Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Great War: March 4, 1919

Regular readers will be familiar with Henry C. Galster, the Hudson physician who volunteered to serve during World War I. Gossips noted when Galster was commissioned in June 1917 as a captain in the medical corps; when, in January 1918, it was rumored he had died in France; when he returned to the United States in February 1919; and when, later that same month, he and his friends dined at The Shirley, located at 340 Warren Street, to celebrate his return to Hudson. So, of course, when, on March 4, 1919, the Columbia Republican devoted a full column to Captain Galster, described in the headline as a "Modest Hero of the War," Gossips is going to share it.

Why Galster was awarded the Victoria Cross remains a mystery. The article in the Columbia Republican reports, "South of Arras Capt. Galster was decorated with the military cross." According to Wikipedia, twenty-five Victoria Crosses were awarded for valor during the Battle of Arras, but that battle on the Western Front took place from April 9 through May 17, 1917, before Galster volunteered for service. What was happening "south of Arras" when Galster won his Victoria Cross is not known.

What is known is that, after he was discharged, Galster returned to his medical practice in Hudson, which he conducted from his home at 454 Warren Street, now the location of Nolita.

Photo: Walker Evans
In 1921 and 1922, Henry Galster served as the mayor of Hudson.

1 comment:

  1. For those who would like to see what Dr. Galster's experience in the trenches was like (in newly restored, gory detail) I recommend "They Shall Not Grow Old", now playing at the Crandell in Chatham. The producers of this documentary transformed the black and white silent movies of the day with color and sound.