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November 09, 2018

Armistice Day: Commemorating the Centennial of the End of World War I

This weekend the world commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I. The “Great War” ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11/11/1918). We would like to take this opportunity to remember the service of university personnel during the war.

Both Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case School of Applied Science (CSAS) established Student Army Training corps units on campus. In addition to the SATC unit, over 1,000 men and women from WRU - faculty, staff, trustees, alumni - served the war effort in some capacity: from trustee Newton D. Baker who was U.S. Secretary of War, to Winifred Campbell, College for Women graduate, who served as a nurse at Base Hospital No. 31 in France, to Harland L. Sherman, Adelbert College class of 1916, who was a communication officer in France, to Dr. George W. Crile, Medical School faculty member, who headed Base Hospital No. 4 - the Lakeside Unit in France. The university published a War Service Roster summarizing the service of men and women of WRU.

CSAS also published a War Service Record. This publication summarized the war-related activities of the academic departments, such as the school for Marine Engineers conducted by the Mechanical Engineering Department for the U. S. Shipping Board. This program trained 319 operating engineers for service in the Merchant Marine. The publication also recorded the civilian and military service of over 600 faculty members, alumni, students, and faculty. For instance, Professor Dayton C. Miller served the Scientific Commission of National Research Council and the Army Ordnance Department while Jerold Henry Zak, class of 1913, served in the U. S. Army Ambulance Service.


After the war, WRU held a service 6/8/1919 in honor of those university members who died in service during the war. On 11/11/1921 a program was held in Amasa Stone Chapel to dedicate a memorial tablet honoring the deceased. This tablet still hangs in the chapel. Those honored include: Robert Dickson Lane, William Benjamin Crow, Paul Frederick William Schwan, Orville Russell Watterson, Ellory Justin Stetson, Pontius Gothard Cook, Harold Sharp Layton, Charles Scott Woods, William Walter Burk, Henry Burt Herrick, Allen James Excell, Charles Shiveley Brokaw, Joseph Charles Monnier, Renselear Russell Hall, George Albert Roe, Walter Hay Akers, Fred Carl Rosenau.

CSAS installed a tablet in honor of those faculty, alumni, and students who served with the armed forces during the war, 1914-1918. Over 600 names were listed. Those who died were indicated with a star. This tablet was dedicated at commencement on 5/26/1921. Newton D. Baker gave the commencement address, War and the College Man. The tablet was originally displayed for commencement and then installed on the first floor of the Case Main Building.

Records concerning Western Reserve University and Case School of Applied Science during World War I are available for use in the Archives.

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