Ray Alexander Campbell -1924.0001.015
At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of World War 1. Using a collection of photographs we have of World War 1 Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen 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 their service to our country.
Our next biography features Ray A. Campbell:
Ray was born April 13, 1893 in Boston to David B. and Lavinia M. Campbell, both of whom had immigrated from Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1910, he lived with his parents and siblings on Hillside Terrace in Dorchester. His father was a carpenter and his mother a homemaker. He had three older sisters and two younger brothers. At age 17, he worked in the cement industry. He’s described as being of medium height and build, with brown hair and gray eyes.
He enlisted Dec. 26, 1917 and served with the Aviation Force in France as a Carpenter’s Mate 2nd Class. The photo shows him in naval uniform. The Naval Aviation Force predated the modern Air Force.
On returning from the war, he married Sarah Adams Boyle, known as Sadie, on July 3, 1919. They apparently lived with his parents on Clermont Street in the Ashmont neighborhood of Dorchester, but later bought a home on Sawyer Avenue in Savin Hill. They had two sons, Ray A., Jr., and John R., and Sadie’s brother William also lived with them.
Ray died November 24, 1957, while living on Franklin Road in Lexington. Services were held at his home.
Do you know more about Ray A. Campbell? 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!
US Federal Census, 1910, 1920, 1930
US WWI Draft registration, 1917-1918
Check out the Dorchester Historical Society’s online catalog at
The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org