Dorchester Illustration no. 2307 World War I: Harold Armstrong Andrews
What we are cataloging now at the Dorchester Historical Society
At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of World War I Dorchester residents, we will be featuring soldiers in a number of short biographies throughout the year. Most of the collection is a series of cards and photographs of men and women who were examined by Dr. Nathaniel R. Perkins of 1122 Adams Street prior to entry into service. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit which highlights these men and their service to our country.
Harold Armstrong Andrews
According to Dr. Perkins, Harold A. Andrews, 73 River St., Mattapan, enlisted in WW1 on December 7, 1917. He was sent to Fort Slocum, NY and then to Jacksonville, Florida for training. He served in the 301st Field Remount Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces, France. The A.E.F. was the expeditionary force of the U.S. Army during WW1. It was established on July 5, 1917, in France under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. Remount units worked with the Veterinary Corps to care for and supply fresh horses for the troops and supply wagons, as the horses were so frequently incapacitated or killed.
Harold A. Andrews was born in 1895, the youngest of 10 children (4 brothers and 5 sisters), on 73 River St., Mattapan to Thomas Alonzo Andrews Jr. and Charlotte (Armstrong). His parents were both born in East Boston. Thomas worked as an engineer in the Fire Department and Charlotte worked as a book keeper.
By 1910, only one of Harold’s brothers, Edwin Leslie born in 1890, was still living at home and he was working at the Baker chocolate factory. Three sisters were still living at home and working as mill hands in the chocolate factory.
Both Harold, age 22, and his brother Edwin, age 26, registered for the first draft on June 5, 1917. Harold is listed as an electrical operator for the Edison Electric Light Co. in Dorchester. He was single, white, medium height and slender with blue eyes and dark hair. Edwin is listed as an Electrical operator at the Edison Electric Co. in Milton. Edwin was single, Caucasian, short and slender with brown eyes and black hair. Edwin claimed exemption due to the care of his mother and also in so far as his service may be necessary to the Public Utility Service in which he is employed. Also it is possible he did not eventually serve as he may not have been well. He died of TB at age 27 in May 1918.
According to an internet search on the U.S. Remount Squadron No. 301, WW1, the Squadron sailed overseas from Hoboken, NJ, under the command of Captain John S. Hunt, April 30, 1918, and arrived at St. Nazaire, Loire Inferieure, France, Remount Depot No. 1 on May 12. For several months, the unit served at the Depot at Coetquidan and then reported for duty under the Commanding General First Army in Heippes (near Souilly and Verdun) where an Army Evacuation/Collection Station was established, the Army Animals Evacuation Depot at Aubreville. Animals that were evacuated to the Station were relayed by rail to S.O.S. Veterinary Hospitals. The station was established to meet the needs of the Veterinary Army Corps during the Meuse-Argonne operations. Thousands of animals were received and issued until the Depot closed April 28, 1919. The 301 departed Verdun and marched with the 3rd Army for Wengerohr, Germany. The 301 was stationed at the Depot there until they departed for home in June 1919. There is a photo on line of the 301st Field Remount Squadron at Wengerohr, just google “301 Remount Squadron”.
By 1920, Harold had married Myrtle (Mertyl) L. Healy (b. 1899) and both are living with his mother Charlotte and two of his sisters, still at 73 River St. Harold’s father, Thomas, had died suddenly of “natural causes” at age 63 in 1914, having retired from the Boston Fire Department.
In 1930, Harold was living with his wife and their 2 children, Helen (8 years old) and Harold Andrews Jr., (6 years old) on Fiske Ave. in East Weymouth. He was listed as a watchman in the electricity business.
On April 28, 1933, Harold died suddenly, presumably of heart disease (coronary thrombosis), at age 37 at home in E. Weymouth. He had been an operator at the Edison Plant for 16 years. He was buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, with his wife’s grandparents, after an Odd Fellows service in the chapel. He was a member of the Dorchester Lodge, 158, I.O.O.F., River St., Dorchester Lower Mills.
Birth, Marriage and Death Records, Familysearch.org
Census Records, 1880, 1910, 1920, 1930, Familysearch.org
Cedar Grove Cemetery Record
Death notice, Boston Globe
Draft Registration Records, Familysearch.org
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester, MA
Website: 301 Remount Squadron
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