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Funeral of George A. Wood of York following WWI

The funeral cortege of WWI veteran George Wood was escorted by fellow comrades as the caisson proceeded to the Catholic Cemetery in Violet Hill, just south of York, PA. This is part 2 of the post: African-American George A. Wood killed in WWI.

The portrait of George A. Wood is from page 106 of the book “York County and the World War 1914-1919” by Clifford J. Hall and John P. Lehn; a book which uses the incorrect surname spelling. “Woods” shows up every now and then, however “Wood” is the surname spelling used by family members of that time and in military records. On the June 5, 1917 draft registration card for George, he signs his name “George A. Wood.”

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the original photo in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photo, or if it has been removed from the ydr.com site.

PFC George A. Wood died September 29, 1918; with his body temporally interred near the French battleground, where he was killed in action. By the Armistice of November 11, 1918, there were over 76,000 United States soldiers buried in temporary battlefield graves. No remains of fallen WWI soldiers were returned to America until well after the war ended.

General Pershing argued that burying servicemen in, soon to be constructed, permanent American cemeteries, near the battlefields with their fallen comrades, offered the greater glory. Most Americans were not in agreement with such a plan; finally it was agreed to leave the decision up to the each individual fallen soldiers’ next of kin.

Nationwide, beginning in 1921, the remains of roughly 60% of the fallen WWI soldiers were returned to the United States. The number was higher in York County, with the remains of 78% of the fallen soldiers returned to this country for burial near their hometowns.

During the weekend George A. Wood was laid to rest in Saint Mary’s and Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, the funerals take place over the remains of two other York County veterans, returned from France; Stewart Krider and William Myers.

The Monday August 8, 1921 issue of The Gazette and Daily reported on the Saturday August 6, 1921, funeral of George A. Wood. Quoting the entire article:

“Services over the body of Private George Wood, son of Mrs. Anna Adams, 434 Susquehanna Avenue, were held Saturday morning in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Borne on a caisson, provided by the local post of the American Legion, and guarded by comrades who served with Wood in the 368th field artillery, the flag draped and flower covered casket was taken from the undertaking establishment of W. J. Boll & Co., 252 South George Street, at 8:30 o’clock. The funeral cortege proceeded to St. Patrick’s Church, where a high mass of requiem was conducted at 9 o’clock by the assistant pastor, Rev. Richard N. McLaughlin. After the services the body was taken to St. Patrick’s Cemetery where interment was made.”

“Private Wood was killed in action September 29, 1918.”

“The pallbearers were Harmon Banks, James Smith, B. Jones and Roy Brown. York Post, No. 127, American Legion, and White Rose Post, Foreign War Veterans, furnished the firing squad, which consisted of Harry Swartz, Luther Hildebrand, John L. Craver, Spurgeon Hovis, Paul Rutter, Vane Laumaster, Francis Hoofnagle and Harry Heiland, the latter in charge.”

In response to queries from readers, that wanted to place flowers on Memorial Day, the grave of George A. Wood is presently not marked. I’m working with the cemetery manager to locate Wood’s burial site and to understand what happened to the marker or gravestone, that once stood over the grave of George A. Wood.

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to related WWI posts:

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts