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Some Gave All.

06 Jul
Chas T Holloway and Gus Kleiber maybe in middle

Charles Holloway with friends ca 1920. Photo courtesy of author.

On 18 January 1918, 20-year-old Charles Thomas Holloway enlisted in the Marines.(1) The world was at war and terrifying new weapons of mass destruction were being utilized by both sides. One of those weapons was chemical warfare in the form of various toxic gasses. The French and Germans originally started with tear gas but later, the Germans developed chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas to rain down on Allied troops.

Charles was from Piqua, Ohio, a small town 30 miles north of Dayton. He was an all-star, all-American athlete and well-known throughout the community. He was born on the 4th of July in 1897.(2) Charles’s father, grandfather and uncles were all sheet-metal workers. These men were rugged and tough; 10-12 hour shifts inside a factory melting down iron at scorching temps was just a day’s work.

After enlisting, Charles was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina, where he trained vigorously for four months. On 1 September 1918 he left for France and was part of the American Expeditionary Forces in the Meuse-Argonne defensive sector.(3) What Charles experienced while entrenched on those front lines in the final months of the Great War we cannot comprehend. What we do know is that he was exposed to some form of chemical warfare and it would slowly destroy his lungs.(4)

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month, (11:00 on 11 November 1918) Germany signed an armistice thereby ending hostilities, but the Great War had forever changed the world culturally and geo-politically.

Charles returned stateside, became a reservist, and earned the rank of Corporal. He moved south to Cincinnati and became a bookkeeper for the Sharon Steel Hoop Company.

My grandfather (who was a cousin to Charles) liked to recount to us the story of the “vet who had to sleep in a tent in his front yard” because he’d been subjected to German gas during World War I. Charles found it easier to sleep in the fresh air outside.

The ravages of the gas on Charles’s lungs eventually led to tuberculosis and he died at a Cincinnati hospital ten days after his 25th birthday, on 14 July 1922.(5) Charles’s parents, siblings and large extended family were there to bury him on 15 July 1922, at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua. (6)

Semper Fi.

Charles T. Holloway 1897-1922

Headstone of Charles T. Holloway, Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio. Photo courtesy of author.

(1) A

(1) Ancestry.com. Ohio   Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.
(2) “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.
(3) Ancestry.com. Ohio Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.
(4) Obituary for Charles T. Holloway, Piqua Daily Call and Piqua Press Dispatch, July 20, 1922.
(5) “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X84J-SR8 : 8 December 2014), Charles Thos Holloway, 14 Jul 1922; citing Columbia Twp., Hamilton Co., Ohio, reference fn 38590; FHL microfilm 1,992,027.
(6) Ibid.

ncestry.com. Ohio Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

(2) “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

(3) Ancestry.com. Ohio Military Men, 1917-18 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

(4) Obituary for Charles T. Holloway, Piqua Daily Call and Piqua Press Dispatch, July 20, 1922.

(5) “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X84J-SR8 : 8 December 2014), Charles Thos Holloway, 14 Jul 1922; citing Columbia Twp., Hamilton Co., Ohio, reference fn 38590; FHL microfilm 1,992,027.

(6) Ibid.

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One response to “Some Gave All.

  1. Karen Connair

    July 8, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Interesting but sad story about our ancestor Charles. So many young men went away to war and they were never the same when they returned. I had not heard about the story of him sleeping in the yard. Hope he did not suffer with his illness.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

     

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