Honoring WWI Soldiers in Anne Arundel County
For the past 20 plus years Tina Simmons has been researching Anne Arundel County cemeteries and their occupants for the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society. She is trying to keep track of the WWI soldiers buried in those cemeteries, recording their military service. She currently has information on 221 individuals buried within Anne Arundel County. As a disclaimer, although she also has information on individuals at the Annapolis National Cemetery, none are currently listed as World War I veterans although she believes that there are some. At the United States Naval Academy cemetery, there are 52 individuals listed as World War I veterans who she is currently adding to her database.
Some interesting facts about the WWI veterans:
- African-American veterans accounted for 99 of the 221 individuals recorded and served in mostly the service and labor areas. One served in both World War I and II; two served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Five veterans were members of the 811 Pioneer Infantry.
- Of the World War I tombstones she has found, 122 of the 221 individuals were believed to be white. Two were listed as having been killed in battle: Benjamin Carr “in France” and Leroy Disney in the Argonne-Meuse Offensive. Five were listed as having fought in both World War I and II; one in the Philippines, World War I, and II; and one in the Spanish-American War and WWI.
- Louis Phipps was perhaps one of the most famous of her list of veterans, having been Postmaster in Tracy’s Landing; Mayor of Annapolis; State Senator of Anne Arundel County; and Clerk of the Court in Anne Arundel County, as well as having been a veteran of both World Wars.
- Stanley Howes Windsor (1896-1974) is buried with his wife, Alice Merrill Windsor, at Cedar Bluff Cemetery in Annapolis. Under her name is written “First 300 Volunteers, U.S.N., WWI”.
Tina believes that there are many other individuals whose military service was never recorded on their tombstones or, do not even have an existing tombstone. To research WWI veterans she recommends using old newspaper obituaries, The National Archives (www.wwvets.com), and various veterans organizations such as the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the American Legion. She notes that service in the armed forces was a category filled in on death certificates starting around 1950 and may be helpful to those starting to research individuals for their military service.
She is always interested in adding to her list of known military veterans; if you know of someone who is buried in Anne Arundel County please be sure to pass the information along to Tina! She is the Cemetery Chairman for the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society (www.aagensoc.org/index.php) and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org