April 21, 1894 (Norwalk, CT) – October 14, 1918; 24 years old
Last local address: 178 Chestnut Hill Road, Norwalk
Entered the service on April 30, 1918
Serial number 366410
Unit: 114th Infantry, 29th Division, Machine Gun Company
Born to Franklyn Hyatt Blake (1870-1956) and Lottie Jane Gregory Blake (1874-1957). One brother, Guy Franklin Blake (1896-1983), and one sister, Eunice Eudora Blake (1901-1979).
Worked as a clerk for C.E. Slawson Company in Norwalk prior to service
Photo from “The Gregory’s of Chestnut Hill” web page on rootsweb.com
Died from wounds suffered at Ormond Woods, Argonne Forest — Glorieux Field Hospital near Verdun, France.
From The Norwalk Hour (Weekly) December 6, 1918
Mr. and Mrs. Franklyn H. Blake of Chestnut Hill Avenue received Thursday morning, a telegram from Washington stating that their son, Private Mortimer G. Blake died on October 14th from wounds received while in action in France. The notice comes as a confirmation of a fear which has for some time claimed Mr. and Mrs. Blake, for they had received no word from him since September. Private Mortimer G. Blake was in his 25th year and was very popular in Norwalk. He was a graduate of the Norwalk High School and exceptionally favorable comment was often made of his fine, upright character, and his studious qualities. Always a conscientious worker, he was one of the leading members in his classes in school and held the complete respect of all for his manhood and true, sterling character. He graduated with high honors, and when he commenced his business career, became instantly successful. He was even cheerful and accommodating and won the regard of all who knew him. When he left Norwalk for camp on May 1, 1918, he left behind him many friends who wished him well. Now comes the notice of his sad death in his early manhood, giving his life nobly for his country and his fellow men, and his name makes that of one of Norwalk’s boys to go up in gold on the ever-respected roll of honor. Private Blake went to Fort Slocum the first part of May, remaining there only two days, when he was sent to Camp McLellan, Anniston, Alabama. He was then in the 114th Infantry Machine Gun Company, 29th Division. At Camp McLellan he was inoculated and equipped and sent directly overseas, thus seeing very little of camp life on this side of the water. In France, he was placed in a New Jersey company of National Guards. His parents received word from him until September, and up to that time he had come through the fighting in fine shape. Three letters received from him showed him in the very thickest of the fray. During the month of September, his letters stopped, and no further word was received from him. Neither was any communication received from Washington. It was then that his parents began to fear that something was wrong, and the first notice received by them was the telegram yesterday morning announcing his death, a sad blow out of sorts which though not blue, were as yet only hazy. Mr. and Mrs. Blake have one other son who enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves last May.
Letter from the Red Cross to Private Blake’s mother; from ancestry.com
Feb 7, 1919
To: Mrs. Franklin H. Blake, Norwalk Conn, From Assistant Director of American Red Cross Washington DC
My dear Mrs. Blake:
You have of course received the official report of the death of your son, Pvt. Mortimer G. Blake, but we have today received a report from Paris telling us about his death and burial and I hasten to send it on to you.
Private Blake died of wounds and was buried at Glorieux Hospital on October 18 last. He was wounded in an attack with his Company northeast of Verdun on the day before. He was brought by ambulance to the Glorieux Hospital but was so badly injured that he could not be removed to an evacuation hospital.
He was buried on the day he died, October 18th, and his grave is #30 in Row 86 in the American Section of the Glorieux Hospital Cemetery. About five hundred American men are buried there and about five thousand French. Pvt. Blake’s grave is numbered and marked with a white cross on which are noted his name, serial number, organization and date of death, and the fact that he died of wounds received in action. Chaplain Hare was present when Pvt. Blake died, and he together with a Catholic Priest assisted at the funeral.
This is a very full account and I am sure it will be a great satisfaction to you.
Our report tells us that his serial number was 366410.
Name not legible
A portion of Hazel Street was renamed Blake Street in 1921 in honor of him.
Private Blake is buried at Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section 4, Plot 43. Photo by webmaster.