As promised in the previous post, here are some more photos from my grandfather William Boles’ photo album taken while serving in the US Army’s 29th Division 112th Heavy Field Artillery. I’ll post the remainder soon as time allows. CLICK ON AN IMAGE AND THEN YOU CAN VIEW THEM AS A SLIDE SHOW.
As an update to my previous posts on William Boles’ World War I service, I am posting some more photos from his album. There are still 30-40 left to scan and post. I will try to get to that next week.
Note: To the above “WWI Itinerary” post I have added two photos showing troops on deck a ship; I presume these were taken either heading over to Europe (on the SS Melita) or coming back (USS Orizaba). I have also added some more links to texts that corroborate the itinerary. I read in this document that a lack of equipment kept the men in William’s regiment from taking part in the American offensive. To view the below photos as a slideshow, click on the first photo and then use the arrows to move to the next photo.
Apart from those photos posted in the previous post on the Edward Boles family, these are the only other early photos I have. Standing in the rear of the first photo are May Boles and her father Edward Boles. The pretty young woman with the headband on the right is Sophie Boles, a niece of Edward’s (daughter of Edward’s younger brother Robert). Seated in front is Sophie’s mother (Jane Stuart Boles, wife of Robert Boles), Jennie Boles (another of Edward’s daughters), and Sarah Nixon Boles (Edward’s wife and mother of Jennie & May). I don’t have a date for the photo, but it was taken before July 1928, which is when May died.
The second photo is of Sophie Boles with her brother Robert Boles (children of Robert and Jane Boles, who had one more child – James Herbert), and on the right is cousin Jennie Boles (Edward Boles’ daughter, my grandfather’s sister).
My great grandfather Edward Boles was born on June 4, 1855, in Fingreagh Upper, Co. Leitrim, Ireland, to James Boles of Fingreagh and Jane Payne. The couple had seven children: Edward, Robert, James, Jane, Alexander, William and Benjamin. Edward died on October 26, 1940, in Dublin. His wife, my great grandmother, was Sarah Nixon. She was one of 14 children of William Nixon and Rachael Millar: Edward, James, William, Elizabeth, Rachael, Jane, Mary, Sarah, Kate, Mark, Benjamin, John, Thomas, and Robert. Supposedly there were two sets of twins. I’m not sure whether they all survived to adulthood, but supposedly, of those who did, Sarah was the only one (or one of the very few) who did not end up emigrating to the US. I have yet to figure out if that was really the case.
Edward (a farmer) and Sarah Boles had six children: John James, Jane Kathleen (“Jennie”), Mary Elizabeth (“May”), William Robert (my grandfather), and Edward Benjamin (“Ben”). Ben’s twin Beulah Sarah died young. My grandfather William R. Boles was 20 when he emigrated to the US (Oct 21, 1912, from Londonderry via the ship Columbia), and I suspect the one photo below was taken on the eve of his departure. It was his Uncle Robert Nixon (one of Sarah Nixon Boles’ brothers), living on Elm Street in Summit, NJ, with wife Blanche, who sponsored him when he initially came to the US.
In the last few years I’ve been taking college classes in science and math, including classes in anatomy and physiology. Bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons and how they all move together (or don’t, in some cases) is pretty fascinating.
So I was quite surprised to come across the below poem on the bones of the human body stuffed into the drawer of an old dresser. It was penned, or so I thought, by my grandfather’s sister, Mary (‘May’) Elizabeth Boles, who died in her early 30’s of TB. She was one of six children of Edward and Sarah Boles of Clooneen, outside Drumkeerin, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. What she was doing studying osteology, I don’t know. Was this something she had to learn in school? Maybe. I wondered whether this was a poem she created, but then I googled one of the lines and discovered its publication in The Medical World, pub. 1898, Vol. 16, p. 36, so that idea was squashed, unfortunately — I’d secretly been hoping this was her own handiwork.
My grandfather William Boles emigrated to the US in 1912, when May was about 16. My mother recalls hearing about how lovely and sweet May was, and how devastated the family was when she was unable to recover from the ravages of tuberculosis. She worked in her uncle’s department store in Boyle for many years; She passed away at the family home in Cloneen.
