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In Honor of Memorial Day: WILLIAM HENRY SOMERS - A YOUNG WWI SOLDIER'S STORY

By Angela Somers-Wittman

My grandfather entered the Army at the young age of 23 years. He had been born in Tuckerman, Arkansas in 1894 and spent his childhood on the family farm in Stringtown, Butler County, Missouri. He was the oldest child of Henry Francis and Cotna Lisbeth (Cole) Somers.

One can only imagine the feelings of excitement mixed with loneliness for family and loved ones he felt as he left his small hometown for military service in Europe. But Grandfather was already a man, one who had matured at a young age when his father was killed in a work accident. He knew how to shoot, hunt for food and possessed a good amount of common sense. He was used to rough conditions and hard work from the years spent on the family farm. Little did he know when he joined the Army and was sent to the frontline of the conflict in Europe that those skills would prove to be valuable and help save his life.

After being deployed to France with the US Armed Forces and engaging in heavy fighting, …

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