Wednesday, October 17, 2007

William E. Burch (1890-1918)

BURCH, WILLIAM ERNEST--PRIVATE

Son of William (deceased) and Melissa Burch (Carrier); born March 9, 1890, Washington Township, Whitley County, Ind. Railroad employe. Entered service May 24, 1918, Columbia City, Ind. Sent to Camp Taylor, Ky.; assigned to 48th Company, 12th Battalion, 159th Depot Brigade. Embarked for overseas August 22, 1918; assigned to Company F, 114th Engineers, 39th Division. Died of pneumonia September 26, 1918, St. Florent Cher, France. Body returned to U.S. in November, 1920, and buried in Eberhard Cemetery, South Whitley, Ind.

Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 717. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.
Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, November 10, 1920

Due partly to the efforts of the Whitley County Red Cross Society and partly to relatives, the body of William E. Burch, who died of pneumonia in France while in the U. S. army, will arrive in South Whitley Wednesday or Thursday of this week for burial.

Leonard R. Schrader, chairman of the Whitley County Red Cross Society, sent a message Monday to New York City to the Red Cross there inquiring in regard to what disposition had been made of the remains of the deceased, and received an answer Tuesday, dated Nov. 8th, that in response to a telegram from Mrs. Malissa Carrier, of Kendallville, the body had been sent to South Whitley for burial and should reach there within two days.

The young soldier was a son of the late William E. Burch and Mrs. Malissa Carrier, of Kendallville. He was 29 years old on March 9, 1918, and his death occurred in France on September 26th, 1918. He was one of those who died when the pneumonia epidemic swept through the army in France.

He is survived by the following brothers and sisters: Wilbur, James, and Don Burch, of South Whitley; Frank Burch and Mrs. Ben Smith, of Kendallville; Mrs. Ira Eubanks, of Huntington; and Mrs. John Hively, of Fort Wayne.

Funeral services will be arranged when the remains of the young soldier reach South Whitley.

[Note: There was a short article in the Columbia City Post of October 30, 1918 stating that his name had appeared on the casualty lists as being one of those who had died of disease.]

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