Dorchester Illustration no. 2310 Fred C. Gilpatric
Fred C. Gilpatric – 1924.0001.018
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 service men and women in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit which highlights these men and women and their service to our country.
Our next biography features: Fred C. Gilpatric, Jr.
Fred Cook Gilpatric, Jr. was born on March 8, 1897 to Fred and Flora May Gilpatric, and he appears to have been their only child. At the time of his birth, and for his childhood, the Gilpatrics made their home on Richmond Street in the Lower Mills neighborhood of Dorchester. Fred’s father, Fred Sr., was a lawyer in Downtown Boston, listed in the Boston City Directory as working on Court Street as well as Pemberton Square.
Fred graduated from Boston Latin School in 1914 and went on to study at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was set to graduate in 1919 but never would; he was chosen for military service after enlisting on June 5 ,1918. Interestingly, Dr. Nathaniel R. Perkins is listed as the registrar on his draft registration card. His draft card describes him as a young man of “medium height and build, light blue eyes, and dark brown hair.”
Fred did not serve very much time in the military as he was stricken with influenza pneumonia and never recovered. On September 27, 1918, Fred died at the Base Hospital in Camp Lee, Virginia while he was still in officer training school. His death certificate lists him as a “soldier, private in Company 26, Central Officers Training.” He is buried in Dorchester at Cedar Grove Cemetery, and his grave is marked with a stone that reads: “Our Soldier Boy.” Dr. Perkins notes on his index card for Fred, “ This young man had brilliant prospects in the future but he answered his country’s call and made the supreme sacrifice.”
In 1920, the Old Dorchester Post honored Fred and three other young Dorchester men who died during World War I, by dedicating street squares in their names. The square at Adams and Milton Streets was renamed Fred C. Gilpatric Square and dedicated in a ceremony held on November 21, 1920.
Do you know more about Fred C. Gilpatric? We would love to hear from you! All material has been researched by volunteers at the Dorchester Historical Society, so please let us know if we got something wrong or you think a piece of the story is missing!
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