Veterans Day and Eliot Church
November 11 is Veterans Day – a time to remember and honor all who served in the United
States military forces. Eliot Church had members who were in the military starting with the
Civil War and a number who lost their lives.
The book written by Arthur Lord entitled “The History of One Hundred Years, 1845 – 1945”
includes information about Eliot Church and wars.
Civil War – Lord writes: “The records do not tell much about the effect of the Civil War upon the
life of the church. At least three teachers and twenty scholars of the Sunday School enlisted in
the Army ad three of these lost their lives in battle or as a result of wounds. J. Cushing Edmands
was captain of a company in the Thirty-second Massachusetts regiment and later became its
Colonel and at the e of the war a Brigadier General. Several other officers advanced to high
rank. The members of the church had always been strongly opposed to slavery and were so
outspoken in its early years that they were quite unpopular with those who thought such
sentiments were a dangerous heresy in a church. They now gave loyal support to the war
hoping that the curse of slavery would be removed from the country. On the Sunday when the
news of the battle of Bull Run was received church services were suspended after a brief
address and the day was spent in preparing lint, bandages, etc. That night five barrels were
sent away for the care of wounded soldiers.”
World War I – “During the course of the First World War ninety-two men of the Church were
taken into the armed services of the nation and five more did important war work in Europe.
Four of these men lost their lives in action and in their honor a memorial service was held in the
spring of 1919. ..In the winter of 1918 the auditorium was closed for some months to save coal
during which time services were held in the chapel. In the fall of that year Dr. Person was given
leave of absence for several months to carry on religious work in the YMCA hut at Camp
Devens. It was a great day of rejoicing in November 1919 when the church held a ‘Welcome
Home’ banquet for its servicemen…”
World War II – “The third major war in the Church’s history has again called away the flower of
its young men. Even before the United States entered it in 1941 several had volunteered for
service and at the present time (e.g. 1945) the Honor Roll contains the names of 117 men in the
armed forces and of four women in the women’s auxiliary services who are members of the
church. We sorely miss their presence and hope for their speedy return.”
There are two large metal plaques next to the fireplace in the Eliot Church parlor. One contains
the names of six Eliot members who died during the Civil War and World War I.
We do not have documentation about Eliot Church member participation in subsequent wars.
If you know of anyone from Eliot who was in the military during the Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, or other please contact click contact button below.