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JIM: After five days rest - Cpl. Rose goes to war


In early June, 1925, John Rose announced via the News his impending candidacy for County Judge in the Republican primary to be held in early August. A brief autobiographical sketch mentioned his service in the U.S. Army during World War I:

"I was born and reared on a farm on Leatherwood Creek, near Nell, where I resided until called into the service of my country an attached to the 15th Depot Brigade at Camp Taylor [Jefferson County, Ky.] In company with other Adair county boys we were transferred to Camp Seviere, South Carolina, and from there we were sent to Camp Merritt, New Jersey, and on May 16th [1918] we embarked, landing in England on June 5th.

"After five days rest, we crossed the English Channel and participated in the following battles: Ypres, Hindenburg Line, Bellicort, Mauroy, Premont, Brancourt, Busigny, B--uigny, Bahain, Vaux-Andigny, L. Holl Nineresse, St. Martin Rievre, Mozinheim, Heights of Catillan.

"After the armistice was signed, being placed in charge of thirty-six men whom I had accompanied to Camp Taylor, where we were mustered out on April 29, 1919."

A letter penned by Cpl. Rose on November 1st, 1918 -- ten days before the Armistice was signed -- appeared in the edition of the News dated December 25th. In the letter he highlighted his part in the war from late September through mid-October:

"As I promised to write to the News again, I will attempt to tell a few of my experiences in the drive that has just passed. I entered into the lines at this sector on September, the 2_ [28th??], and the drive started the next morning at 6 o'clock, We went over the top on the Somme front between St. Quentin and Cambrai, and in a very few minutes we had advanced to Bronscourt, capturing the Hindenburg line, which was in the St. Quentin and Cambrai canal.

"We stayed in the lines until Oct. 18th, and during the time we captured the following villages: Neroy, John Court, Montbachain, Billy court, Busigny, Bazandena, St. Martin, St. Suplet, and many others I cannot call to mind just now.

"We captured many prisoners and guns and supplies. The Boche did not offer much resistance until the last two days that we were in the lines, but with all of their efforts to stop us, we went over the top just the same and on the night of Oct. 18th, we were relieved and are now out for a long rest, rejoicing over our victory.

"From Oct. 8 to the 16th we advanced thirteen miles. At times we went so fast that the artillery could not keep up with us. We are rejoicing over the surrender of Turkey and Austria, and are hoping that Germany will see where she stands and surrender so that we can eat our Xmas dinner in America.

"I am now under a N.Y. Captain orderly (sic) and believe me, I have the best Captain in the army. He treats me as nice as a brother or a father could treat me. We are going to get a pass to Paris while we are out at rest and I am anxious to visit the city before I come back to America."

Young Mr. Rose, then a few months past his twenty-second birthday, left with a large contingent of other Adair Countians for Camp Taylor the week of August 23, 1917. His desire to "eat Xmas dinner in America" in 1918 went unfulfilled, but toward the end of April 1919, he and fellow veterans Felix Royse and Charles T. Powell again set foot in Adair County. Said the News in reporting their return, "They were in France eleven months and were in the thickest of the fighting."

Immediately after the war, civilian Rose taught a term of school at Jones Chapel, then accepted a position at the Bank of Columbia. After remaining there for a year and a half, he "took a course in accountancy and entered the Law Department of the University, from which he was graduated in 1924. By the time he declared his intent to run for office, he had been employed at the law firm of Garnett & Van Winkle, Louisville, for well over a year. (The first-named half of the law firm was Adair native and former Kentucky Attorney General James Garnett, Jr.)

Mr. Rose's 1925 bid for the Republican nomination for County Attorney proved successful, but in the general election that fall, he drew 101 votes fewer than the Democrat, Gordon Montgomery.

An entry in the May 25, 1960 News noted that he and his wife had returned to Columbia after being in Louisville for many years. When Mr. Rose passed in the summer of 1964, he was serving a term as City Attorney for Columbia. His gravemarker (Union Cemetery, Adair County) notes he was a member of HQ Company, 120 Infantry. Jim

This story was posted on 2017-05-28 12:37:03
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JIM: Final resting place for John Rose, WWI soldier

2017-05-28 - Union Cemetery, 174 Milltown Church Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener.
When Mr. Rose passed in the summer of 1964, he was serving a term as City Attorney for Columbia. His gravemarker, above, (Union Cemetery, Adair County) notes he was a member of HQ Company, 120 Infantry. - JIM. The gravemarker was found quickly with the help of the Shirley Sisters - Betty Shirley Knifley and Mary Ann Shirley Hixt, who are now plotting the cemetery to make locations of graves more easily locatable, who were working on the project on Sun 28 May 2017, when the photo was taken.

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