World War I artifacts discovered in American Legion attic
By Cindy Zomar
the Community Advocate newspaper (MA) web site
MARLBOROUGH – Nearly everyone can identify with the feeling of finding long-forgotten items stored in the attic. But, when the items are more than a century old, such a find becomes newsworthy.
Commander Mike Ferro of the Akroyd Houde Post 132 American Legion recalls that Marlborough resident Matty Sargent, a Navy reservist and ardent history buff, recently asked about taking a look in the attic to see if there were any interesting artifacts stored up there.
Ferro admits that he’d only been up there once himself and was completely shocked when Sargent unearthed two framed pictures that had been donated to Post 132 in 1920.
One is a compilation of vignettes of all the Marlborough WWI veterans, while the other details the births and deaths of those veterans, including where they were killed, for those who did not come home.
According to Ferro, the list appears to have been written in calligraphy drawn painstakingly by hand by a woman named Mazie Kane Wells. Nothing is known about her as of yet.
Find keeps memories alive
According to Sargent, this photo collage will be a big boon to how history is remembered in Marlborough.
“As more information becomes available online, it is easier to tell these men’s stories, but their photos really add a new dimension to their life and sacrifice,” he said. “As there are no living World War I veterans, it is important for families of not only those who died but those who served, to keep photos, mementos, journals and the stories of these men and women alive.”
History buff reaches out to descendants
Quite adept at researching veterans’ lives and tracing families through tools like Ancestry.com, Sargent has been finding connections to those pictured in the photo collage.
Many of the relatives have subsequently shared newspapers, copies of citations, or even pictures of medals their loved ones had received so that he can make appropriate tags to hang on the monuments.
In one such case, Sargent reached out to Bob Lord, a former Marlborough resident living in Westborough. Sargent asked if Lord was related to the Ralph J. Lord who was killed in July of 1918. He found that not only was Lord related to the young man on the photo, it was his paternal uncle.
Read the entire article on the Community Advocate web site here:
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