|Image from http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/|
Since our theme for this month is War & Peace, I will begin by reposting portions of the story about my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, Corp. Glenn Clifford Gillen.
Corp. Gillen was sadly killed in one of the last battles of World War I, in France. He was only 22 years old.
|Photo of Corp. Gillen in his uniform before he left for duty|
Here is his story.
The Gillen family is a direct line for me. I descend from William Gillen (1782-1841) and his wife Rachel Frampton (1781-1855). They are my 4th great grandparents.
It is one of their great grandchildren that is the focus of my post today.
Corp. Glenn Clifford Gillen
born 1 Jan 1896 in Chesapeake, Lawrence, Ohio
Killed in action 25 Sep 1918 in France
Glenn’s parents are Elijah C. Gillen and Bessie Etta Cowen. Glenn was the 2nd son born to this family. He had 3 sisters and 5 brothers, two of which were twins. All but the youngest girl would have had vivid memories of him.
Here is his draft registration card.
During this tough time in our country, I wonder what this young man thought as he registered for the draft.
His parents visited him before he left for duty in September 1917.
And there was a family picnic too.
I think about this family, like millions of others, who said goodbye to their sons and never saw them again.
From the Independence Daily Reporter, 21 Oct 1918, pg 3.
This article is titled HOME BOY HIT BY MACHINE GUN BULLET and is a letter from Sgt. Ben Taylor to his mother Mrs. Myrtle M. Taylor. In it he mentions his experience and then says the following:
“I don’t know how true it is but I heard that night that Sergt. Frank D. Coate and Corp. C. Gillen were killed in action….”
Glenn’s mother, Bessie, was finally able to make a journey to France to see her son’s grave, in 1931. She was 61 yrs. old and appears to have traveled alone. We can only imagine how she felt as she walked up to his headstone, so far from home.
|Name||Bessie Etta Gillen|
|Arrival Date||4 Sep 1931|
|Birth Date||1 Dec 1869|
|Birth Location Other||Springfield|
|Port of Departure||Cherbourg, France|
|Port of Arrival||New York, New York|
Here are Corp. Gillen’s parents, Bessie & Elijah and here are his siblings gathered together, years later.
Corp. Glenn Clifford Gillen of Independence, Montgomery, Kansas served in the 139th Infantry, 35th Division, Company D.
You can find his memorial on findagrave.com by clicking here.
He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery & Memorial in Romagne, Lorraine, France.
Here is a photo of his headstone. Used with permission.
I’m glad to have met Glenn C. Gillen all these years later, and learned a little about him and his family. He never married and had no children that I am aware of. But, his memory lives on.
Rest in Peace Corporal Gillen.
If you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please contact me.
If you would like to view the original posts about Corp. Gillen you may access them by clicking on the links below. There’s a little more detail and extra images in the orginal posts.
A MOTHER’S PILGRIMAGE ~ Bessie Cowen Gillen's visit to the grave of Glenn C. Gillen
FOLLOW UP FRIDAY ~ Photo of Corp. Glenn Clifford Gillen ~ Killed in Action in WW I
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