World War I women

On the base of the cannon at Norwalk Town Green, in an inconspicuous corner on one of the plaques, is a short list of women who served in WWI. They were nurses with the Army or Red Cross. While none died in the line of duty, their stories need to be told. The first world war entailed horrific conditions and injuries to those who fought. The recovery from that action was often times led by women like those on this list who volunteered to be there.


December 5, 1888 (Brooklyn, NY) – July 25, 1973 (Stamford, CT); 84 years old
Last local addresses: Hilltop Road (1940 census)
Married Douglas E. Nash [1890-1972] on March 29, 1921, in Norwalk, CT.
Two sons, Benjamin C. [1922-1978] and Richard E. [1924-1976]. One daughter, Enid L. Nash Gould [1927-2005].   

Born to William H. [1847-1889] and Julia B. Capwell Allen [1854-1892]. One brother, Albert C. [1880-1945].

Passport photo included with her husband’s passport application in 1921

Enid Allen worked as a Social Worker for the YMCA. She was fluent in French and was assigned to France on January 10, 1918. She was then assigned to Germany in December 1918. She retired on July 22, 1919. Her card said she was cited by the 3rd Division.

Enid Nash is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, 41 Hecker Avenue, Darien, Connecticut; Section P, Grave 8, overlooking the pond. Photo by webmaster.


April 16, 1894 (New York City) – July 25, 1964 (Rhinebeck, NY); 70 years old
Last local addresses: 9 Strawberry Hill Avenue (1910 census) and 6 Harriet Street, Norwalk
Hazel Ball never married

Born to Winfield S. [1870-1903] and Margaret Mortimer Ball [1871-1932]. Two sisters, Ethel [1897-1905] and Alida E. Ball Wilson [1903-1991].

Graduated from Norwalk High School, Class of 1913.

Called into active service on November 1, 1918. Served at Camp Merritt, New Jersey until she was relieved from active duty on November 19, 1919.

She was also a retired school teacher from William Cullen Bryant HS, Long Island City, NY.

From The Norwalk Hour November 11, 1922

Norwalk Nurse Now Inspector of Hospitals and Institutions in New York

Miss Hazel J. Ball, who is very well known in Norwalk, recently entered upon duties as an inspector of hospitals and public institutions in the City of New York. In the examinations given in the early Fall for this position, Miss Ball received the highest rank of a large number of applicants. Previous to accepting the position of inspector, Miss Ball was connected in the capacity of visitor in the Widows’ Pension Department with the Board of Child Welfare of the City of New York. Miss Ball is a graduate of Norwalk High School, class of ’13, and in 1916 she received her R.N. from the Bridgeport General Hospital. In 1918, Miss Ball entered the Army as an Army nurse and served for over a year, being stationed for the greater part of this time at Camp Merritt, New Jersey. After her discharge from the Army, Miss Ball was engaged in private nursing in New York. Less than a year ago, she took civil service examinations connected with the Board of Child Welfare and passed eighth on the list of 3,000 applicants. Miss Ball’s many friends wish her the greatest success and happiness in her new position.

From The Poughkeepsie Journal July 27, 1964


Miss Hazel J. Ball, 70, a retired Long Island school teacher, died Saturday at Northern Dutchess Hospital, Rhinebeck. She resided at 122 E. Market Street, Rhinebeck. Miss Ball had lived in Rhinebeck since 1948. She had taught at William Cullen Bryant School, Long Island City, for 30 years. Born April 16, 1894, in New York City, Miss Ball was the daughter of the late Winfield and Margaret Mortimer Ball. A sister, Mrs. Robert A. Wilson, Norwalk, Connecticut, and several nieces and nephews survive. Funeral services are scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Dapson Funeral Home, 65 W. Market Street, Rhinebeck. The Reverend William H. Austin will officiate. The interment will be in Rhinebeck Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home tonight.

Buried in Rhinebeck Cemetery, 3 Mill Road, Rhinebeck, New York; Section A, Lot 22. Photo provided by Suzanne Kelly, Cemetery Administrator.

Photo provided by Suzanne Kelly, Cemetery Administrator


March 30, 1888 (Pueblo, CO) – September 4, 1926 (Saranac Lake, NY); 38 years old
Last local address: 115 East Avenue, Norwalk (1910 census)
Married Dr. Edward Newman Packard [1883-1968] on November 29, 1919, in New York City.
One son, John M. [1920-2013].
Two daughters, Mary B. Packard Reely [1925-2004] and Anne Packard Ladd [1922-2009].

Born to Edward C. [1853-1923] and Carrie Mallory Betts [1855-1936]. Two brothers, Thaddeus [1885-1960] and Randolph [1891-1969]. One sister, Sally M. Betts Merriman [1879-1966].

Unknown service dates

In her husband’s obituary in 1968, it is written that he was married to “Mary Bissell Betts, one of the earliest occupational therapists.”

Husband Edward served two years during WWI and from 1941 to 1946 when, as a Lieutenant Colonel, and later Colonel, he was medical chief of the Fort Dix and Holloran General Hospitals’ 6,500 beds for which he received the Legion of Merit.

Buried in Pine Ridge Cemetery, 1099-1233 Pine Street, Saranac Lake, New York; Section 1. Photo from


May 24, 1892 (Norwalk, CT) – August 4, 1932 (New York, NY); 40 years old
Last local address: West Rocks Road, Norwalk (1910 census)
Mary Callahan never married

Born to Dennis Sr. [1860-1939] and Ellen Sheehan Callahan [1865-1922]. Six brothers, John H. [1894-1970], Jerimiah [1894-1982], William [1897-1947], Daniel [1903-1949], Dennis Jr. [1903-1950], and Leo [1904-1967]. Three sisters, Anna Callahan Carroll [1900-1987], Julia A. Callahan Prendergrast [1901-1970], and Catherine [1905-1954].

Called into active service on September 16, 1918. Served in General Hospital #22, Camiers, France, until October 28, 1918. Then Evac Hospital #24, Limoge, France, until February 1919. Then Base Hospital #208, Autun, France, until June 24, 1919. Discharged on July 7, 1919.

Nurses Cleaning Wards at Base Hospital 22 from The women are likely nurses, although only two appear to be wearing uniforms. The women have scarves on their heads and are holding brooms, buckets, mops, and rags. The caption with the photographs reads: “Scrubbing Party”. Sanitation was a key part of keeping illness from spreading in hospital camps.

From The Norwalk Hour May 19, 1936

Mary G. Callahan of Norwalk One of Four Paid Tribute At Newington Hospital

The late Miss Mary G. Callahan of Norwalk was one of four World War Nurses who were honored by their comrades Sunday afternoon when four trees were planted in their memory along Nurses’ Memorial Walk and Grove at the Veterans Hospital in Newington. The joint memorial service was held by Jean Cargill Nurses Post of the American Legion and the World War Nurses. Mrs. Betty F. Hallgren of Windsor was in charge and introduced the speakers. The Plainfield American Legion Post was the honor guard and escorted the families and friends of the nurses to the various trees bearing the name of each woman. Frank C. Godfrey Post and Auxiliary gave the tree in honor of Miss Callahan, who died in 1932. She was a member of the Army Nurse Corps, serving overseas. She was a graduate of St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York City.

Buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, 15 Broad Street, Norwalk, Connecticut; East Side Section, Lot 35. Photos by webmaster.


November 13, 1897 (Norwalk, CT) – April 1, 1983 (Alexandria, VA); 85 years old
Last local address: 45 Spring Hill Avenue, Norwalk (1910 census)
Married Robert A. Bowman Sr. [1890-1965] on October 24, 1931.
Stepson Robert A. Jr. [1916-2001].

Born to James J. [1871-1927] and Margaret Reilley Cavanaugh [1878-1905]. One brother, James G. [1899-1966].

Unknown service dates.

She was the first woman bacteriologist in the state of Virginia. She and her husband raised champion beagles under the name of Cabo Kennels.

From The Norwalk Hour August 4, 1919

Miss Mary Cavanaugh arrived at her home in Spring Hill Avenue last evening to enjoy a three weeks’ leave of absence from her duties in the army general hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Miss Cavanaugh, a popular Norwalk young woman, has been serving as an Army nurse for the past several months.

From The Daily News Leader (Staunton, VA) May 8, 1946

Mrs. Mae C. Bowman of Alexandria, outgoing regional director of the American Federation of Soroptimist Clubs, presided over the weekend sessions held at Natural Bridge. She will be succeeded by Anna Rose of Montgomery County, Maryland. Photo courtesy of Alexandria Gazette. Webmaster note: the definition of Soroptimist is “a member of an international association of professional or executive businesswomen (Soroptimist Club), devoted primarily to welfare work.

Obituary from the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch April 3, 1983

Mrs. Mae Cavanaugh Bowman who had been active in state nursing programs for more than 60 years died Friday. She was 85. Mrs. Bowman, a graduate of the Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing, had served on the hospital corporation’s board since 1947. Considered to be the first female bacteriologist in Virginia she also was an Alexandria welfare officer for years. Mrs. Bowman had been a member of the American Legion Post 24 since 1918 when she moved to Alexandria from Connecticut. She was a leading organizer of Soroptimist clubs in the Alexandria and middle Atlantic areas.

Buried in the Mount Comfort Cemetery, 6600 S Kings Hwy, Alexandria, Virginia; Section Rose Garden, Grave 85-2. Photo from


January 16, 1894 (Norwalk, CT) – May 23, 1980 (Meriden, CT); 86 years old
Last local address: 11 Hanford Place, South Norwalk (1900 census)
Married Franklin H. Smith [1887-1977] on November 20, 1920.

Born to William [1861-?] and Jean Wynter Chalmers [1865-1948]. One sister, Jean E. Chalmers Hooker [1887-1959].

Called into active service on May 29, 1918. Served at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington DC until July 16, 1918. Then Base Hospital #48. Mars-sur-Allier, France, until January 19, 1919. Then Base Hospital #53, Langres, France, until April 23, 1919. Discharged on May 22, 1919.

From; a play at Base Hospital #48, December 13 & 14, 1918; the war had been over for just over a month at this point

Cast of “The Red Lamp” – Lt. Frohlich, Lt. J. Broderick, Capt. Miller, and Misses Katherine Goold, Lillian Bulgar and Williamina Chalmers

Also from

Marveling often at the incredibly beautiful operating technique of Lt. Col. Honan, Major Grant, and Captain Hetrick, Reynolds and White, obvious even to a layman, the deft, unobtrusive skill of Nurses Mackay and Chalmers, anticipating every move of the surgeons.

Buried in Riverside Cemetery, 2650 Lake Ave, Rochester, New York; section G-2-99. Photo from


April 7, 1892 (Norwalk, CT) – December 26, 1975 (Youngstown, OH); 83 years old
Last local address: St. John Street, Norwalk (1910 census)
Married Dr. Joseph Paul Harvey of Pennsylvania on February 3, 1921.
Two sons, Joseph P. Jr. [1922-2010] and John C. [1923-2017].

Born to Patrick J. [1861-1929] and Catherine “Kate” Ryan Collins [1867-1904]. Four brothers, Thomas A. [1889-1958], George V. [1896-1967], Frank J. [1897-1949], and William J. [1903-1985]. Three sisters, Lucy Collins Tammany [1891-1987], Helen [1895-?], and Florence P. Collins Delany [1901-1989].

Called into active service on July 20, 1917. Served on Ellis Island, NY until August 7, 1917. Then Base Hospital #8 until November 30, 1917. Then Base Hospital #101 until January 28, 1918. Then Base Hospital #8 again until March 11, 1919. Discharged on April 1, 1919.

Referred to in the obituary of her son Joseph Jr., “Mary Justinian Collins Harvey, a decorated World War I army nurse.”

Photo of the surgical ward, Base Hospital #8, Savenay, France, April 3, 1918; from Wikimedia commons

Front and South side of Base Hospital #101, St. Nazaire, France; photo from Wikimedia Commons

From an unknown newspaper but likely The Norwalk Sentinel. The clipping was found in a collection in the Norwalk History Room of the Norwalk Library.

Mary Justinian Collins With the Post Graduate unit Base Hospital No. 8, A.E.F., France

We regret that our opening paragraph must be an apology. We tried to secure a photograph of Miss Collins from which to have a cut made. The only picture that was obtainable was an amateur 2×3 snapshot of a group of three taken in France some months ago. Miss Collins was one of the group and from this, we secured the electrotype. We feel it is a great injustice to this noble young lady to use such a picture, however, we, ourselves, can see, even in this imperfect likeness, through its genial smile and sparkling eyes, a character which is indicative of kindheartedness, good humor and sympathetic love, who warm hand-clasp and compassionate words would give renewed vigor and comfort to the injured and tired out soldier boy. Passing through Osborne Avenue, East Norwalk, at number 78, one sees a service flag with three stars. One of these stars belongs to Miss Mary Justinian Collins, and the other two stars are for her two brothers who are also in the country’s service. Miss Collins was a trained nurse and received her training in the Post Graduate Hospital in New York. Previous to the United States going into the war she had been a very successful nurse for two years. When our country decided to enter into the great conflict abroad, Miss Collins at once enlisted her services as a Red Cross nurse, which step she took in April 1917, on Good Friday. She joined her own Hospital Unit which was largely made up of Princeton men on the medical staff. The Hospital Unit, some 250 in number, were on the steamer Saratoga which sailed from New York in July 1917, and when just outside of the harbor was rammed by the Panama, another steamer whose pilot proved to be a German, and the intention was to sink the Saratoga with her cargo. Miss Collins was submerged in the incoming water and for two days suffered considerably from the shock. About two weeks later, the unit took another steamer and landed safely in France. Miss Collins immediately upon her arrival began to study the French language and soon mastered it sufficiently to enable her to make use of it. The following is an abstract from one of her letters to her aunt here at home:

Someplace in France, March 22, 1918, “I’m on night duty now and it’s the wee small hours of the morning and my patients are all in the land of nod, I have a chance to write you. We are planning our furloughs and expect to go to Nice. Miss Green and I expect to go together, but we may not as we have been separated ever since we came to France. Secretary of War Baker and General Pershing were here last week, and they made things hum for a while, but again we have settled back into our quiet little ways. We have a dance every week and movies every night. We act just like regular people. My dear friend Mr. Chaplin appears a couple of times a week. By the way – admission is free, so there is always a good crowd. How is the coal situation – still very serious. It does not seem quite possible to us here as we have plenty of everything. Tell Florence I am some knitter, I’ve made three sweaters and have started the fourth. I cannot sit idle, so I knit. I wish you could sit beside me for a few minutes and look down the ward. There are fifty beds here. The trunks and suitcases are at the foot of each bed and the clothes are hanging at the head. It reminds one of Hester Street, New York. I almost forgot to mention the very lovely basket of candy and fruit cake you sent me. We had several parties from same.

