Monday, May 14, 2018

The Great War: May 14, 1918

During World War I, the newspapers often published letters to family and friends from those serving in the war in Europe. Gossips has already published a couple of them: one from Dr. Henry C. Galster, and another from Hildreth Forshew, Frank Forshew's grandson. Today, Gossips shares a letter that appeared in the Columbia Republican on May 14, 1918. It is from Corporal John Cannon, who was, according to the paper, "the first Hudson boy who went 'over there.'"


From census records and city directories, it was learned that Cannon's parents--Thomas and Rebecka, both Irish immigrants--lived at 306 State Street, a house they owned. Thomas worked as a molder at Stewart Davit & Equipment Company, located somewhere on Fairview Avenue. In addition to John, who was their oldest child, they also had three daughters and another son, who has their youngest child.  

Military records show that when John Cannon enlisted on June 3, 1917, two months after the United States entered the war, he was 29 and living in New York City, on West 47th Street. He earned the rank of corporal two months later, a few weeks before going "over there." He was promoted to sergeant on July 29, 1918, and became a sergeant first class a week later. Cannon served in Europe from September 1917 to February 1919 and was honorably discharged, "0 per cent disabled," early in March 1919.   


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