Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Searching for Private Walter E Lawrene


chrisdave

Recommended Posts

I need help trying to solve a very interesting puzzle.

A dogtag was found by my father whilst digging his garden. He lives in France in a village called Epieds near Chateau-Thierry. From inscriptions on the tag I have identified (I think!) the owner of the id tag as Private Walter E Lawrene, Company C, 58th Infantry, USA.

Following hours of research on the net, I have established that 58th Infantry Regiment was part of 4th division, American Expeditionary Force.

I would love to find Private Lawrene's possible relatives in order to return the tag to them but unfortunately I am unable to find anymore information about him.

Please help!

Many thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

chrisdave

I undrstand that the US Army records for this period have gone the way of ours,and been lost,so that is a blow too. I will alert Phoebus here from New York City,by Personal Message as you can't do it unitl you reach 10 posts, and see what he can suggest to you.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think all draft registration cards are available through Ancestry (worldwide subscription) - but you'd need to search each state. Once you have access, you'd also be able to search on his fairly uncommon name for birth, marriage and death - this should give you a good clue as to which state he originated from. He does not appear to be commemorated by the US Battle Monuments Commission so it looks as though he survived the war.

You (or someone probably known to you) have posted this on at least one other board where you give the guy's middle initial as H not E. Which is correct?

I gather your father found this some 30 years ago. Out of curiosity, has anything specific prompted the desire to return it to family after so long?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think all draft registration cards are available through Ancestry (worldwide subscription) - but you'd need to search each state. Once you have access, you'd also be able to search on his fairly uncommon name for birth, marriage and death - this should give you a good clue as to which state he originated from. He does not appear to be commemorated by the US Battle Monuments Commission so it looks as though he survived the war.

You (or someone probably known to you) have posted this on at least one other board where you give the guy's middle initial as H not E. Which is correct?

I gather your father found this some 30 years ago. Out of curiosity, has anything specific prompted the desire to return it to family after so long?

You are correct, the tag was found some thirty years ago. At the time my father didn't think he had found anything of special interest. He passed it on to me so that I could try and unravel its history. As I have been living and working in the UK for some years and therefore am able to communicate in English, it is a lot easier for me to carry out a certain amount of research about this id tag.

I have just written to the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis but this might not lead to anything. I have contacted The National World War I Museum as well.

A very kind retired Ltd/Col at the North Carolina Military History Society, WWI Roster Project, has been trying to get more information about Private Lawrene but to no avail - nothing comes up on 4th Division casualty lists or rosters.

The name inscribed on the tag looks very much like Walter E Lawrene but I could be wrong. The initial of the second name could be E or H.

I have scanned the tag and enlarged it but I do not know how to attach pictures to this post.

chrisdave

I undrstand that the US Army records for this period have gone the way of ours,and been lost,so that is a blow too. I will alert Phoebus here from New York City,by Personal Message as you can't do it unitl you reach 10 posts, and see what he can suggest to you.

Sotonmate

Thank you very much Sotonmate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

There was a Walter H Lawrence who served in the US Army, was from New York and who was killed in the war:

http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%202/Aub...%20-%201536.PDF

Not sure if he is your fellow or not.

Will keep digging.

If you can host the picture on a web site and link to it you can show it the forum, which would be a tremendous help.

-Daniel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

........ He does not appear to be commemorated by the US Battle Monuments Commission so it looks as though he survived the war. ...

Not necessarily a discriminator, John. ABMC only list those buried/commemorated overseas, not those whose bodies were returned to the US for burial at the request of the nok - and a lot were.

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

There was a Walter H Lawrence who served in the US Army, was from New York and who was killed in the war:

http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%202/Aub...%20-%201536.PDF

Not sure if he is your fellow or not.

Will keep digging.

If you can host the picture on a web site and link to it you can show it the forum, which would be a tremendous help.

-Daniel

Thank you so much for your reply.

I don't think Walter H Lawrence is our man. I wish I could show a picture to the forum but I don't know how to do it!

I've just had a reply from The National World War I Museum - they can't find anything at all under this name in 58th inf.

I've just received a copy of a book called The Fifty-eighth Infantry in the World War 11917-1918-1919 but I can't find anything about Private Lawrene at all!

despair..... Could the name on the tag be inscribed wrongly? Could Private Lawrene have belonged to a different division and was transferred at the last minute to the 58th Inf reg, therefore not showing on any lists for 58th/4th division?

What else could co c, 58th be? There wasn't a 58th division USA. I have found references to 58th NY dating back to the Civil War.

Regards

Christine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your reply.

I don't think Walter H Lawrence is our man. I wish I could show a picture to the forum but I don't know how to do it!

I've just had a reply from The National World War I Museum - they can't find anything at all under this name in 58th inf.

I've just received a copy of a book called The Fifty-eighth Infantry in the World War 11917-1918-1919 but I can't find anything about Private Lawrene at all!

despair..... Could the name on the tag be inscribed wrongly? Could Private Lawrene have belonged to a different division and was transferred at the last minute to the 58th Inf reg, therefore not showing on any lists for 58th/4th division?

What else could co c, 58th be? There wasn't a 58th division USA. I have found references to 58th NY dating back to the Civil War.

Regards

Christine

Hi Christine,

An interesting fact, then a little light reading...this chap below perhaps served with your man:

BREKKE, OLAF

Private, U.S. Army

Company C, 58th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division, A.E.F.

Date of Action: October 2 - 5, 1918

Citation:

The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Olaf Brekke, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Nantillois, France, October 2 - 5, 1918. Though wounded in the chest by shrapnel, he refused to be evacuated, continuing his duties as runner for three days, till his organization was relieved. He showed marked personal heroism in performing dangerous missions, exposing himself to heavy artillery and machine-gun fire.

General Orders 81, W.D., 1919

Home Town: South Fergus Falls, MN

FROM

http://www.homeofheroes.com/members/02_DSC...wwi_Army_B.html

Here's a good book to read regarding the 58th Infantry Regiment:

http://books.google.com/books?id=pssMAAAAY...try&f=false

I did not see him in there but then again, I only gave it the most cursory of glances.

-Daniel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here goes....

I think I have cracked how to attach pictures.!!

Please let me know what you make of it.

Thank you

Christine

One option is to go to archives.gov, the National Archives website, print out Standard form 180, fill it out and mail it to the St. Louis address. The name and unit might be enough for them to track him down.

BTW if he was a last minute transfer to the 58th who was quickly killed, I doubt he would have gotten a new ID tag in time. I think the mystery lies in that there are so many variations on the spelling of the name that it's hard to pinpoint him in the various records.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Via Ancestry I see a Walter Lawrene arriving in Canada between 1919-1924, but I do not have access to those records (I have the budget version). :) Anyone else able to check that record out?

-Daniel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Via Ancestry I see a Walter Lawrene arriving in Canada between 1919-1924, but I do not have access to those records (I have the budget version). :) Anyone else able to check that record out?

-Daniel

There is also a Walter Lawrene in the 1910 census, age 14, living in Philadelphia, but his father's name is given as Lawrence. There are many variations on the name such as Lorene, Laughren, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to you all for your replies.

I have just received a response to my letter from The National Archives, St Louis, and unfortunately there are unable to trace him at all - or file was burnt down during 1973 fire.

I agree with you as far as the name is concerned. I have looked on Ancestry.com and came to the same conclusion as you all - the elusive Private Lawrene could have been Private Lawrence.

I don't know what to do next, if anything at all!

Sorry, feeling somewhat deflated at the minute...

Christine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...