Post 104 remembers namesake Pvt. Crowley

In American Legions circles, Walpole Legion Post 104 is widely known as the Thomas H. Crowley Post 104.

When the American Legion was organized following World War I, each local post, when chartered, was assigned a number - in Walpole, Post 104.

In addition, most posts adopted a name - usually someone in the community who served in the war. Walpole's Legion, at that time, voted to adopt the name of Pvt. Thomas H. Crowley.

Pvt. Crowley, of Walpole, was the last native son killed in World War I. He died in action on November 4, 1918, just seven days prior to the armistice, which ended the war, was signed.

His death came during the U.S. Army's greatest offensive of the war when 600,000 American soldiers engaged the German army in the area between the Meuse River and Argonne Forest in France.

The final chapter of the offensive by the U.S. First Army began at daybreak on November 1, after a concentrated artillery preparation during the previous evening. On November 4, when Pvt. Crowley's 9th Infantry's Regiment engaged the retreating Germans after crossing the Meuse River, Pvt. Crowley died in action.

Private Crowley's grave is in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, where 14,246 American war dead are interred. Engraved in the walls of a memorial chapel are the names of each of the dead. Also engraved are the names of 954 of the missing who gave their lives in the service of their country, but whose remains were never recovered or identified.

World War 1 was known as the "Great War," which at that time was considered to be the war to end all wars. November 11 became a national holiday called Armistice Day. This was changed to Veterans Day after World War II, and thus became the date celebrated in memory of veterans of all wars.

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