Question of the Week: Do you have ancestors who died during wartime?

+29 votes
Do you have ancestors or family members who died during wartime? Please tell us about them with an answer below.
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
My Uncle, Smiley Alphonso Orr. Died taking a village right after D-Day.

My grandfather Samuel Clement Cropper was badly affected by mustard gas in the trenches in Belgium in WW1 and died of these injuries in 1936. His son, my uncle, William Cropper was shot, during the same war but survived. My brother, Michael Allen Cropper was killed in a motor vehicle accident on his way to the barracks in Sydney just before he was to go to Vietnam, in 1970. The other driver was speeding, we were told. 

My Grandfather's brother Cecil Stanley Starkey died 22 April 1915. His body was never recovered. His memorial is on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
My first cousin twice removed Herbert Edward Crocombe-19 was one of 543 Australian soldiers who survived the brutality of the Burma-Thailand Railway construction only to lose his life when the "Rakuyo Maru" a Japanese cargo ship he was on was sunk by our American allies on the 6 September 1944 in the China Sea off the Philippines.
Weekly We are passing trough the Menin Gate on our way to the In Flanders field Museum, where we volunteer . I will put a flower in remembrance of your grandfathers brother
That would be wonderful thank you so much

Cheers Teresa
Howard Carroll Linn, B: 1920, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Death:  8 Nov 1943

Death Place:  Salerno, Provincia di Salerno, Campania, Italy

Cemetery:  Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, MN

Has Bio:   Y

Father: William Samuel Linn


My own words; History shows this battle to be a botched up mess under XYZ commanders.  The Americans manage to somehow take back that bay at a high cost of our mens lives.  They sent back, his dog tags, some prints or paintings of Italy dated 1942.  His purple heart.

Yes, my both Grandfathers died at the World War II/Still Missing in Action.

Reinhold Paul Mallon

Max Schmukat

My uncle James Austin born in 1925 in Raphoe, Eire got lost at sea in Ww2 aged 19.There were rumours that it was an inside job. CTs have always existed. Critical Thinkers/Conspiracy Theorists.

My grandfather William lost 2 brothers in Somme during Great War. Matthew and John Austin, 1917 and 18 within 4 months. Irish born.

My grandfather William was bayonetted during battle and survived playing dead. He died of suspected gas poisoning in early 50s. Five years ago we discovered haemochromatosis, genetic iron overload condition in our family. Inherited from both parents, this may explain mid life deaths of heart conditions etc in ancestors. Most common disorder, rarely taught in the medical profession as no big pharma drugs involved only medieval blood letting.

I am youngest of 12, have C and H gene and overloading iron. My siblings either have 1 or 2  of the genes.

Discussed in Parliament 2019 to blood test babies to save lifes and save money. Ignored. No profit in heart conditions, cyrohsis of the liver, hip replacements, mental illness, etc.
My great great grandfather Jeremiah Rowland, who was a Confederate soldier died in Baton Rouge Louisiana in 1863

Great great grandfather Asa H Weaver confederate soldier  died in Mississippi in 1862.

EuGene Anderson Walpole U S Navy, cousin died Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. he was on the battleship Oklahoma.

107 Answers

+15 votes

Yes, Great Uncle Albert my grandfather’s brother who died in Flanders in WWI .

by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
My grandfather's brother (Uncle Bill) was also killed at Flanders in WWI on 10 Jun 1917. kelly-2453
+17 votes

My cousin, Livingston Murch, was drowned off the Dover coast in WWI, despite being a champion swimmer in his home town.  Notification of his death was sent to his brother, Angus - but Angus had died six weeks earlier in the Somme, France...

In WWII, my great-uncle Walter Ball was killed in France, as was his younger brother, Eli.  My grandfather named one of his sons 'Walter Eli' after his brothers.

by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+18 votes
Yes. My father’s father arbuthnot-55:being the most recent Ypres 1915.

