In anticipation of the CCGS Workshop on March 11, 2017, about your ancestors who served during World War I, some of our members have started searching through records they may have at home. The following story was submitted by Donald Levans about his “Aunt Elsie” and Loyd Wester, neighbors in the small community of Center Point in Carroll County.
A World War I Love Story
by Donald Levans
My father’s sister (my aunt Elsie) was 18 when the United States entered World War I. She was a bright and pretty young lady, had graduated from Carrollton High School and was very well employed at the bank in Carrollton.
Elsie Levans and Loyd Wester (a young man from the same community and church at Center Point in Carroll County) were close friends when he was drafted into the army. Over time, as letters flowed to and fro, they became closer.
Many of those letters have remained in our family files. They began during basic training while Loyd was at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, then to Quartermaster Training Camp at Jacksonville, Florida. The letters that we have stopped there, with the last one explaining that his outfit was moving to New Jersey for shipment to France.
Aunt Elsie died of pneumonia in March of 1920 and all that we knew over the years was that they had been planning to marry when the war ended and that she had these letters in her “Elsie Box.”
When the Genealogical Society began working with Christian Montcriol’s World War I Research Project, I discovered Loyd’s discharge papers:
This form reveals that he left the United States for France September 23, 1918, and returned on July 26, 1919. This surely brought new light to my wonderful aunt’s “love story.” She only lived seven months following his return.
This story is the reverse of many thousands that occurred during the war years. Almost always the soldier in the couple returned in a coffin—this was the other way around.
Loyd went on with life, used the mechanical training that he had received in Jacksonville to have a successful auto repair business. He married a wonderful lady and raised a super family, all of whom are dear friends of our entire family.
DO YOU HAVE ANCESTORS OR CONNECTIONS TO VETERANS OF THE GREAT WAR?
COME TO OUR WORKSHOP ON SATURDAY MARCH 11 AND WE WILL HELP YOU LOCATE DOCUMENTATION ON THEIR SERVICE.