Thursday, December 30, 2010

James F. Costello

Costello Square is in the Collinsville section of Dracut and at the junction of Lakeview Ave and Mammoth Rd.  Here is the notice of his death:

Died during World War One.  Buried in Thiaucourt, France.
Lowell Sun, January 11, 1919 p.5

Private James S. Costello, Battery C, Dth Artillery, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Costello of Collinsville, has been reported killed in action early in October. He entered the service Sept. 4, 1918, and owing  to previous military experience, sailed for France two weekends later. He was 20 years old and leaves his parents and two sisters. Mrs. Daniel Dorris and Miss Rose Costello, both of Collinsville.

I'm bummed that the the sign is so lame...........  :-(

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields 

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pershings Last Patriot "Official Trailer"

Frank Woodruff Buckles is the only living U.S. veteran of the great war.  He is 109 years old.  This is his story.

Friday, November 26, 2010

William E Coleman Playstead

On November 11, 1931 the First Street Oval was dedicated as the William E Coleman playstead.  More than 1000 people attended the dedication including the widow and children of the former Centerville resident.  The Coleman's  - now residents of New Jersey made the trip back to Lowell to attend the dedication.

This playground no longer exists.  It became the site of WWII temporary veteran's housing and then was demolished to make way for the Hunt's Falls bridge and rotary as part of the VFW highway.

When the playstead was dedicated the current mayor Charles H. Slowey stated, "Through the dedication of the Coleman playstead the fallen hero's name will endure for years and years to come."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gold Star Mothers - Tribute

The Lowell Sun did an article on May 31, 1941 of  the surviving Gold Star Mother's who were still alive.  The following sketches of the women were placed in the records of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  It was written by  Major Winfred C. MacBrayne, World war veteran and prominent member of the organization.  The tribute follows:

MRS. WINNIFRED A. BRICK of 187 A street.  She is 70 years of age and is in good health and very active in the work of the Legion auxiliary.  Her son, George Brick, enlisted in Lowell and he died at St. Nazaire, France.  He was 25 years of age and was a member of the 4th Pioneer Infantry.  He served in Major Colby T. Kittredge’s unit.

MRS. ANNIE CONSTANTINEAU of 48 London street is 81 years of age, but she is young in spirit and unusually active for her years.  Her son, Leo Constantineau was 23 years of age at the time of his death at Portsmouth, Virginia.  He was in a regular army unit and was to sail for Europe when stricken with the flu.

MRS. MARY A. DUGAN is 70 years of age and lives at St. Patick's home on Cross street.  She gave her only son, Joseph Bernard  Dugan, who was 22 years of age  when claimed by death during  his service in the United States  navy.  

MRS. DOLLIE I. FLETCHER  of 95 Butterfleld street is the oldest  of Lowell's Gold Star Mothers.  She is 85 years of age.  At the present time she is ill and confined at the home of Mrs. Evelyn  Lovejoy 636 Rogers street.  Her son, Carl E. Fletcher, served  in the United Slates quartermaster  corps. He died during the war at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C.  

MRS. MARTHA HUMPHREYS  of 743 Bridge St. is 73 years old.  She enjoys good health and was for many years active in Lowell's  patriotic societies. Her son, Roy Liewellyn Humphreys was 39  years of age when he died at  Camp Devens. He served with the  103rd Ordinance and was a sergeant.  He is buried in Lowell.  

MRS. EFFIE KITTREDGE lives in North Billerica, but has always  been a resident of Lowell. She is 75 years of age and looks half  that. She is full of life and very active in Legion affairs. Her son was Capt. Paul E. Kittredge who was 28 years old when he was killed by shell fire in the Argonne  forest, France, on Oct. 23, 1918.  He was buried in the Meuse-Argonne cemetery. Kittredge park, at Nesmith and Andover streets, was named in his memory.  Kittredge was a young man of fine character and a valiant soldier.

MRS. MARGARET A. LAVOIE OF 178 Woburn street is the mother of Corp. Leo J. Lavoie who was killed in action in the Argonne, France.  He was 20 years of age.  Mrs. Lavoie has reason to have special pride in the service of her son for he received a posthumous decoration, being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in the face of the enemy.  Commanding his squad on a special mission on the morning of Oct. 9, 1918, he proceeded against an enemy machine gun nest which was holding up the advance.  He put the enemy out of commission and returned without the loss of a man.  The same afternoon he again went out with his detail on another hazardous mission and was killed.  This young hero had previously been wounded in action and after recovery had been recommended for duty back home, but he asked to be sent back to the front and served with distinction up to the time of his death.  He served in the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne offensives.