When Miss Collins enlisted as a Red Cross nurse, she passed her examination with a high standard of merit, except for one requirement. That one was her age, she was one year under age than the official regulations. But being persistent, and being so well qualified in every other respect, the age limit was overlooked and she was accepted. On one occasion since being in France, Miss Collins learned that some United States soldiers were expected to arrive, she stepped into one of the YMCA huts and wrote a note to greet the boys when they landed. The note was given to one of the captains who met the company and handed the letter to one of the young fellows. The young man opened the letter to read and found to his great surprise, that it was from his own sister, it being Miss Collins’ brother George to whom the letter was incidentally given. Extract from letter, April 18, 1918 – “Mr. Sculley was up to see me today. He looked splendid in his uniform. I was on duty at the time, so hadn’t much time to spend with him. However, we made the most of what time we did have, and he told me lots of good news. He saw Harry Haugh and Leonard Foster who are patients in this hospital. The weather here is lovely tho today it is a bit cold. Miss Green and I took a walk this morning and picked a large bunch of violets and forget-me-nots. Miss Green and I are in the operating room together. I heard from brother George a few days ago. He is well and had received mail from home. Does brother Tom like the Navy? Where is he located and when have you heard from him?” Miss Collins’ brother George volunteered in May 1917 and has been in France since last August. Her brother Thomas is in the naval service and expects a call to go across. Miss Collins is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Collins of East Norwalk and is one of a family of eight children. Mrs. Collins the mother, was taken away in June 1904, leaving a family of small children. These motherless children are making a record that they can well be proud of. Miss Nora E. Ryan is their aunt and the extracts quoted were from letters received by her from France.

From The Norwalk Hour November 14, 1917

Postals are expected from Miss Mary Collins and from George Collins of Osborne Avenue, who are in the Red Cross service in France. Miss Collins is in one of the French hospitals and Mr. Collins is at the front in ambulance work.  NOTE: 1910 census shows a George Collins, brother to Mary Collins, 4 years younger.

Buried in Tod Homestead Cemetery, 2200 Belmont Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio; Plot Hawthorne II. Photo from


August 13, 1896 (Rowayton, CT) – February 9, 1978 (Mars, Wisconsin); 81 years old
Last local address: 97 Rowayton Avenue, Norwalk (1910 census)
Married John Garritty [1889-1972] of Norwalk on November 2, 1920
Three daughters, Marian F. Garritty Stickley [1922-2011], Elizabeth “Betty” E. Garritty Buschmann [1925-2002], and Catherine T. Garritty Post [1928-1987]. One son, John E. [1924-2019].

Born to Franklin “Francis” P. [1853-1927] and Frances H. Guider Crockett [1860-1932]. Four brothers, Charles F. [1882-1955], Richard L. [1887-1902], Bayard S. [1893-1901], and Minot B. [1900-1962]. Two sisters, Elsie H. Crockett Thatcher [188-1958] and Frances B. Crockett Vaughn Moesner [1902-1977].

Served from April 1, 1918, to August 18, 1919. Assigned to the Base Hospital at Camp Meade, MD from April 1, 1918, to May 23, 1918. Then to a mobility station in New York City until June 19, 1918. Then to Military Hospital #2 until April 26, 1919.  Then to General Hospital #12 until discharge. Overseas from June 19, 1918, until April 16, 1919. Relieved from active duty on August 18, 1919.

Base Hospital #2, Etretat, France, Operating Room; photo from

From an unknown newspaper but likely The Norwalk Sentinel. The clipping was found in a collection in the Norwalk History Room of the Norwalk Library.


Proud, indeed, is the Rowayton section of the city of Norwalk in being able to say that one of its young ladies, born and brought up in the community, realized the need for nurses and responded to the call, and is now in France doing all that is in her power to relieve the suffering of the boys from the U.S.A., as they are brought into military hospitals at Paris. She is Miss Marion Frances Crockett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Crockett of Rowayton Avenue, a registered nurse, having received her training at the New Haven School for Nurses in connection with the New Haven State hospital. Miss Crockett as a child, attended the public school here and later in 1913 graduated from the Norwalk High School, and the following September entered the New Haven training school. Of a pleasing personality and happy disposition, Miss Crockett was well-liked and made many friends wherever she went. After her graduation from the school, she practiced her profession in the Elm City. Last April, when the call came in for nurses for the cantonments, Miss Crockett, realizing the great need and wishing to do all she could to ameliorate the sufferings of our boys, enlisted in the American Red Cross, and was sent to Camp Meade, near Annapolis, Maryland, where she worked in the base hospital for five or six weeks. About the middle of June, when the call for trained nurses for overseas duty came, Miss Crockett joined the Army Nurses’ Corps and, in a few weeks, sailed across the ocean, and is now in active service with the American Expeditionary Forces in a military hospital in France. The following is a portion of a letter received from their daughter by Mr. and Mrs. Crockett and will doubtless prove interesting to her many friends here, who are happy to know that she is doing her bit for the country.

Paris, July 1
On Active Service, A.E.F.
Dear Mother and Father:

Just a few words at present to let you know we are assigned and settled down to work. This is the first day on real duty, except for a couple of nights on duty where we were last staying temporarily, and all I can say is that the war is terrible and I have seen comparatively nothing of it yet. We are situated nicely, and no doubt will enjoy our work, at least as much as can be expected under the circumstances. We are living in a hotel only a few blocks from our work.

July 18, 1918

As I did not send the letter on the 15th will add a few lines more and send it out tomorrow. The last two days have been busy ones, lots of work, and no off duty, but we are glad to do all we can for our boys so don’t mind it. When I see the amount of dressings they use here, seems good to know that at least the greater part of them are made by our women at home. We have a few French patients on my floors and I have great fun trying to talk to them. Sometimes I succeed in making them understand, mostly I do not. The aids here, untrained nurses, are a great help to us, and I don’t know what we would do without some of them.

From The Norwalk Hour February 20, 1919

Miss Marion Crockett who is a nurse at a hospital in Paris writes that she is very busy and does not know just when she will be able to leave for home. She is anxious to get back home once more.

Honored on the Rowayton Veterans Memorial, 169 Rowayton Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut. Photo from

Rowayton Veterans Memorial

Buried in Elmwood Cemetery, W9651 Forrest Avenue, Antigo, Wisconsin; Block 9, Lot 50, Space 3. Photo from


April 19, 1894 (Norwalk, CT) – February 16, 1977 (Westport, CT); 82 years old
Last local address: 9 Courtland Place, South Norwalk (1900 census)
Married Henry Rippe [1893-1968] in Westport on April 1, 1922.
One son, Robert D. [1924-2013].
One daughter, Eleanor J. Rippe [1929-2017].

