetts; Section 8, Lot 2892, Ruscas Path. Photo by webmaster.