Question of the Week: Do you have any heroic volunteers in your branch?

+11 votes

June 2nd is National “Doughnut” Day. When I first read that, I rolled my eyes, and then I read a little further. 

This day was first celebrated in 1938 in Chicago to honor the Salvation Army Lassies. During World War I, they established huts where they would provide baked goods, writing supplies and clothes-mending for soldiers. About 250 of these women traveled from America to France to set up stations like this near the front lines -- a true act of bravery. 

Do you have any stories about ancestors who were recognized for their outstanding volunteer service?

If you have a profile link for your ancestor, please share it in your post. Photos are great, too. Thanks!

in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (405k points)
retagged by Abby Glann

8 Answers

+12 votes

This photo is from 1942 of my great aunt & her daughter, along with other volunteers of the Bergen County, NJ Red Cross Auxilliary, helping to support the troops.


by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
edited by Doug Lockwood
What a great picture, Doug!

Just imagine what these ladies would think if they knew that their picture was being celebrated like this 75 years later!!
Amazing photo what a treasure
+6 votes

While I'm not sure if this counts as "Volunteer" because he was paid, my great-great uncle Samuel Locke was a Constable in Williamson County, TN.  He was killed in retaliation for his tireless efforts to find and dismantle illegal stills.  I still count it as volunteer, because not many out there volunteer to put themselves in harms way for others.  It takes a special person.  :)

by Summer Orman G2G6 Mach 8 (86.4k points)
Yes, I would count him too.
+8 votes

Here's one, Capt. Dorothy Berry . She was named director of the Salvation Army's Eastern Territorial Correctional Service Bureau for Womeni n 1945, a post she held until she retired in 1964.

It is said in many of the listed references that Salvation Army Major Dorothy Berry and Daniel Carlsen started Narcotics Anonymous together in New York around 1949-1950. (Note" In some articles Dorothy's last name is spelled "Barry".)

Dorothy was committed to helping poor people, street people, and particularly addicts so she helped start a 12-Step NA group with Daniel L. Carlsen. They started it in the New York Federal Prison System and called it Narcotics Anonymous 

In 1959 received the New York State Welfare Conference Direct Service Award for "her help to women who have been in trouble with the law". 

Dorothy had obtained the rank of Brigadier General with the Salvation Army. She was affectionately called "Brigadier Dolly".

by Sandra Davidson G2G6 Pilot (179k points)
+1 vote

Yes, had a great Uncle killed in the Mexican/American War.  He is buried in Swallow Savannah Cemetery in Allendale S.C. Also Great Grandfather was hung by the British in the Revolutionary War for killing Officers in battle. His burial site is unknown.

by Kirk Williams G2G Crew (380 points)
+1 vote
Harold Barnard (, the husband of a distant cousin, participated in the evacuation of Dunkirk, piloting the yacht Bluebird (originally owned by speed-record-holder Malcolm Campbell).

(Is there a category for Dunkirk participants?)
by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+1 vote
My uncle, Walter Burak, received the Navy Cross. He was at Guadalcanal and was killed in the Solomon Islands.

My husband's great-grandfather, William Crawford, was an aide to George Washington, and was burned at the stake in Wyandot County, Ohio after being pulled out of retirement by George Washington.
by Regina Gibson G2G Rookie (290 points)
0 votes
Charles (Karl)  Ludwig Nessler is the grandfather of my wife.  He invented the permanent wave machine and other items which have patents.  There is a museum named for him in Germany which was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of his
+3 votes
I love this question.

Firefighters . . . My husband, his brothers, Bones, Hackie, Tom, and Dale

Brother-in-Law: Bill

Nephews: Brian, Jimmy, Nathan, Billy, Aaron, Adrian, Eric, Jeff

My nephews: Mike, Jason, Javin

My Niece: Anna

All currently serve on a Volunteer Fire Department.

My brother-in-law Bones, was the Chief and my nephew Jimmy is currently serving as Chief.

We are very proud of the dedication our family has given to the Momence Fire Protection District.
by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)

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