9 - Emery J. Pelkey (1889 - 1918)

Emery J. Pelkey's WW I gravesite in France visited by his brother-in-law, John J. Madden
Photo courtesy of David A. Nims

Parents: Peter H. Pelkey (Pierre H. Pelletier) - Cordelia Roireau-dit-Laliberté

Born: 7 Jul 1889 - West Boylston, MA
Died: 28 Sep 1918 - France (World War I)
Buried: Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France

Notes: From David A. Nims:

Emery J. PELKEY was born on 7 Jul 1889 in West Boylston, MA. He died on 28 Sep 1918 in Meuse-Argonne, France, and is buried in the World War I Meuse-Argonne Cemetery.

Other than the birth certificate forwarded by the West Boylston town clerk, I find no mention of Emery until 1900 when he is shown in the Peterborough, NH federal census as a 1 1-year-old “at school”. In 1909 he is found as a resident of Leominster, MA, employed at SC Co., a manufacturer of combs. Emerie Peltier (as it is spelled in the Leominster street directories) is shown as living with his father until 1917.

Emery Pelkey enlisted in the U.S. Army on May 26, 1918, and was processed at Camp Upton, NY. He was killed in action on September 28, 1918, less than two months before the Armistice. His remains were buried in Meuse-Argonne American Cemetry, France, Row 35, Block H, Grave #8. He served in Co. K, 314th Inf. 79th. Birthplace listed as West Boylston, MA in 1889. He was a past member of Post #15 1, American Legion, Leominster. A memorial tree and marker for WWI veterans is in Carter Park, Leominster, opposite St. Leo's Church on Main St. There is an American Legion marker on the family lot, #7, St. Cecelia's Cemetery, Leominster, MA. The bulk of this information came from the Veterans' Agent in Leominster, where a large scroll carries the name of Emery L Pelkey along with all of the others from Leominster killed in World War I, and the inscription, “Their Work Done, They Rest”.

The World War I Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial

            Left: Aerial view of the Cemetery   -   Right: Memorial Pool with Chapel in the background

The World War I Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial is located east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon (Meuse), France and about twenty-six miles northwest of Verdun.

The Meuse-Argonne Cemetery and Memorial, covering one hundred and thirty acres, holds the largest number of American Dead in Europe, a total of 14,246. Most of those buried here gave their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. The immense array of headstones rises in rectangular rows upwards beyond a wide central pool to the chapel which crowns a ridge. A beautiful bronze screen separates the chapel foyer from the interior, which is decorated with stained glass windows portraying American unit insignia. Behind the altar are the flags of the Allied nations. On either side of the chapel are memorial loggias. One panel of the west loggia contains a map of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Inscribed on the remaining panels are the names of the 954 American Missing whose remains were never recovered or identified to include those Missing during our expedition to northern Russia during 1918-1919.