Born to Charles H. [1865-1928] and Sara Gray Downes [1865-1945]. One brother, Randolph C. [1901-1975]. Two sisters, Ethel F. [1895-1983] and Hazel D. Downes Ackley [1904-1994].

Graduated from Norwalk High School, Class of 1912.

Appointed Nurse on September 28, 1918. Assigned to General Hospital #11 until July 7, 1919. Then General Hospital #41 until she was discharged on September 29, 1920.

Base Hospital #41, Paris. Photo from

Buried in Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main Street; Westport, Connecticut; Section Old 10. Photo from


February 19, 1894 (Norwalk, CT) – January 2, 1985 (Melville, NY); 90 years old
Unknown address in Norwalk; lived primarily in New York
1900 census lists her first name as “Margarite”
Married Edward Hobson Odom [1896-1965] on September 11, 1927, in Northport, NY
One daughter, Rita Odom [1896-2016].
Not on the plaque in Norwalk.

Born to James A. [1862-1952] and Letitia E. Rorke Fealy [1868-1951]. One brother, Charles A. [1897-1909]. One sister, Ella M. Fealy Sullivan [1892-1984].

Appointed as a nurse on March 21, 1918. Assigned to the Military Hospital in New Haven Connecticut until December 1918. Then assigned to Camp Hospital #43, Blois, France, until February 1919. Then assigned to Embark Hospital #4, Spartanburg, SC, until she was discharged on June 18, 1919.

Buried in Saint Philip Neri Cemetery, 5 Laurel Road, East Northport, New York; unknown plot number. Photo from


September 7, 1888 (Norwalk, CT) – July 24, 1965 (Cornwall, CT); 76 years old
Last local address: 3 Morgan Avenue, Norwalk (1900 census)
Married James W. Gold Sr. [1866-1956] of Norwalk on June 3, 1925.
One son, James W. Jr. [1926-2015].

Born to Joseph A. [1859-1941] and Mary C. Miller Gray [1858-1931]. Four brothers, Horace M. [1886-1964], Joseph A. Jr. [1890-1924], Charles L. [1892-1968], and Donald A. [1898-1965]. Three sisters, Mary C. [1894-1991], Catherine H. Gray Overton [1896-1967], and Ruth E. Gray Owen [1901-1978].

Enlisted in October 1918. Discharged on April 25, 1919. Nothing else is known about her service.

From a book titled “History of the World War Reconstruction Aides: Being an account of the activities and whereabouts of Physio Therapy and Occupational Therapy Aides who served in U.S. Army Hospitals in the United States and in France during the World War” (1933)

Testimony from Dorothea Davis (Mrs. Charles Dwight Curtiss), P.T., 10 West Virgilia Street, Chevy Chase Maryland

Entered Army Service May 15, 1918. Sailed for France on June 5, 1918, with the first Unit of Reconstruction Aides. We were attached to Base Hospital 114 Unit. There were 24 of us, all P. T.’s; Miss Louisa Lippett, Head Aide, Ethel L. Gray, Sarah Fletcher, Elizabeth Huntington, Minerva E. Crowell, Juanita Metherall, Myrna Howe, Juliet O. Bell, Frances Philo, Ruth M. Earle, Anne Larned, Rena Fise, Anna Voris, Jane Feinman, Harriet McDonald, Blanche Marvin, Magna Nashe, Florence Burrell, Mabel Penfield, Matilda Benjamin, Eunice Taylor, Bertha Boles, Dorothy Wellington, and Dorothea Davis.

We landed at St. Nazaire, France, on June 19, 1918, and were sent to Base Hospital 6 in Bordeaux. We stayed there for about a month. As I could speak French, I was put on the French ward and received my first army experience with men old in the service. Many of them wore two and three-wound stripes. We were broken up into groups of four or six and sent to begin Physiotherapy in the different army hospitals. On August 8, 1918, four of us went to Base Hospital 27 at Angers. Myrna Howe, Head Aide, Ethel Gray, Juliet Bell, and Dorothea Davis. We stayed there for the rest of our time in France.

Buried in North Cornwall Cemetery, 26 Rattlesnake Road, West Cornwall, Connecticut; unknown plot number. Photo from


November 11, 1897 (Danbury, CT) – March 2, 1950 (New York, NY); 52 years old
Last local address: 32 France Street, Norwalk
Married John Hurd [1896-1931] on June 7, 1928, in New York City
Married to John Dorsey [1891-1967] on February 28, 1933, in New York City
One daughter, Alida W. Dorsey Fuller [1935-1967]

Served from October 31, 1918, to May 14, 1919. Assigned to General Hospital #3 in New Jersey for the duration of her enlistment.


From The Norwalk Hour April 18, 1923

Miss Mollie A Hand, formerly of Norwalk, where she graduated as a nurse from the hospital, was one of fourteen successful girl contestants of Brooklyn and Long Island, who will spend six weeks in France this summer as the result of the Good-Will election conducted by the Brooklyn Eagle for the American Committee on Devastated France and which ended last Saturday night.

From The Norwalk Daily Advocate September 17, 1940

Mrs. Mollie Hand Dorsey, 41, wife of John J. Dorsey, Outlook Drive, Noroton Manor, died suddenly at 5 this morning in Stamford Hospital. Dr. Ralph W. Crane, the Stamford medical examiner, gave the cause of death as “accidental poisoning.” She had been a resident of Noroton for about 10 years. Mrs. Dorsey was born in Danbury on November 11, 1898. Besides her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Alida, five; one sister, Miss Florence Hand of Danbury, and two brothers, Frederick Hand and Herbert Hand, also of Danbury. Funeral service will be held at her late residence, Outlook Drive, at 8:30 Thursday morning, to St. John’s Catholic Church, Post Road at 9:00 for a Solemn Requiem Mass. The interment will take place in St. John’s Cemetery in Norwalk.

Mollie Hand Dorsey is buried in St. John’s Cemetery, 223 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section B1, Lot 35, Grave West ½ #4. Photo by author.


June 9, 1896 (Nashville, TN) – February 21, 1979 (Charlottesville, VA); 82 years old.
Last local address: 1 Park Street (1910 census)
Married Kenyon Stockwell Congdon [1894-1942] in 1921 in Italy.
Divorced in 1926.
One son Mark Henderson Congdon [1922 {in England]-2011].

Born to John R. Frizzell [1860-1898] and Josie Duncan Frizzell Henderson [1871-1958]. Josie remarried Mark Henderson [1868-1957] in 1900. Three brothers, John R. Frizzell [1890-1977], Charles R. Frizzell [1891-1970], and Duncan H. [1893-1933]. It is unknown why she took her stepfather’s last name.

Worked for the YMCA in France from October 2018 until April 1919.

Passport photo from July 1918.

Photo with her first and only husband, Kenyon Congdon. Photo from

Per Martha’s wishes, her body was donated to science through the State Anatomical Program in Richmond, Virginia.


