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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Claire Agnes Ledden, US Army nurse


Jim Strawbridge

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I have been researching the above named who is buried in St. Leo's Cemetery, Ridgway, Pennsylvania, USA. Her grave marker states that she was killed at Camp Hospital 43, Pruniers, France on the 31st May 1919. As hostilities had ceased by then does anyone know how she died ?

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Jim,

Both these sites say "accident" and have pictures of her.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=74984023

http://www.jfgvictoryverlag.com/localmilhist/ElkWWIdead.html

Have looked at Lavinia L. Dock's "History of American Red Cross Nursing" (Macmillan, 1922) online to see if it gives any more.

https://archive.org/stream/historyamerican00servgoog#page/n1583/mode/2up says "May 31, 1919, Base Hospital no. 94, A.E.F., France".

sJ

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I had found both sites and somewhere else it stated that she was killed. She is likely to have been killed in a motoring accident but as this is not what I normally see ie illness then I thought it was worth asking.

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Lettie Gavin's book (American Women in WWI. 1997) has her listed as

Died overseas May 1919(p250) same category as Geneva Casstevens (influenza whose story you helped me with Jim) and Florence Hinton also of IL (meningitis).

No other detail I can see.

Gavin has a separate listing for "killed" in which there are only 2 listings for Army nurses: Ayres and Wood killed in the gun accident on USS Mongolia.

Chris

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Soldiers of the Great War (vol 3 inc PA) has her listed (p 165) as Died of Accident (no details).

SotGW has KiA, DoW, DoD, DoA as categories and as noted, this lists her as Died of Accident

(incidentally there is another nurse listed the same: Lorraine Kulp of South Pittstown)

There are several DoD Nurses from Pa:

Helen Fairchild, Anna McMullen, Nellie Ward, Gladys Watkins, Marion White and Esther Yochelson

Chris

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I know that it doesn't help but Harriet Lorraine Kulp's gravemarker reads "Died in service as a nurse in the World War".

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Jim,

If this might help your search: Clare Agnes Ledden was a 1918 graduate of St. Vincent Hospital nurse training school in Erie, Pennsylvania, carried a state-issued license as "Registered Nurse" (In USA denoted as "R.N."), and was officially enrolled in 1918 in the American Red Cross Nursing Reserve just prior to enlistment in U.S. Army Nurse Corps.

Marjorie, R.N.

USA

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Odds are motor accident since disease is ruled out by all accounts. A real long shot would be she was taken for a joy ride in an airplane by a pilot friend & a crash happened. Not likely but possible. Good luck & please keep digging for an answer.

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Colleen411

Claire Ledden was my great aunt. She died in a train accident in France she was transporting wounded soldiers. She is buried in Pennsylvania and has an American Legion Post named after her there. Hope this helps you.

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Thank you, Colleen411. I have searched for information on the Web re train accidents in France for 31st May 1919 without success. If you have more information I would be grateful to receive it. Jim

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Guest Colleen411

Thank you, Colleen411. I have searched for information on the Web re train accidents in France for 31st May 1919 without success. If you have more information I would be grateful to receive it. Jim

I'll check with my family, I'll let you know.

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Thank you, Colleen411. I have searched for information on the Web re train accidents in France for 31st May 1919 without success. If you have more information I would be grateful to receive it. Jim

Is it possible the accident was slightly earlier and she died of injuries sustained?

It appears that there was an accident with fatalities in early May 1919

Jim - as I was looking I also found the attached which I thought might be of interest to you.

Chris

nursescrash.pdf

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you, Colleen411. I have searched for information on the Web re train accidents in France for 31st May 1919 without success. If you have more information I would be grateful to receive it. Jim

Hi Jim,

Claire Ledden was my grandfather's cousin (my 3rd great cousin). I have a lot of information about her including her brother whom also served in WWI as well as info about her death. Colleen411 is correct about her being hit by a train at age 22. She took the tracks at night after getting supplies (easy path back to base) and with out warning was killed. The trains moved without lights on so they would not be detected by the enemy. Very sad. She was buried in France, until the family raised money to bring her home to Ridgway. Where she had a high mass with a procession from church to grave. How are you related to her? I would love to share more info if need be.

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Thank you, Welch83. I am not related to Claire but I am writing a Register of WW1 serving female casualties which includes short biographies and photographs. However, Colleen411, who has posted above, was Claire's great-niece. If you have a photograph of Claire that I may use I would be most grateful. (jimstrawbridge AT coinsale.fsnet.co.uk)

ps one query that your comment raised. I don't understand why the train had no warning lights as in May 1919 the War was over. Being detected by the enemy was not an issue.

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Hi Jim,

I'm happy to hear that Colleen411 provided you with some information! How great it is of you to be writing about those (especially women) who served in WWI. As of photographs of Claire, you can google her name and a picture of her does appear in the images (She wearing her best with a nice hat). Ridgeway, Elk County, Pennsylvania posted it as well as others in the town that have passed while serving in the war. The historic society there is trying to preserve many of their city's historic records. In the town itself there are many WWI plaques with the names of the fallen (including Claire) on government buildings as well as the schools the soldiers attended. If I come across any pictures of her I will let you know.

The part of the story with the trains running with no lights is information that was passed down through the family. I'm not sure how true this is. With the hospital camps demobilizing, I wonder how cautious everyone still was. Even with cease fire in place. Again, it was info passed down, could be false. In her obituary it does not go in great detail of the accident. I'm currently trying to track down a accident report either through the military or French newspapers.

If there is any information you need, please don't hesitate. I will share as much as I can. Take Care.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Jim,

 

I purchased a cabinet card several years ago on Ebay and it appears (I am 99% sure) to be your nurse.  I have a high resolution scan if you like.

 

Rob

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  • 8 months later...

Hi everyone! I found this thread during a search on Claire Ledden- she was my great great aunt. My paternal grandfather's middle name was Ledden, in honor of his mother's maiden name. Claire was my grandfather's aunt, on his mother's side. Welch83- I cannot thank you enough for the information you provided! My grandmother had told me at some point it may have been a train accident that killed her, but I could never confirm it. I am so glad I found this discussion forum!

Edited by Guest
clarification
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