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Major William J. Bland, AEF


BottsGreys
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Photo below is recent acquisition. I thought it may be of interest to those who may be studying Rhodes Scholars who served during the war:

William John Bland was born April 20, 1887, at Weston, West Virginia. His parents were Meigs Bland and Louise Houston Allen Bland. He was educated at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and was a recipient of a 1910 Rhodes Scholarship.

While at Oxford, he became the first American to be elected president of the Oxford Union debating society. After returning to the U.S. and passing the bar, he took a position as an assistant solicitor for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. In September 1917, he married Mary Johnson, a Kansas City native.

With the entry of the United States into the war, Bland volunteered and became captain of Company A, 356th Infantry, a unit of the 89th Division. After the division arrived in France, Bland was promoted to Major, commanding the First Battalion of the 356th. On the morning of September 12, 1918, during the opening hours of the St. Mihiel Offensive, he was killed instantly by artillery fire near Euvezin, France. His body was repatriated after the war and buried in Arlington National Cemetery. An American Legion Post in Kansas City was named for Bland and a memorial to him was erected there. His wife, Mary, never remarried and upon her death in 1977, was buried with him in Arlington.

Photo below: William John Bland as Captain, Company A, 356th Infantry Regiment.

Chris

post-1571-1235874500.jpg

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Thanks for sharing the photo. Ancestry has a data base for Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886; I'm not sure if there has been a continuation of Foster's work.

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Chris

Major Bland was of distinguished accomplishment and even greater promise whose life, like those of far too many,

was cut short when it should have been progressing in earnest. That you for remembering him for all of us,

and by introducing him also reminding us, once again, of how much was lost.

Regards

Trelawney

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A fine looking man and a great loss. Thanks for posting this chris.

Scott

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This is his entry from the 'Register of Rhodes Scholars 1903-1945' see http://www.archive.org/stream/registerofrh...418mbp_djvu.txt

BLAND, WILLIAM JOHN (Ohio). b. 20 Apr.

1887. Weston H.S., Washington, D.C., &

Kenyon Coll., Ohio. A.M. & Ph.B. PBK

Lincoln 191O-13. B.C L. 3rd Cl. 1913. Pres.

(Trin. Term 1913) Oxford Union Society.

1913-17. Practice of Law, Kansas City, Mo.;

Fac. Member. Kan. City Law Sch.; Asst, City

Counselor. 1917-18: Maj., U.S. Inf.; France.

m. 1917. Mary Agnes Johnson.

Killed in action 13 Sept. 1918.

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The Rhodes Scholar biographical sketch indicates that Major Bland had earned both his undergraduate degree

(Ph.B., Bachelor of Philosophy) and a graduate degree (A.M., Master of Arts) from Kenyon College, at Gambier, Ohio, U.S.A.,

before he qualified for the Rhodes Scholarship. Attaining a graduate degree was most uncommon at this time (1910);

despite his degree status at Lincoln College, Major Bland was a distinguished scholar as an undergraduate

as indicated by his election to the Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) honor society. Thank you for these additional

facts that provide a fuller picture of his accomplishments.

Regards

Trelawney

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