October 4, 1891 (Yonkers, NY) – September 21, 1938 (Umatilla, FL); 46 years old
Last local address: 9 Seaside Place, East Norwalk (1910 census)
Anna Hipson never married

Born to Henry J. [1864-1942] and Mary F. Trant Hipson [1869-1929]. Three brothers, Caryl B. [1894-1977], Harry H. [1896-1959], and Robert D. [1902-1962]. Two sisters, Inez M. [1898-1991] and Olive M. Hipson Johnson [1899-1972].

Unknown enlistment date in the Army Nurse Corps. Served at General Hospital #41 in the Fox Hills section of Staten Island. Discharged on February 4, 1920.

From the NY Public Library

Buried in Glendale Cemetery, 40643 Maxwell Rd., Umatilla, Florida; Plot E-1, R-05-05. Photo from


March 17, 1883 (Salem, MA) – December 11, 1971 (West Haven, CT); 88 years old
Didn’t live locally (Bridgeport), but did graduate from the Norwalk Hospital School of Nursing in 1914. Was supervisor of nurses at Norwalk Hospital in 1918.
Alice never married

Born to Roderick [1842-1901] and Mary O’Neil MacKenzie [1855-1941]. Three brothers, Alexander [1879-1890], Frederick A. [1894-1969], and James K. [1897-1979]. Five sisters, Jessie G. MacKenzie Obenauer [1880-1957], Nellie [1888-1970], Dora [1892-1908], and Mary [1897-?].

Served October 2, 1918, and released August 7, 1919. She trained at Fort Dix and then shipped out from NYC aboard the Louisville on December 3, 1918, for Base Hospital #77, Beaune, France. She was apparently replacement staff for the Georgia-based unit at that hospital.  Contributed by Debby DeRose, Alice MacKenzie’s Great Niece


Obituary from The Bridgeport Post December 13, 1971

Services for Miss Alice MacKenzie, of 655 Palisade Avenue, who died Saturday in the West Haven Veterans Hospital, will take place Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Albert W. Spear Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield, and at 10 o’clock in St. Ambrose Church with a Mass of Resurrection. Burial will be in St. Michael’s Cemetery. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Miss MacKenzie had resided in this area most of her life. She had been a veteran of World War I, serving as an Army nurse in France. She graduated from the first nursing class at Norwalk Hospital and worked at both the Doctors and Leroy Hospitals in New York City. Survivors are a brother, James K. MacKenzie of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and several nieces and nephews.

Buried in Saint Michael’s Cemetery, 2205 Stratford Ave, Stratford, Connecticut; MacKenzie Family Plot; Section 6, Lot 57 (south half), Grave 6. Photo from


June 9, 1895 (Bridgeport, CT) – July 12, 1966 (Newark, NJ); 71 years old
Last local address: 1 Livingston Street, South Norwalk (newspaper article)
Married Howard P. Penny [1891-1966] on October 6, 1923, in Norwalk.
Two sons, Wilford P. [1925-2014] and Edward P. [1930-1973].

Parent and sibling information weren’t found in the research.

Graduated from the Stamford Hospital School of Nursing in the class of 1917. Served from September 6, 1918, to July 27, 1919. Assigned to the Base Hospital at Camp Merritt, New Jersey for the entire time.

From The Norwalk Hour July 3, 1919

Miss Anna Miller of Livingston Street, who is a graduate of Stamford School for Nurses, and who has been doing war duties in the service of Uncle Sam at Camp Merritt, has received her discharge and is visiting in Norwalk.

Buried in Stafford Springs Cemetery, 10 CT-32, Stafford Springs, Connecticut; unknown plot number. Photo from


November 20, 1895 (Norwalk, CT) – December 8, 1974 (Bridgeport, CT); 79 years old
Last local address: Grumman Avenue, Norwalk
Married Bert Robertson [1871-1926] on March 23, 1915, in Norwalk
Married Thomas Ledwith [1883-1941] on December 11, 1927, in Norwalk
Four daughters, Anna I. Robertson Ready [1915-1976], Ida G. [1917-1960], Sadie A. Robertson Albin [1919-1997], and Catherine E. Robertson Sweeney [1921-2003].
One son, Miles [1924-2003].

Born to George E. [1870-1909] and Anna E. Rivers Mills [1873-1946]. Six brothers, William M. [1890-1963], Everett [1895-1897], George M. [1902-1975], Samuel E. [1904-1976], Henry R. [1905-1985], and Chester C. [1909-1991]. Five sisters, Georgianna [1891-1892], Elizabeth D. Mills Greene [1893-1969], Catherine [1897-1992], Jessie M. Mills Hendricks [1899-1941], and Florence G. Mills Olsen [1909-1971].

Worked for the YMCA from March 26, 1919, to June 30, 1919.

Buried in Becks Hill Cemetery, 308-324 Smith Ridge Rd. South Salem, New York; unknown plot number. Photo by webmaster.


August 28, 1888 (Norwalk, CT) – November 21, 1967 (Rockport, MA); 79 years old
Last local address: 47 Elmwood Avenue (1900 census).
Married to Daniel H. Bly [1894-1978] on December 8, 1920, in Norwalk.
One daughter Virginia H. Bly Arone Scarpello [1922-1997].
Two sons, Donald A. [1924-2008], and Lewis N. [1927-].

Born to Lewis H. [1852-1923] and Anna M. Nash [1858-1931]. One sister, Marion H. Nash Quintard [1885-1965]. Two brothers, Douglas E. [1889-1972] and Harold L. [1892-1975]. Lewis H. Nash was the founder of Nash Engineering in Norwalk. Son, Harold Nash was the Mayor of Norwalk, from 1931 to 1933.

Was a Canteen Worker and Sculptress on the National War Work Council of the YMCA. Mildred was a student of sculptor Solon H. Borglum. From 1916 to 1917 Solon taught at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York and also developed ideas for an art textbook called Sound Construction, which he worked on with Mildred Nash who was his student assistant. Like Mildred, in 1918, he enlisted in the YMCA for overseas war work and was attached to the Third Army. While there he was also the Director of Sculpture at the specially organized American Expeditionary Forces Art Training Center.

After the war, Mildred published three articles in the Christian Science Journal. Some of the content spoke about her service overseas during WWI,

Passport photo from 1918

From The Norwalk Hour March 2, 1918

Miss Mildred Nash of Flax Hill Road was given a farewell party at the home of Miss Ruth Kendall on Washington Street last night. She expects to work “over there” for the Red Cross.

From The Norwalk Hour (Weekly) May 9, 1919

Was YMCA Worker Under Shell Fire at Battle of Marne

Miss Mildred A. Nash of 129 Flax Hill Road, South Norwalk, is one of the overseas workers of the YMCA cited by two Major Generals of the American Expeditionary Forces for serving the Third Division under fire on the Marne and the Argonne. Miss Nash is included in the general citation of the entire Third Division “Y” unit made by Major General Dickman for the work of the unit on the Marne and her name appears in the citation by Major General Howze in which he expresses his appreciation for “the untiring energy, zeal and courage displayed by the YMCA detachment with this division” for the work in the Argonne, and lists all the workers of the unit. Forty American men and women with YMCA service “went in” with the Third Division at the Marne, and worked under shell fire through the fighting last July that halted the tide of battle. Afterward, this “Y” unit went with the Third Division to St. Mihiel and accompanied it to the Argonne, where shells had rained on the unit often. But there were no longer 40 members in the unit. Shell fragments, bullets, gas, accident, and illness had reduced its personnel to 24. Some of these are still with the Third Division on the Rhine. For its work on the Marne, Major General Dickman cited the unit in General Order No. 33, expressing appreciation for its work during the fighting from May 31 to July 30.