MRS. JOSEPHINE LYONS of 105 Beech street is another Gold Star mother who has been active in Legion Auxiliary affairs for the past 24 years.  Her son, Frank Lyons, a boy of 22 years, was killed in action at Chateau-Thierry.  This was during the great offensive in which the 26th Division (Yankee) played such an important part, attacking strong German forces and forcing the enemy to retreat beyond the Vesie river.  Young Lyons served in Company M, 101st Infantry, and was killed with hundreds of his comrades in this important battle.

MRS. SARAH McCLENNAN is 71 years of age and lives alone at 30 Rock street.  She is full of life and always attends the Gold Star mother’s affairs.  Her son was James William McClennan and he was 22 years old when he lost his life on the battlefield in France.  He was wounded on April 6, 1916 and died the following day.  This young man could not wait for the United States to enter the war but went to Canada and enlisted and saw several months’ service on the Somme with a Canadian regiment.  He had attended St. Patrick’s school in Lowell and was a real soldier.

MRS. ELLEN McEVOY is 68 years of age and lives at 83 Hampshire street.  Her son, George Francis Steward, was 25 years old when he died at Camp Pike, Arkansas.  His regiment had received orders to begin his journey to France when he was stricken with the flue, and he was buried with military honors in St. Patrick’s cemetery, this city.  He was a sergeant at the time and his appointment to the rank of lieutenant arrived just after he died.

MRS. MARGARET McNAMARA lives at 846 Lakeview avenue.  She is 72 years of age and is in fairly good health, but does not get out very often.  Her son, Edmund McNamara was 24 years old when he was killed in action on the Somme sector in France.  He was another of those Lowell boys who did not wait until the United States entered the war.  He enlisted in a Highland artillery regiment in the English army and saw several months of action before being killed.

MRS. AUGUSTA E. McOSKER is 73 years of age and lives at 73 Hawthorne street.  She too, has been active for many years in Legion Auxiliary work, and is a real patriot.  She gave her son, Arthur R. McOsker, a valiant soldier, who was killed in action in France while serving with the 101st infrantry.   He was a popular hero, and the surviving members of his outfit tell many stories of his courage on the battlefield.

MRS. MARY P. O'BRIEN is 70 years of'age and lives at 94 Wilder  street. She enjoys good health.  Her son, John A. O'Brien, was 24  years of age when he died at Camp  Traverse, in Texas. His promotion to sergeant came the day he passed  away, a victim of the flu. He was a young man of great talents and fine promise and was highly regarded by his superior officers in|the Quartermaster Corps.  

MRS. MARCELLA O'DONNELL is 75 years of age, and lives at 54 Manchester street. She is at presently confined at home by illness.  She has every reason to be proud of the service record of her son, John Joseph O’Donnell, who was 20 years of age when killed in action.  He enlisted in the U.S. navy as a member of the crew of the U.S. Manley, which was on duty chasing enemy submarines off Queenstown.  In sea battle action, this warship was torpedoed and this Lowell boy was among those who lost their lives.

MRS. MATHILDA PALM is 77 years of age and lives at 806 Stevens street.  She was unable to participate in the Memorial day exercise because of her health.  Her son, Albert Palm was 21 years old when he died in camp while serving with the U.S. infantry.  This young man was well known in this section of the city and served his country with great credit.

MRS. SOPHIE PICKERING lives at 59 Hastings street and is prominent in the Highlands church circles.  Her son Frederick Durant Pickering was 21 years of age when he died while serving with the U.S. Tank Corps.  He was a brilliant young man in school and would have made a fine record had he lived, but he was one of those typically patriotic young Americans who gave all he had for his country.

MRS. FLORENCE POIRIER is 76 years of age and lives a 100 Commonwealth avenue, South Lowell.  She is an invalid and has not been out of the house for several years.  This mother never recovered from the shock of her son’s death.  He was Charles Roy Poirier, aged 20 years, and he was killed in action in the great offensive in the Argonne forest, when the American forces fought in action in the wilderness for several weeks, finally defeating a strong German army, and capturing thousands of prisoners.

