My great-grandparents, John Allen and
Sabin Gould, had five sons. Four of them were active in World War I (the fifth,
Frances Gardner, was exempt from overseas duty; his engineering
position at US Naval yards near
was considered vital to security): Boston
Allen (see last week’s post), member of the
Richard, Naval aviator;
Howard, sailor on a submarine chaser; and
Prescott, Sergt. in the
The Goulds had a “Sons in Service” flag hanging in their window at
Boylston Street; red border, white field and four
blue stars – one for each son in active service.
Almost all of them came home.
He enlisted with Co. C of the First Cavalry (Massachusetts), going with them to the Mexican border to chase down the infamous Pancho Villa; his brother Allen, in Ohio’s Cavalry, was also there – the brothers managed to meet up in El Paso!
Company C later merged with the Machine Gun Battalion;
Prescott was shipped overseas to
in September, 1917. France
The Goulds were all prolific letter-writers. Family members at 1206 wrote daily to their sons/brothers in uniform, and the boys wrote back as frequently as they could.
Dear Ma, Received your letter...also one from
came yesterday along with the three boxes. Certainly was a fine collection of eats
and smokes and wish you would thank all concerned...I haven’t wanted for sweet
things for the past few days... Pa.
Dear Ma...don’t feel worried about Dick’s flying. I’ve seen so many planes floating around over here that they don’t attract my attention any more than a fliver would... guess he was born to be an aviator...
And in March:
Dear Ma...have just had a shower and a complete change and just about at present feel as if I could knock the stuffing out of the whole German Army...
And then in April:
Dear Ma...the men are so well protected that it is mighty seldom anyone is hit...provided they stay where they belong and I’m one of the best little fellows at doing that you can imagine, so you see there’s no need of doing any worrying on my account...
But on the 21st of May, 1918,
Roxanna Sabin, wrote in her diary: Prescott
Terrible news came to night that
Prescott is dead in ... France
Prescott was buried in Grave 15 of Plot B, Row 8 at St-Mihiel American Cemetery in Thiaucourt, France; his mother, Frances Sabin Gould, visited his grave as a Gold Star mother in the 1930s.
The family established a memorial stone in the family plot in
Newton, one that I've visited many times over...tucked in among the members of his family:
C. 102nd M.G.B.
May 16, 1918
Aged 24 years