Obituary from The Norwalk Hour November 28, 1967

Mrs. Mildred N. Bly, 78, of 24 Mount Pleasant Street, Rockport, Massachusetts died Tuesday, November 21 at her home after a brief illness, it was learned here today. Mrs. Bly was born in South Norwalk on August 28, 1889, to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis H. Nash. Mrs. Bly’s father was the founder of the Nash Engineering Company. She was a direct descendant of Edward Nash who settled in Norwalk in 1652 and whose son, John, was the first child to be born in Norwalk. Mrs. Bly lived for many years at Nash Island, Noroton. She is survived by three children, Donald A. Bly of Simsbury, Lewis N. Bly of New Canaan, and Mrs. Virginia Bly Scarpello, of Indialantic, Florida; six granddaughters, Vicki, Sandra, Lizabeth, Tracey, Jamie, and Alison; two grandsons, John and Nash; two brothers, Douglas E. Nash and Harold L. Nash, both of Noroton. A memorial service was held for the immediate family on November 22 at Rockport, Massachusetts.

Harmony Grove Cemetery in Rockport, Massachusetts said that Mildred wasn’t buried in the cemetery, however, they do say they cremated her per her wishes. It’s unknown where her ashes are.


August 5, 1894 (Akron, OH) – September 25, 1976 (Ft Lauderdale, FL), 82 years old
Last local address: 96 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut
Married to Norman M. Kennedy Sr. [1895-1975] on October 27, 1923, in Norwalk. Norman was in the U.S. Army from June 1917 to March 1919. They divorced in 1952, only to remarry again on July 23, 1971, in Broward County, Florida.
Lost twins in childbirth in 1929 — a son and a daughter.
One son, Norman M. Jr. [1931-2001].

Born to William H. [1860-1946] and Harriet E. Rowan Odell [1862-1941]. Two brothers, Lansing D. [1885-1971] and William H. Jr. [1887-1960]. One sister, Harriett H. Odell Potter [1891-1985].

YMCA worker during the war. Returned to the United States in August 1919.

Portrait from

From The Norwalk Hour August 26, 1919


Local residents who witnessed the moving pictures at the Regent Theatre last evening were pleasantly surprised to see Miss Cornelia Odell of 96 East Avenue as she was returning from YMCA entertainment duties in France. The picture was a Pathe News film of the arrival of the Imperator at Hoboken with the many soldiers and warfare workers aboard. Miss Odell was plainly seen by those who witnessed the picture among the warfare workers aboard the ship. Manager Kantor noticed at the last moment that Miss Odell was in the picture and quickly telephoned the Odell home. As a result, they witnessed the picture and many other friends of Miss Odell were present and saw her on the ship. This film will be seen at the Palace Theatre in South Norwalk this evening and many are planning to see it.

From The Bridgeport Telegram October 30, 1923


Miss Cornelia Odell Becomes Wife of Norman M. Kennedy, Artist of Note

NORWALK, October 29 – (Special to the Telegram) – A romance which had its beginning in France during the last World War culminated Saturday evening at 6 o’clock at 96 East Avenue, the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Odell, when their younger daughter, Cornelia Ellen, became the bride of Norman Merle Kennedy, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Dare Kennedy of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reverend George B. Tompkins of the Norwalk M.E. Church officiated. Miss Odell, who was given in marriage by her father, was gowned in oyster white chiffon velvet with panel back lined with fine lace ruffles falling from the shoulder and had a two-yard train. She wore a chiffon veil, caught in her hair with a silver band, and bordered with real lace. Her sister, Mrs. Roland D. Potter, was her attendant. The couple will make their home in Los Angeles. Mr. Kennedy is an artist of note having designed the House and Garden magazine covers for years, and illustrations of various kinds. He is a member of the Art Students League, and the Academy of Design, and a graduate of Carnegie Technology. He is now illustrating and art director of a motion picture company in California. Mr. Kennedy served two years in the Ambulance Corps in Italy at the beginning of the World War. He and his bride met in France while she was entertaining for the YMCA canteen units. He accompanied her songs on the banjo and danced with her at the various camps.

No obituary or burial information could be found for Cornelia Odell Kennedy or her husband, Norman.


January 30, 1887 (Norwalk, CT) – March 5, 1976 (Lake Zurich, IL); 89 years old
Parents are shown in Norwalk in the 1880 census. The family moved to Brooklyn, NY at some point between 1887 when Ruth was born, and the 1900 census.
Ruth never married.
Not on the plaque in Norwalk.

Born to Michael F. [1848-1932] and Eleanor A. Dolan O’Reilly [1852-1925]. Seven brothers, Thomas A. [1874-1913], William E. [1879-1943], Charles A. [1881-1969], Francis J. [1883-1971], Joseph M. [1884-1960], Robert D. [1890-1973], and Irving P. [1892-1955]. Three sisters, Margaret A. [1876-?], Veronica E. O’Reilly Malone [1888-1983], and Robina E. O’Reilly Lewis [1896-1977].

Called into active service on June 8, 1918. Served at the Base Hospital at Camp MacArthur, Texas until January 12, 1919. Served in Hospital #5 until January 27, 1919. Then served on the Hospital Ship General Robert M. O’Reilly from April 25, 1919, until her discharge on September 8, 1919.

On a manifest for the SS President Harding departing Cherbourg, France for NYC, arriving October 2, 1927. In the 1940 census, Ruth is listed as a renter at 560 170th Street, NYC. Occupation “nurse” at “private hospital.” After this, nothing else can be found.

Buried in Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery, 80-86 Fort Hill Road, New Milford, Connecticut; Section A, Plot 680, Grave 6. Photo from


March 16, 1882 (Norwalk, CT) – June 26, 1968 (Norwalk, CT); 86 years old
Last local address: 7 Elmwood Drive, 130 East Rocks Road (1910 census), and St. Mary’s Lane (obituary); all in Norwalk
Grace never married.

Born to Morell [1849-1934] and Elizabeth Barton Roberts [1852-1940]. Five sisters, Margaret L. Roberts Davis [1883-1965], Emma [1887-1969], Edith Roberts Pentland [1888-1940], Ethel [1891-1910], and Charlotte Roberts Rubey [1892-1960]. One brother, Walter J.  [1894-1978].

Graduate of White Plains (NY) Hospital Training School. Served from 1917 to 1919; extensive Red Cross nurse file found. On November 5, 1918, reported to Paris and was assigned to American Red Cross Military Hospital #2. Released on January 18, 1919, to join the Italian Commission and left on January 27, 1919. A report from her record said she had a “happy, sunny disposition that made everyone like her. Very fond of children and successful with them.”

Passport application photo, September 1918 (27 years old)

Letter from military intelligence clearing Grace Roberts for service overseas

The Norwalk Hour October 31, 1918

Relatives of Miss Grace Roberts have received word through the Red Cross, of her safe arrival overseas.