More on the Boles family in future posts. Meanwhile, here’s to remembering May, a great-aunt I never had the pleasure to meet, regrettably. Such a great shame, but happy to know she brought so much light to others.
We happened upon a box containing this WWI service medallion presented by the State of New Jersey to its citizens who served in the 1st World War. This was awarded to William R. Boles, my grandfather, whose WWI photos and itinerary appear in past blog posts. He never had his name engraved in the rectangular box on the Victory side, but he carried it on a chain so no doubt it meant a great deal to him.
I recently scanned in a photo of grandfather William Boles in his WWI US Army uniform. Please see the post WWI Itinerary. He was a very handsome young man.
Also uploaded recently were two watercolor paintings by Bertha Winans Woodruff, one of hydrangeas and the other a mixed floral arrangement. You can find them in them in the 9/16/11 post devoted to her. Click here.
I love this photo of William, Zillah, and Elizabeth Boles. It was taken on their 1935 trip to England and Ireland. The building in the rear was a restaurant, possibly located somewhere in Northamptonshire.
I decided to scan the notepad paper upon which William Boles kept track of his WWI whereabouts. So here they are. I especially love how he refers to the US as “God’s country” (page 4). To view photos he took while serving, click here. To view the medal awarded to him by the State of NJ upon his return to civilian life, click here.
I discovered a little notebook belonging to William Boles that contains brief details about his WWI whereabouts in service with the 29th Division, 112th Heavy Field Artillery. Thought I would transcribe it to share it here. I have done my best to decipher some of the French towns. The writing in brackets () is mine:
Enlisted July 3, 1917
Left Montclair [NJ] July 25th for Sea Girt [NJ].
Left Sea Girt September 24th
Arrived Camp McClellan [Alabama] Sept. 28th
Left Camp McClellan June 20, 1918
Arrived Camp Mills [Long Island, NY], June 22
Left Camp Mills, June 28
Boarded the good ship Melita at 8 a.m. Friday morning, June 28, 1918 at Pier 2 at West 24th Street, NY [Note: the Melita was built as a passenger ship for the Hamburg-America Line, but ended up being purchased by Canadian Pacific. The ship entered service in January 1918 and was used for troop transport during WWI; to view some ship interiors, click here.]
Pulled away from Pier at 10 a.m. arriving at Liverpool, England, on July 10th. Train for So. Hampton where we arrived late that night, remaining until the following day.
Left S. Hampton, July 11 [via the swift steamer Prince George]
Arrived Le Havre, July 12
Left Le Havre, July 13
Arrived Portiers [Poitiers], July 15
Left Portiers, August 25
Arrived Vannes [Vienne], August 26
Left Vannes, Nov. 11
Arrived Trampot, Nov. 13
Left Trampot, December 6
Arrived Écot, Dec. 7
Left Écot, Dec. 7
Arr. Clefmont, Dec. 7
Left Clefmont, Dec. 9
Arr. Villars, Dec. 9
Left Villars, Dec. 10
Arrived Raincourt, Dec. 10
Remaining there for a sojourn of four months. Leaving on the 11th April 1919.
Arrived Oisseau Petit [Oisseau-le-Petit] on Apr. 13
Left Oisseau Petit [Oisseau-le-Petit] on May 6
Arrived H. Nazaire [St. Nazarine], May 7
Left H. Nazaire, May 11 [via the transport USS Orizaba]
Arriving at Newport News [Virginia] in God’s Country on May the 21st.
Leaving May 28
and [illegible] May 29 [A parade and official welcome took place in Atlantic City]
and returned to civil life on the fourth day of June in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and nineteen.
For images of the actual notebook, see next post.
For more on the SS Melita, click here and here.
For more on the 112th Field Artillery Regiment, see pages 17 & 18 of this document. They corroborate the itinerary.
Additional resource on Google Books: 29th Infantry Division: A Short History of a Fighting Division by Joseph H. Ewing, pages 11-17.