Kindness of Tom Kirkwood
Horace G. Jones, son of T.T. Jones, was a member of Co C., 129th Infantry during WWI. He left his home in Lawrenceville, May 28, 1918, for Camp Gordon, Georgia, and arrived in France early in July. By the fall, his father was anxiously seeking news of his son whose name but with the address of Lawrenceville, Ohio, appeared on the casualty lists of the week. The mistake in the address, coupled with the fact that he had received no direct word from the War Department, offered a possibility that it might be some other young man. An inquiry to the postmaster at Lawrenceville, Ohio, however, revealed no such name on their lists. Other inquiries were set in motion but the investigation took time. Meanwhile with an anxious heart and fearing the worst, there is nothing for the father to do but wait.
Finally, official confirmation from the War Department was received by Mr. Jones that his son had indeed died at a base hospital in LeMans, France, September 19, 1918 of broncho-pneumonia.
In a letter from Phil Lewis dated November 20,1918, to Lewis’ mother, he mentions Horace Jones. Phil had met Tom Kirkwood at LeMans, France, who had told him of Jones’ death.
“(He) died in the hospital where I met Tom and is buried in the cemetery there. We went up and saw his grave. There were flowers on it that Tom had placed there. I am going up again and put a wreath on his grave, also. All the American soldiers who have died here are buried at this place. Last Sunday, there was a huge parade here and the citizens decorated the graves of their own dead and also the graves of their allies. The French are most loyal and thoughtful in such matters.”
Phil asked his mother to please call up the Jones family and express his sympathy. A year after the father had finally received word of his son’s death, Mr. Jones received a telegram stating that the body of his son, Horace, would be shipped from the New York port, on October 12 to Lawrenceville. The body had arrived in New York on September 15.
Additionally, Hugh L. Rosborough, commander of the Lawrenceville American Legion, received a request from the War Department to furnish an escort for the body upon its arrival. Rosborough notified all members of the Post to be ready.
On October 16, 1920, taps sounded over Horace G. Jones’ grave, a soldier of WWI, in Lawrenceville Cemetery. Almost one hundred of his comrades accompanied the body to the cemetery where it was interred with solemn military honors.
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One of the Lawrence Post-American Legion members gave the WWI story published in the Lawrence County News May 7, 1931. Unfortunately, the speaker is not named in the article. He describes his experie