Obituary from The Norwalk Hour June 27, 1968

Miss Grace Roberts, 87, of St. Mary’s Lane, died Wednesday evening after a short illness. A native of Norwalk, Miss Roberts was a retired registered nurse bin dedicated to the nursing profession, she enlisted in the American Red Cross during World War I and served in the soldier’s hospital in Paris, France. Following the Armistice, she volunteered for further service in Rome, Italy. She was a member of Norwalk Methodist Church. Miss Roberts is survived by a sister, Miss Emma Roberts of Norwalk; a brother, Walter J. Roberts of Stratford and five nephews. Funeral services will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Raymond Funeral Home, 5 East Wall Street, With Reverend Richard A. Thornburg, pastor of the Norwalk Methodist Church, officiating. Interment will take place in the family plot in Riverside Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Friday from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Buried in Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk; Section 18, Plot 102A. Photo by webmaster.


July 19, 1893 (Jersey City, NJ) – December 22, 1968 (Teesside South, Yorkshire North Riding, England); 75 years old
Last local address: 378 Flax Hill Road, Norwalk, Connecticut
Married George Chapman Hogg [1892-1982], in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom in July 1922 and lived in England until her death.
One son, Alexander G. [1925-?]. One daughter, Constance M. [1927-1974].

Born to Alexander J. [1867-1959] and Maria M. Richman Rummler [1870-1959]. Two sisters, Roberta “Bobbie” R. Rummler Jones [1895-1981] and Eugenia “Genie” R. Rummler Baldwin [1899-1982].

From the 1914 Smith College yearbook

Graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts in 1914. Also taught at Hillside School in Norwalk. In the Smith College Monthly, volume 25, it says “Josephine Rummler is a translator decoder with the rating of First Class Yeoman U.S.N.R.F.”

From During World War I, she was a communications officer giving expert service to the U.S. Navy as a civilian employee. 

From The first large-scale employment of women as Naval personnel took place to meet the severe clerical shortages of the World War I era. The Naval Reserve Act of 1916 had conspicuously omitted mention of gender as a condition for service, leading to formal permission to begin enlisting women in mid-March 1917, shortly before the United States entered the “Great War.”  Nearly six hundred Yeomen (Female) were on duty by the end of April 1917, a number that had grown to over eleven thousand in December 1918, shortly after the Armistice.

The Yeomen (F), or “Yeomanettes” as they were popularly known, primarily served in secretarial and clerical positions, though some were translators, draftsmen, fingerprint experts, ship camouflage designers, and recruiting agents. Five went to France with Naval hospital units and a modest number of others were stationed in Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal Zone. However, the great majority were assigned duties at Naval installations in the Continental United States, frequently near their homes, processing the great volume of paperwork generated by the war effort.

Yeomen (F), all of whom held enlisted ranks, continued in service during the first months of the post-war Naval reductions. Their numbers declined steadily, reaching just under four thousand by the end of July 1919, when they were all released from active duty. Yeomen (F) were continued on inactive reserve status, receiving modest Retainer Pay, until the end of their four-year enlistments, at which point all women except Navy nurses disappeared from the uniformed Navy until 1942.

Many honorably discharged Yeomen (F) were appointed to Civil Service positions in the same Navy Yards and Stations where they had served in wartime. Entitled to veterans’ preference for Government employment, they provided a strong female presence in the Navy’s civilian staff through the decades after World War I.

Burial information is unknown. Likely buried in England where she lived out her life with her husband who was born in England.


February 6, 1885 (Darien, CT) – March 18, 1961 (Norwalk, CT); 76 years old
Last local address: 169 Main Street, Norwalk (1910 census)
Mildred never married.

Born to Lewis E. [1849-1929] and Josephine F. Reed St. George [1856-1925]. Two sisters, Pauline St. George Wright [1884-1960] and Alice St. George Briggs [1888-1964]. One brother, Louis L. [1889-1967].

Volunteered for YMCA work in France and the British Isles. Arrived in France on January 31, 1919. Retired on August 10, 1919.

Passport application photo in 1919

From The Bridgeport Post on March 20, 1961

NORWALK, March 20 – Miss Mildred St. George, 76 of 395 Flax Hill Road, died Saturday in Norwalk Hospital where she was admitted on March 6. Services will take place tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. in the Raymond Funeral Home, 5 East Wall Street, with the Reverend Perry Foster Miller, Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, officiating. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery. Miss St. George, a native of Darien, was a retired governess. She is survived by a sister, Mrs. Alice Briggs, with whom she made her home, and a brother, Louis St. George, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Buried in Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section 8, Plot 53A. Photo by webmaster.


June 10, 1890 (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – October 4, 1981 (Lake Wales, FL); 91 years old
Last local address: 46 Gregory Boulevard, East Norwalk
Married Kenneth Ringrose (1902-1957)
One daughter, Lucy Ringrose Clarke [1935-2016]

Born to Cornelius [1867-1934] and Dena Van Bendegom Van Couvering [1869-1950]. Five sisters, Cornelia Van Couvering Morgan [1888-1962], Gertrude Van Couvering Richards [1896-1977], Della Van Couvering Byrnes [1898-1992], Cora M. Van Couvering Howard [1900-2005], and Ruth Van Couvering Kellogg [1904-1987]. Two brothers, Christian [1893-1965] and Jay C. [1907-1967].

Worked in General Hospital #9, Chateauroux, France, August 19 – September 5. Transferred to Mobile Station on September 28, 1918, and worked in Italy and France until her honorable discharge on August 7, 1919.

From The Norwalk Hour August 20, 1918

Miss Jeanette Van Coevering, of Gregory Boulevard, has received orders from the United States government to report tomorrow at Base Hospital No. 1, Lakewood, NJ from whence she will be assigned to some unit for overseas duty in the hospitals. Miss Van Coevering has been expecting the call for some time and has been busy receiving congratulations from her many friends upon her entrance into the service.

From an unknown newspaper but likely The Norwalk Sentinel. The clipping was found in a collection in the Norwalk History Room of the Norwalk Library.


Miss Jeanette Van Coevering of Gregory Boulevard, East Side, who recently volunteered as a Red Cross nurse and who went to Base Hospital No. 9, Lakewood, New Jersey, has arrived safely overseas with her detachment, according to a card received by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Van Coevering this morning. Miss Van Coevering is a graduate nurse and passed her examinations for service some time ago. According to word received, Miss Van Coevering sailed for France on October 1. Her many friends in this city will be pleased to hear of her safe arrival and it is expected that letters will be received from her shortly.

Obituary from the Tampa Tribune October 6, 1981

Jeannette Ringrose, 91, of 730 N. Scenic Highway, Lake Wales, died Sunday. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she moved here one year ago from Sarasota. She was a veteran of World War I, serving as a U.S. Army nurse in Italy and France. She was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Nurses Alumni Association, and a life member of the Order of Eastern Star. Survivors include a daughter, Luce R. Clarke of Newington, Connecticut; three sisters, Ruth Kellogg of Lake Wales, Cora Howard of East Norwalk, Connecticut, and Della Byrns of Loxley, Alabama; and two grandchildren. Johnson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

From The Hartford Courant October 7, 1981

Jeannette (Van Coevering) Ringrose, 91, of Lake Wales, Florida, died Sunday (Oct. 4). She was an Army veteran of World War I, serving as an Army nurse in Italy and France. She graduated from the Connecticut Nurses Training School, now a part of Yale University, in 1913. She was a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the Nurse’s Alumnus.

