April 22, 1888 (Norwalk, CT) – February 2, 1919; 30 years old
Married to Nora J. Walsh Coleman on April 29, 1918 in Norwalk, CT
One son, James (February 13, 1919 – February 21, 1970)
Last local address: 65 Putnam Avenue, Norwalk
Entered the service on June 22, 1916
Serial number 3119780
Unit: 302nd Field Remount, Quartermaster Company
Born to John Coleman (1844-1937), Bridget Teresa McInerney Coleman (1849-?), both born in Ireland. Three sisters Anna Coleman Furey (1882-1966), Mary (1886-?), Alice Coleman O’Connor (1891-1983). Brother John (1884-1931). One half sister, Margaret Mirian Coleman (1878-1912).
Worked as a tinsmith and sheet metal worker for J.P. Lyon in Westport prior to service.
Died of pneumonia as a result of influenza in Brest, France a little more than 2 months after the war ended on November 11, 1918.
From unknown newspaper but likely The Norwalk Sentinel. Clipping was found in a collection in the Norwalk History Room of the Norwalk Library.
WAR FATALITIES ARE MUCH HORROR
Son Is Born to Mr. and Mrs. James E. Coleman, of Putnam Avenue
FATHER WILL NEVER SEE; DIES ON FRENCH SOIL
Information Comes of Death After News of Birth Is Sent Forward
The realization of the trials and sorrows of war are brought home anew to Norwalk residents today with the news that a telegram was sent to Private James E. Coleman in France on Friday, February 14, telling him the glad news that he was the father of a bouncing baby boy, was passed on its journey by a telegram arriving here Saturday night, informing his relatives of his death in France from pneumonia on February 2. Thus, the name of another of Norwalk’s soldiers will go up in gold on Norwalk’s honor roll, a man who gave his services and his life for his country in the fields of France, passing to his reward, not knowing he was a “daddy.” The little son was born on Thursday night, February 13, at the home, 25 Putnam Avenue, and the good news was sent by cable to the father Friday. On Saturday night a telegram was received, stating he had died in France on February 2, after a siege of pneumonia. The telegram was opened by sisters of Mrs. Coleman, who was formerly Miss Nora Walsh and has not been shown to her as yet. The news will be kept from her until such time as she is strong enough to hear it. She is getting along very nicely today. The last letter received from Private Coleman brought the information that he had been ill for four weeks, but that he was up and around again, and that there was no cause for worry. It is evident that he had a relapse and was not strong enough to rally against it. Private Coleman went to Camp Meade on June 23, 1918, and from there was transferred to Camp Jacksonville, Florida. He was later sent to Camp Merritt and thence sailed for France in August. He was a member of the 302nd Field Remount, Quartermaster Division, and as far as is known here, did not take an active part in any of the fighting. Shortly after the signing of the armistice, he was halfway into Germany with his company, but orders were received to return to France. His letters were always cheerful, and after being ordered back to France, he stated in a letter that he expected soon to return to the states. He was, however, kept in France and was taken ill, and his letter stating that he had been ill was dated the 14th of January. No more communications were received from him and he passed away on the 2nd of February. In his letters, he stated that he had received no news from home for several months. Private Coleman was well known and liked in Norwalk and his early and sad death is deeply regretted by all. He is survived by his wife and son; his mother, Mrs. John Coleman, of Winnipauk; two sisters, Mrs. Alice Connors of Norwalk, and Mrs. Anna Furey of Bethel, and one brother John J. Coleman of Norwalk.
From The Norwalk Hour August 6, 1920
NORWALK’S SECOND WAR VICTIM BROUGHT HOME
James E. Coleman’s Funeral Will Be Held Sunday With Military Honors
The second of Norwalk’s soldiers to come home to a final resting place from a temporary grave in France after making the supreme sacrifice in the cause of democracy and freedom arrived yesterday afternoon at 4:30 when the body of Private James E. Coleman, who died on February 2, 1919, at Brest, France, after an illness of nearly one month, was taken to the funeral parlors of Director A.J. Collins to await funeral. The coming of Private Coleman’s body has re-awakened the realization of the trials and sorrows of war, especially since the little son of the deceased whom he never saw, is growing rapidly to young manhood. The boy was born on February 14 and telegrams announcing the birth of the baby and the death of the father passed on their international voyages. Private Coleman went to Camp Meade on June 23, 1918, and from there was transferred to Camp Jacksonville, Florida. He was later sent to Camp Merritt and thence sailed for France in August of that year. He was a member of the 302nd Field Remount, Quartermaster’s Division, and did not take an active part in the front-line fighting. He and his comrades had advanced toward Germany, but shortly after the signing of the armistice were ordered to return to Brest. He was taken ill early in January 1919, and a telegram dated January 14 announced his serious condition. The deceased is survived by his wife and little son of Aiken Street, his mother, Mrs. John Coleman, Winnipauk, two sisters, Mrs. Alice Connors, Norwalk, and Mrs. Anna Furey, Bethel, and one brother, John J. Coleman of Norwalk. The funeral will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock at St. Mary’s Church and the interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Members of the Frank C. Godfrey Post, American Legion, have received orders to report Sunday shortly after noon to attend the funeral in a body. The interment will be with all military honors, a firing squad (honor guard) of Company J, Connecticut State Guards, acting. Musician John Burrows of Company K will sound taps.
Private Coleman is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 15 Broad Street, Norwalk, Connecticut; West Section. Photo by webmaster.