Soldiers of the Great War

December 20, 2010 | Filed under: History, left, Memorials

The Larchmont Historical Society has indexed and posted online the entire collection of photographs of NY State soldiers who gave their lives in World War I. The collection is available for the public at

http://nyww1.larchmonthistory.org

The collection is from Soldiers of the Great War, which is the result of an official attempt in 1920 to identify, with photographs, all of the members of the U.S. armed forces who gave their lives in World War One.  Larchmont Historical Society intern Michaela Roberts indexed the New York State collection, and the Historical Society has scanned and posted online all of the pages.

For example, Larchmont resident Harry T. Dudley was killed in action in Le Catalet, France in September 1918. A member of the Weaver Street Fire Company – now known as the Town of Mamaroneck Fire District – his name appears on a small plaque on a tree outside the fire station. His official picture – not previously available in Larchmont and Mamaroneck – appears on page 280 of the collection.

“We were so pleased to find the picture of Harry Dudley, we decided to post the entire New York State collection online. Our intern, Michaela Roberts, spent many hours indexing each pages, so every community in New York could find pictures of their soldiers who died in World War I.”

The website makes the entire collection searchable for all of the entries for New York State. “The original index published in 1920 is very hard to use if the goal is to locate solders from particular communities, or to search by name,” observed LHS webmaster Ned Benton. On the new website, the images are stored in and displayed from a digital archive which can be searched by the name of the soldier or the name of the soldier’s residence. To search for a soldier in the archive using the Search Tool, enter either the last name – example “Smith” – or the community name – example “Syracuse” – and all corresponding records will come up.

For example, “Syracuse” produces 16 entries in the database, and “Brooklyn” produces 70.

“Unfortunately, not every soldier was included in the book in 1920 so the collection is incomplete,” observed Larchmont Historical Society Webmaster Ned Benton. “However, this collection will provide many NY State communities will access to photos they may not have been aware of.” Benton noted that similar online collections have been assembled in eleven other states, so New York State becomes the 12th state with an online “Soldiers of the Great War” collection.