Burial information is unknown. Obituaries say “burial will be at the convenience of the family.”


May 7, 1886 (Ballston Spa, NY) – May 2, 1948 (New York, NY); 61 years old
Last local address: 5 Cannon Street, Norwalk
Margaret never married

Born to Henry G. [1856-1919] and Mary Larrabee Weld [1854-1928]. Three brothers, Edward L. [1880-1943], Henry G. [1882-], and Morton B. [1883-1886]. Three sisters, Maryetta [1884-1887], Rachel L. [1888-1930], and Mary L. [1894-1975].

Called into active duty on September 16, 1918. Worked in General Hospital #1, Vichy, France, until her discharge on April 28, 1919.

From The Norwalk Hour May 3, 1948

Miss Margaret Minot Weld of Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, died yesterday at Harkness Pavilion, Columbia Medical Center, New York City, after a long illness. Born in Ballston Spa, New York, the daughter of the late Henry Gardner and Mary Larrabee Weld, she had lived in Norwalk for many years. Miss Weld was a trained nurse by profession and served with the armed forces during World War I. For the past 12 years, she had been employed at Harkness Pavilion, which she entered as a patient in January. Surviving is one sister, Miss M. Lodice Weld of New Canaan, who has conducted dancing classes here for many years. Services will be held Wednesday at 2 P.M. at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Church, Madison Avenue at 81st Street, New York City. The interment will be private in Albany, New York.

Buried in Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, 57 Cemetery Avenue, Menands (Albany), New York. Section 32, Lot 31. Photo provided by Sallye Romagna, Registrar, Albany Rural Cemetery.


The nature of the wounds received and the lack of modern medicine decided the fate of many who were injured that may have lived. In addition, that same lack of modern medicine caused the eventual decline and death of others.

This article from The Norwalk Hour on November 21, 1921, is evidence.


            Residents of Norwalk little realize the magnitude of the World War’s echo in this city – the continued human suffering and sacrifice which will be evident for many a year as a direct result of the period of strife. The financial cost has been counted, but the cost of suffering and sacrifice cannot be accurately gauged. Forty-three of the 1,453 young men of Norwalk who gave their service in the World War were killed or died in service, but eight others have died since of wounds or diseases contracted during service.

            Ten of Norwalk’s returned veterans are now in hospitals, several of them in hopeless condition. One disappeared last February and has not been heard from since. He is believed dead. One hundred and eighty-one are sick or disabled, and there were 36 new compensation claims this year. This was an increase over those of last year.

            Few Norwalk residents know the actual suffering that some of the returned soldiers have undergone. There have been several monstrosities that have brought untold suffering. Several of them are cited herewith:

            – One of the eight who have made the supreme sacrifice since their return had been gassed in one shoulder. It spread to his throat. The glands swelled, slowly filling up the throat, and gradually choked the man to death. His death occurred this year.

            – Another soldier had been suffering from diabetes. He died, but it was not until after death that it was discovered diabetes had not caused his death. He had received a bullet wound on the spine while in the service. A cancer had developed from this wound and its presence unknown had killed him.

            – One of the returned veterans was so severely gassed that one lung has collapsed entirely and the other is black with tuberculosis. Physicians declare this case most unusual, saying that a person in such a condition would have ordinarily been dead a year ago. His heart had moved over to the right side.

            – One veteran who has resumed his residence and work in Norwalk was gassed badly with mustard gas upon the back. The gas is still in his system and periodically breaks out, with open sores, from which pus issues.

            – One man of Norwalk has suffered from gas of the throat. The palate has been eaten away, causing difficulty of speech and the throat is now being eaten away.

– The sight of three men has been affected by gas, although no very serious result has become evident as yet.

            In a number of cases, local veterans were gassed, but have apparently recovered. Rugged constitutions have caused this apparent recovery, but in some cases, the heart has been called upon for much extra work in rebuilding the body after the attack of gas. The heart has been overworked in some such cases and is now tired. Weak hearts have resulted.

            One Norwalk man had part of the muscles of one arm shot away, but artificial muscles were inserted and he is able to use the arm freely. Several had leg fractures mended with an ordinary nail when the correction of the fractures was impossible by other means with an assurance of good results. The chemical substances of the body will decompose these nails in about fifteen years, and in the meantime, the bones have knitted firmly. It is only in damp weather that the nails cause pain, which is sometimes very acute. Still, another local veteran has several silver plates where bones were shot away. He is actively engaged in business.

            The previous instances give an idea of the real costs of war. The American Red Cross, of which Miss Amelia C. Wenderoth is the relief work supervisor, is mothering these veterans. This “Mother of All” is seeking out veterans who are disabled but are hesitant about asking the government for assistance that is rightfully theirs. “She” has done this with the aid of physicians and friends and by “her” own diligent effort. In doing it the Red Cross has accomplished relief work that would otherwise not have been accomplished.

            Of the ten men who are now in hospitals as a result of their war service, there are in hospitals for the insane; three are in tuberculosis hospitals, two are at the United States Public Health Service Hospital No. 1, and Fox Hill; one is at Walter Reed hospital, Washington, and the tenth is at Pittsfield, Mass. Two, at Allentown, New Haven, have a small chance of recovery, although receiving fine treatment. One out of every six men who went out from Norwalk suffered a casualty. This is surprising, but true, nevertheless. Twenty-five of the men who are suffering from service wounds or disease are now in government training. The eight men who have died since their return of wounds or diseases encountered in service have made the supreme sacrifice just as surely as those who were killed in action or died in service. In some cases, the home deaths have been more pathetic, for some of the deaths have been “living deaths” for months, with the presence of loved ones making the actual situation doubly clear. It has been suggested that the names of those who were killed in action or died in service be engraved upon a bronze tablet on the permanent base of the French war cannon at Liberty Green. If such action is taken, tribute should be made at the same time by fitting words to those who have since died or die hereinafter of wounds or diseases encountered in their period of service.

            The veteran who disappeared from Norwalk is Vendel Vasali. He is among the men who have made the supreme sacrifice since their return from service: John Calvin Snyder, 64 Ely Avenue; John Price, 2 Bridge Street; Harry Delvin Barker, 15 Woodward Avenue; Benjamin Blasck, 102 Harbor Avenue; John Buckley, 28 Cedar Street.

            ADDENDUM: Vendel Vasali who disappeared, actually reappeared. Born March 21, 1900, in Norwalk, he registered for the draft on September 12, 1918. He married Margaret Puskas of Norwalk on May 30, 1919. However, Margaret filed for divorce in 1920 on charges of cruelty and intemperance. Her father Stephen Puskas was involved in helping his daughter file for divorce. He enlisted on September 22, 1919, and was discharged on January 14, 1920. Vendel died in Wilton on June 14, 1950. Margaret went on to marry again and have a son.


%d bloggers like this: