The only West Virginian woman to be labeled a casualty of WWI

Published: 5 February 2024

By Christian Meffert
via the WOWK ABC 13 News television station web ite


Portrait of Lucinda Lovie Rose (Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Many West Virginians gave their lives during the first World War, but only one of them was a woman.

Born in Doddridge County on August 15, 1889, to David Van Rose and Mary Josephine (Strother) Rose, Lucinda Lovie Rose is considered to be the only West Virginian woman to have died in WW1.

In her early years, she was known for her oratorical skills, even earning herself the Women’s Christian Temperance Union silver medal in 1909.

Rose then started work as the assistant to the Burnsville postmaster in 1910, until her acceptance into the nursing program at St. Mary’s Hospital in Clarksburg.

After graduating in 1914, she worked as a nurse in Shinnston. Then in April 1918, she chose to put her experience to use by joining the Great War as an American Red Cross nurse.

As part of the 68th Unit, U.S. Army Nurses, her first six months were spent at Camp Wadsworth near Spartanburg, South Carolina, before she was eventually shipped off to France.

In the midst of the worldwide Spanish influenza pandemic, passengers started to get sick during the voyage, so Rose did what she could to care for them. After working tireless hours, she eventually became sick herself and ultimately succumbed to illness after the ship reached Portsmouth, England on Oct. 9.

Rose was buried with military honors in the Morn Hill military cemetery near Winchester. Her commendations include the Nurse Corps Badge and the World War I Victory Medal.

Red Cross officer wrote to her mother, saying “Her resting place is a beautiful spot overlooking many miles of this lovely English country, and several of her comrades, who also gave their lives in this great cause, are buried beside her.”

In 1920, her remains were brought back to West Virginia and buried in Green Lawn Cemetery in Clarksburg. The Lucinda Rose Auxiliary — or Meuse-Argonne — of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 573 was also named in her honor.

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