Lost and ALONE

I have no information about this photograph. I don't know if this World War I graveyard is stateside or in Europe. It's sad, mysterious, and just plain interesting. Nothing is written on the back. Perhaps someday someone will stumble across it in Flickr who knows something about it.

World War I cemetery_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

List of names that I was able to clearly read:
  1. Charles A. Vogt / Pvt 50Co.T.C. 17 Grand Div / Died 1919
  2. Charles J. Vallier Jr. / Sgt. 311 Engrs  / Died Mar. 6. 1919
  3. John C Zitzmann / Col or Sgt Heqrs Co 312 ??? / Died Oct. 13. 1918
  4. Macgo Alston / Pvt CoD 304 Labor ??? / Died Jan. 6. 1919
  5. Robert Illig / Pvt Co A 38 Engrs / Died 
  6. Edward P Bowe?? / Wagoner
  7. Clarence V. Fanning / Pvt Co D 312 Engrs / Died Jan. 7. 1919
  8. Michael J Connolly / Pvt Hdqs Co ??? / Died ??? 
  9. Walter C Skole / Mechanic CoG 344 Inf / Died ???
  10. Albert C. Welch / Sgt. CoF 348 Inf / Died Feb. 5. 1919
  11. Ernest Bisbee / Wagoner Sply Co 348 Inf / Died Nov. 4. 1918
  12. Eugene B. Ball / Corpl 15 Engrs / Died Mar. 13. 1919 
  13. David L Dosh??? / Cook CoM ??? / Died Feb. 9. 1919
To see the people in the photo even larger click here.

Update: The net is an amazing place. This photo can now be put into context with the world. Eloh, from the hysterically funny blog http://elohssanatahw.blogspot.com/, and Lori, a geneologist from http://www.familytreesmaycontainnuts.com, together filled in the pieces. I present to you their findings.

From Eloh:
I looked at the larger photo, wow, there is some "silent film" going on isn't there. A whole movie in the expressions and body language.

The woman, possibly Graves Registration? She's wearing what seems to be a campaign ribbon on her lapel. It could be a flower stem or a pencil in her right hand and it looks like papers between her purse and body.  I'm stumped with the pockets both full of hankies. They could be scented, but the exhumed remains really wouldn't be that stinky.  Maybe she just has a heart, maybe fashion?

The full bird colonel is obviously upset with her. He is used to getting things his way.  On his collar is the Engineer insignia and the Combat Infantrymans. Color is a problem with the rank of the other two, but one thing about the Army, some things stay the same.  I'll still be guessing that the oak leaf is gold and that Major is the Colonels' Aid. (Personel secretary).  Color problems again, and again it would normally be a silver bar of a First Lieutenant, could be a Captain at that angle of the photo, but he is young and not paying attention to his surroundings, he is only interested in what that Bird Colonel wants. He is also wearing Engineer Insignia. I can't make out the patch, left sholder it would tell us what "Army" he was assigned to. 
(7th Army has been in Europe since  WWII)

I noticed in your list of names a Junior and thought it the most likely to connect up to something useful.  I was lucky as he did have a child.

This is a relocation of soldiers killed in France.

Charles J. Vallier Jr. / Sgt. 311 Engrs  / Died Mar. 6. 1919
 Born:  10 Jul 1888  Place:  Of, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
 Died:  6 Mar 1919  Place:  , , , France
Wife's Name
 Mae MINN   
Born:  Abt. 1892  Place:    
one child listed as still living.

It will be very interesting to find out where his body is today.
From Lori:
I am pretty sure the cemetery is Suresnes, Ile de France, France. The American military cemetery at Suresnes was established in 1917 by the Graves Registration Service of the Army Quartermaster Corps. A majority of the World War I dead buried there died of wounds or sickness in hospitals located in Paris or at other places administered by the Services of Supply. (Many were victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919.) The graves area consists of four burial plots: three of World War I, with a total of 1541 graves, and one of World War II, containing the graves of 24 unknown soldiers, sailors, or airmen.
At least one of the names (Ernest Bisbee) on the list is buried there. I didn’t find any family trees looking for Charles Vallier.
Thanks to both of you for helping to fill in the pieces. Perhaps someday someone looking for information about their ancestors will find this photo online.


  1. With so many in one place it must be Europe.

  2. It reminds me of the scene in "Mrs. Henderson Presents" when she goes to the cemetery in France to visit her son's grave.

  3. Eloh, You're right. I hadn't thought of that. I'm thinking maybe I'll copy off as many names as I can and add them to the post in case someday someone does a search of the names. There are really only a few I can make out complete information.

    Willow, I've never heard of that movie. I'll have to put that on my "to see" list. Just looked it up and it won't be on any channel this month. But thanks for mentioning it.

  4. I need to take some time and really give those uniforms a good look.

    The multiple open graves in the foreground suggests some sort of relocation process going on as does the unweatherd finished graves. Those graves are fairly fresh.

    The extra dirt was added to the top of the grave so that when the coffin rotted out and collapsed the resulting depression would not be that deep.

  5. I thought the graves looked very strange, above ground mounds with the paths between. An abundance of flowers. It's in your hands. Solve my mystery.

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  7. The shoulder patch on that uniform should tell most of the story. Can you make out what it looks like or sketch it out larger?

  8. Eloh,

    I'm really sorry to hear about your son. That's a really tough burden to have to watch your child go through this. You're obviously finding strength somewhere.

    As to Criminal Justice. I was just working on a book about it a few weeks ago. Boy has that market changed since I started out in publishing.

    I've uploaded a larger photo of just the people in the shot and put a link at the bottom of the post. Perhaps you can figure out something about the uniforms. I believe they're American, not British.