MRS. EFFIE B. QUESSY is 73 years of age and lives at 401 Westford street.  Both of her sons enlisted in Battery F, 201nd Field Artillery which went out of Lowell.  Ralph Quessy, aged 18 was killed in action in the Argonne forest.  He was a fine soldier and was recommended for bravery by his regimental commander.  Randall Quessy, his brother, barely escaped being killed the same day, but he came back with his outfit and now lives in Cambridge.

MRS. ELLEN QUINN is 79 years of age and has been confined for some time in a Lowell hospital.  She is full of animation although not able to leave her bed and walk.  She is proud to be the mother of one of the Lowell soldier boys who gave his life for his country.  He was Corp. Edward Quinn, aged 22, and was killed in action in France.

MRS. HELEN RENAULD is 74 years of age and lives at 15 Howard street.  She is very spry for her age and enjoys good health.  Her son, Alfred J. Renauld, was 27 years of age and served in the aviation section.  He died on a transport while on his way to France.

MRS. MELANIE RICARD is 70 years of age and lives at 420 Fletcher street.  Her son, Leo Ricard, was 23 years of age and was in the Coast Artillery serving at Fort Andrews, where he died during the war.  Another son, Eugene G. Ricard also served in France with distinction as a sergeant in Battery F.  He served the past year as commander of the Yankee Division Veterans association and died a few weeks ago.

MRS. DORA RIVET is 70 years of age and lives at 835 Chelmsford street.  She is the mother of Major Douglas Rivet who was killed in action in France while in command of his battalion of infantry.  Major Rivet served several years in Company C of the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry and passed with his rank an examination for a commission in the regular army several years before the war.  He was a real soldier in looks as well as performance.  He won promotion to the rank of captain and then major and served with distinction on several battle fronts in France with the First Division.

MRS. CATHERINE SKOCZOLEK is 60 years old and is the youngest of the Gold Star mothers.  Her son Joseph Morawski enlisted when he was only 16 years of age.  He was 17 years of age when he was killed in action at Verdun, France.  He served with Company F, 104th Infantry, 26th Division.  He was the youngest Lowell boy to give his life for his country.  He was a fine looking, athletic young man and he performed valiant service on the battlefields of France.  His mother lives at 248 Chelmsford street.  She has received citations from both the French and American army commands which attest the valor of her boy.

MRS. ANNIE GEARIN is 73 years of age and lives at 48 Bartlett street.  Her son, Sergeant George Edward Gearin was 21 when he died while serving at Camp Gordon in Georgia.  He attended the Immaculate Conception and the Lowell Textile schools and was a youth of great promise.

MRS. MARY MANNING is 75 year of age and lives at 57 Rock street.  She is an invalid and her heart was in the Memorial day observance even though she did not join with the other Gold Star mothers.  She has every reason to be proud of her son, Thomas Manning who was killed in action in France on Oct. 25, 1917 while serving with Company M of the 101st Infantry.  His body was later brought back to this country and he is buried in St. Patrick’s cemetery.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kearney Square

Kearney Square in Lowell, formerly called Merrimack Square in an important and busy section of town.  It is named for Lieut. Paul T. Kearney who was killed in action on October 3, 1918.  He was one of five brothers who served in the Great War from this family:  Lieut. Joseph P. Kearney, D. Lieut. Redmond Kearney, Capt. Stephen Kearney, Private Frank J. Kearney and Lieut. Paul T. Kearney.  He graduated from Lowell High School and died at 27 years of age.
Most people recognize this square by the Sun Building.  My first elevator ride and with an attendant!!  The dentist was so much fun!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

World War in Lowell, MA

I became interested in the World War while researching my husband's family genealogy.  His grandfather returned from the war, a decorated hero who became very active in American Legion and veteran affairs for the state.  I also found that his maternal grandfather's cousin never returned from the war and is buried in France.  He has a square that is named for him in the Collinsville section of Dracut - Costello Square.

There are at least 46 squares in the greater Lowell area that have been named for men who died during the great war.  Some of these squares/playgrounds no longer exist or may have been moved.  More investigation is needed.,-71.29715&spn=0.178393,0.268478&z=12

My goal is that these heroes should not be forgotten.