My ggggf duff-1047. Trafalgar 1805.
by Sir William Arbuthnot of Kittybrewster G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
edited by Sir William Arbuthnot of Kittybrewster
+18 votes
My great-great grandfather, Jacob Teeple (Sr) was a Confederate soldier, captured an interned at Alton Military Prison in Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi River. He died there, most likely of small pox, which was rampant at the prison. His son, also imprisoned there, survived, but said he never saw his father again. His burial site remains unknown. Alton was an exceptionally harsh prison, with above average deaths for a Union prison.
by Jim Parish G2G6 Pilot (159k points)
+19 votes

My father MSgt.Clare Alexander Lovelace was killed in WWII on May 29th 1945. In 6 days it will be 75 years since the B-29, that he was the flight engineer on, was shot down off the coast of Japan, and his body was never recovered. My great uncle Pvt. Kyle McCleery was killed in WWI in the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge on 10 Oct 1918, and he is buried at the Muese-Argonne American Cemetery in France. Two of my second great grand uncles were killed in the Civil War. Pvt. Ralph Morris was killed in the Battle of Fort Donelson on 15 Feb 1862, and his brother Pvt. Newton Morris was killed on 27 Aug 1862.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (467k points)
I wonder if you are also related to Maj. Charles Kennedy Lovelace of N. Carolina. Lost over Laos, June 1965, buried at Arlington, along with his co-pilot Maj William Cordero. Their remains are co-interred.

Each of my parents lost a cousin in 1944, Clifford Lovelace: Leyte Philippines and Walter Charles Fillmore, Belgium, 'Battle of the Bulge'
Hi Charles, it is certainly good to meet another Lovelace through WikITree, and I see we are 7th cousins 4 times removed through our mother’s, but we are probably nearer than that through Lovelace. As a child my family kept in contact with my Lovelace family in England, but I have no idea who they are now. They mailed me a doll that I have a photo of, and a second photo was mailed to England.  I hope that through some more research we will make a better connection. I only know what I have put on WikITree, and I should know more. Thank you for letting me know about your Lovelace family, and their services in WWII.
Thanks for your reply, Alexis. As the father of girls I've enjoyed the greater depth of information on matriarchal linage brought me by these genealogy sites. I had a brief flirtation with some English Lovelaces in the late 70s but, lost the thread some years ago.

It must have seared your hide, as a young woman, knowing what a few months difference would have made in your life, If only 'the bomb' had been ready sooner! I honor the sacrifices made by your father and your family to our greater family and this nation. Thank you!
Charles, I really need to hear from you today. Today is 75 years since my father was killed in the crash, and I just got a call from my only living first cousin’s son that she is near death. She is my only connection to knowing my family, and now I am losing her. Thank you so very much for your very insightful reply. Doing genealogy I have recently realized that my grandfather’ s brother lived to be 85, while my grandfather had a stroke shortly after losing his son and died 3 years later at age 66. My mother also died young at 45 from cancer, but she was a heavy smoker with nervous problems, and dated an alcoholic. Yes, I think I needed to hear from a Lovelace today, and God bless you and your dear girls. Stay well for them Charles.
I read your rely late this evening Alexis. I was cognizant during the day of your father's story and your family's sacrifice. I too have come to appreciate the value of genealogy and acknowledging where we come  from. I'm deeply saddened by your cousin's illness and send my sympathy and condolences.
+14 votes
I don't have any direct ancestors who died in battle, but I do have several family members who have died in battle. My great-great grandfather's brother, John Frazier, died a couple of days after the Battle of Fredericksburg in the Civil War. Years later, both his parents applied for Civil War pensions, only to be denied because the army didn't have a record of John Frazier's cause of death, although they acknowledged he had died while in service. One of the affidavits in his pension file states that he died because he froze to death in the horrible conditions the Union Army suffered after their defeat.
by K Frazier G2G4 (5.0k points)
+14 votes
Yes, Levi Sylvanus Lowman was my 2nd great grandfather.  He was in the 6th Regiment, NC.  He was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg on July 8, 1863.  I read that he fled the war at one time and hid in a cave in the mountain and his wife Sarah would walk miles down the railroad tracks to take him some food.  But eventually, probably being scared, he ended up going back and killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.  What a hero!!!
by Laurie Lowman G2G6 (8.5k points)
+12 votes

Yes, my Great Great Uncle, Major Lanoe George Hawker VC DSO was shot down by Manfred von Richtofen while flying an Airco DH.2 over Achiet-le-Grand.

by Ben Griffin G2G1 (1.7k points)
+15 votes

Lt, Kenneth Walter Lindsay my 1st cousin, 2x removed, died in action during WWII, on July 16, 1944. His body was never recovered and his name is listed on the Manila American Cemetery Walls of the Missing

Here's his story, as told by his co-pilot, Lt. Leonard T. Duval:

Lt. Kenneth W. Lindsay and Lt. Leonard T. Duval Shot Down

by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 3 (37.9k points)
+11 votes

My first cousin (four times removed) was [Scott-33771] Sgt John Morehead Scott (1839-1862).  John Scott was one of Andrew's Raiders (Union, Civil War)  that stole "The General" (locomotive) near Big Shanty, Georgia. He was hanged in Atlanta, and received the Medal of Honor posthumously. He was one of the first six people ever awarded the Medal of Honor.  His family donated his medal to the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, Georgia, where it is on display along with "The General" locomotive.

by Ron Rowland G2G6 Mach 1 (14.6k points)
+11 votes
My cousin, Pvt. Vernon Jones was killed by a sniper on April 14th 1945 while fighting with the US Army 331st Infantry regiment 83rd div. The division had just taken the German town of Barby across the Elbe River on April 13th. 23 days after Vernon was killed, Germany surrendered and the war in Europe was over.
+10 votes
2 Ribourtout died during WW1. I've got more that went in WW1, won medal, even one ancestor that was a veteran of Napoleon's armies.
by Christophe Ribourtout G2G1 (1.7k points)
+10 votes
My paternal grandparents, Tema Werner and Menahhem Levy, along with several of their children (my aunts and uncles) were murdered during the holocaust of World War II.

One uncle, Yitzhak Levy, survived that war and immigrated to Palestine (now Israel) but was killed as a soldier during the War of Independence (the Nakba, according to the Palestinians).  He is buried in the Netanya Military Cemetery.
by Tamar Yaron G2G Crew (500 points)
+10 votes
Yesterday, I posted on FB Early New England History about my 6th ggf who was killed in the Louisburg assault in 1745.  I've found 4 ancestors who died on colonial expeditions against the French.  About 80 years leading up to that might be considered wartime at home as colonists expanded into territory which had not been theirs.  One of my childrens' ancestors is on the official Apr 19 1775 victim list, another joins him in the DAR list. A Quaker relative died in the WW II Alaska campaign. Its a long tradition, not always glorious, which we perpetuated.
by Tim Prince G2G6 Mach 3 (37.9k points)
+11 votes
Isaac Newton McClurg (3rd GGF), died on 24 May 1863 during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi (18 May - 4 July 1863). He is buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery: #1906 in the Civil War Roll of Honor. Isaac was a private in Company G, 22nd Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.
by Eric Reeves G2G Crew (960 points)
+12 votes
Husband's uncle died in WW2 in Taly.

Husband's uncle Victor killed in action in Italy September 1944. Family received telegram stating death details then a month later 2 letters arrived from Vic which  caused his mum Annie to declare he couldn't be dead and thereafter she was waiting for him to return. She refused to move home as Vic  won't know where we are
by Anon Sharkey G2G6 Mach 4 (40.3k points)
+10 votes
My great-great grandfather, Robert Walton,  died along with two of his brothers During the Civil War, 1964
by Glynda Malleske G2G1 (1.5k points)
+10 votes
Yes, 1 cousin in World War II

3 great uncles in the Civil War
by Rose Sturk G2G1 (1.4k points)
+9 votes
Most recent, my Uncle Roy Crossman, France, 1915, WWI. Also. Cousins in Civil War, The Alamo, Revolutionary War and French and Indian War.
by Lloyd Crossman G2G5 (5.9k points)
+8 votes


  • Cyriel Fournier, died on the battlefields of Dixmude ( Belgium) 1917 
  • Jules Maes, first husband of my grandmother, died in october 1918, he was driven up as a civilian, forced by the German soldiers on their way back to Germany
  • Fonteyne Medard François, 29-08-1915, Hoogstade, Belgium, Belgian soldier


  • my step-uncle, member of the resistance, was kept prison by the Gestapo and they shot him in 1944- Oostakker ( Belgium)
  • his cousin, Henry Lommez, died  te 16/06/1940 on a field in France, as a Belgian soldier. A farmer thought he was a German Soldier and shot him
by Mia Fournier G2G6 (6.7k points)
My mother’s paternal aunt lost her first husband in WWI.  He’s buried in Belgium.  Then her son from her second marriage died during Dunkirk and he’s buried in France.
Yes. My 2nd Great Grandfather James William Habberjam was blown up by a shell in WW1 in France he was in the Royal Sussex Regiment. His brother ( my 3rd great uncle ) Charles Habberjam was killed in action in WW1 In Belgium he was in the Northumberland Fusiliers. My other 2nd Great Grandfather James William Spooner was killed in action in Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915 he was in the Northumberland Fusiliers.

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