Wolcott Historical Society News - August 2017
By Florence Goodman
April 6, 2017 marked one hundred years since the United States entered World War I; Wolcott had twenty-eight men and one woman who served their country during this war. This month I would like to share the information that I have found about these veterans and I am hopeful that some readers might have more information to share with me. I am looking for photos of them, where they served, when they were discharged and if they stayed in Wolcott. My intent is to have this information on display at the Historical Society's booth at the Lion's fair and then eventually in the veteran's corner at the town hall.
In the confines of the Wolcott Historical Society's museum hangs an "Honor Roll" with the names of the twenty-eight men and one woman from Wolcott who enlisted in World War I. The information that I have acquired about them follows.
Irving Edward Andrews enlisted in the Navy on August 12, 1916 and served until May 11, 1920. Irving was born in Wolcott on January 3, 1898. His parents were Charles and Jennie Andrews. Irving had four sisters and five brothers. During his time in the Navy he was stationed in Bristol and Newport, Rhode Island and Charleston, South, Carolina with the U.S. Military and Naval Forces. He served as a Gunner's Mate in Company 1C. His first wife, Mary Andrews died on October 25, 1934 at the age of 26. He married his second wife, Elizabeth Stauffer in that same year in Carmel, New York. They returned to Connecticut and lived in Waterbury in 1935. By 1940 he was living back in Wolcott, but he later moved to Bristol. Irving Edward Andrews died on December 2, 1952 and is buried in the West Cemetery in Bristol, Connecticut. He died at age 54.
Charles P. Browne enlisted on July 7, 1917 and was discharged on August 14, 1919. Donald C. Browne was commissioned on November 2, 1918; I do not have a discharge on him. George Eldred Browne enlisted on July 7, 1917. Corporal George Browne was gassed near Grand Pre, France. He was discharged on February 18, 1919 and died at Camp Upton, NY. Arthur Boulanger enlisted on April 23, 1917. He was wounded at the Battle of Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. This was one of the first actions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) under General John Pershing. Arthur was discharged on February 4, 1919.
Bennie F. Cowles was commissioned on August 19, 1919. Louis Wilson Cowles was commissioned on May 28, 1918 and discharged on June 7, 1919 at Camp Dix. I have no other information on these two men.
Clifford and Herbert Garthwaite both enlisted on March 2, 1915, but I do not know if they actually served and have no other information on them. William H. Garrigus enlisted on May 15, 1917 and was discharged on August 5, 1919. Francis Rollins Howell was commissioned on September 20, 1917.
Albert James Homewood was commissioned on September 5, 1918 in Naugatuck. He only served a short time and was discharged on December 3, 1918 at Camp Upton, NY. Albert was part of the 23rd Company, 152nd Regiment in the Depot Brigade. His granddaughter, Elaine Martinelli hopes to get me more information.
Harold Hurlbert was commissioned on May 6, 1918; I have no other information on him. Chester Judd enlisted on September 10, 1917 and was discharged on July 18, 1919. Joseph Kane was commissioned on May 24, 1918; no other information. Paul M. Manwaring was commissioned on September 22, 1917. He was a 2nd Lieutenant at Camp Gordon, Georgia. He was discharged on January 14, 1919.
Manville Norton's name is listed, but no other information is available. Victor Parent enlisted on July 25, 1917. Louis Francis Reigner Jr. enlisted on December 17, 1917. He served as an Army auto mechanic. He was discharged on January 28, 1919. Arthur Roberts was commissioned on May 24, 1918 and was discharged on December 16, 1918. Forest H. Rogers was a WWI veteran who served in the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.). He died on August 12, 1927 at the age of twenty-seven.
Francis Hollingsworth Smith enlisted in the Navy on July 11, 1917. He was one of several family members who served in the Navy. Francis was discharged on January 22, 1919 in Lowell, MA. Francis and his family lived on East Street in the Hitchcock Lake area. He was one of the men who on June 25, 1942 helped to rescue the pilot whose aircraft crashed on Hitchcock Lake. His daughter, Juanita Govain still lives in the same area and was happy to share a picture of her dad with me for this article. Francis died on August 13, 1962 at the age of 65.
William A. Smith was commissioned on June 12, 1918 and discharged on June 26, 1919. Charles Theriault enlisted on October 13, 1917 and was discharged on August 8, 1919. I'm hoping to get more information from his granddaughter.
Benton L. Washburn was commissioned to the US Army on September 20, 1917 and discharged on July 26, 1919 at Camp Upton, NY. He was born to George and Grace E. Washburn on July 19, 1895 in Brewster, NY, but he lived in Wolcott most of his life with Lawrence and Edna Beck on Diamond Terrace. Ben worked at Anaconda American Brass as a night watchman. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #1979, a member of the 1980 National Membership Committee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Wolcott and a former Grange member. Benton died on May 27, 1980, at the age of 84 after a long illness. He is buried in the new Pine Grove Cemetery in Waterbury.
James W. Warner enlisted on May 31, 1918 and was discharged on July 26, 1919. He was a 2nd Lieutenant at Camp Laucock (not sure of this spelling or where it is located). Isabelle Wilson enlisted on June 18, 1917 and served as a nurse in France. I do not have any other information on her. Raymond Wilson enlisted in the Navy in March of 1917. He was wounded and gassed, but I have no information on where or when.
My hope is that as you have read through the names of these veterans you might recognize them; if so please contact me so we may learn more about these brave men and women who served our country in World War I. Please call Flo Goodman at 203-879-9818.
(Information for this article was taken from an "Honor Roll of WWI veterans" that hangs in the Historical Society museum; a conversation with Albert Homewood's granddaughter, Elaine Martinelli, Ellie Packer's Ancestry pages on the Andrews family, phone conversation and a picture from Juanita Govain, obituary of Benton L. Washburn from Deb DuBois, and emails from Janice Theriault Pulford)
A copy of the certificate given to Albert James Homewood when he enlisted in WWI.
Francis Hollingsworth Smith.
Irving Andrews in front of one of the (Obed Alcott House) Andrews home on Sprindle Hill Road.
Honor Roll Roster in the Historical Society's Museum.
Monument on the Wolcott Green.
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