Burial Records of 3 nurses from Base Hospital #4 who died in auto accident, May 25, 1919
Ella Dalton, Alice Hagadorn and Florence Beatrice Graham
Source: 3 sets of pdf documents sent to Jo-Ann Power by David Benson, Superintendent, Meuse-Argonne Cemetery, Meuse, France in 2013.
By Jo-Ann Power
Three nurses traveling together in an automobile in France died in an accident May 25, 1919. All three were stationed at Base Hospital or Camp Hospital #4, Chateau Thierry, near Joinville, and are buried in the American Cemetery at Suresnes, France.
The burial records here describe in detail injuries how the bodies were identified. Initially, they were buried in pine boxes and after the establishment of official American Cemeteries in France, their bodies were re-interred in metal caskets. The records are typical of those of all military personnel who lay in repose in American cemeteries. Documents also include communications with the deceased’s family approving burial abroad and invitations as per Gold Star Act+ to visit the nurses’ burial sites.
Two of the nurses, Florence Graham and Alice Hagadorn, had taken their oaths at the same place in New York City, May 23, 1918 and May 24, 1918, respectively, and reported to Holley Hotel, Nurses’ Mobilization Station in that city May 25, 1918. They sailed for Europe July 4, 1918 and reported to their Commanding Officer at Camp Hospital #4 July 21,1918.
Nurses Dalton and Graham had been awarded “Victory Medal with Clasp for France.” Nurse Hagadorn had received the French medal, Medaille d’Honneur des Epidemics, and had worked in a Mobile Operating Unit.
+GOLD STAR MOTHERS and WIDOWS Act of Congress March 2, 1929 allowed for visit to graves by mothers or widows of those buried overseas or at sea at government expense. They also authorized assistance of nurses to accompany those elderly or disabled.
This was Act of Congress 1929, each year thereafter until 1933.
The War Department sent a letter to each deceased’s mother or widow each year to ask of their interest to travel.