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Abell Home --> Special Collections --> Virtual Exhibits --> Of Service and Sacrifice --> Fallen War Heroes: WWI


Fallen War Heroes: WWI


Charles Ignatius Coffin

Charles Ignatius Coffin ’15

Coffin, of Itasca, Texas, was killed during shelling at Soissons, France, a commune northwest of Paris, on July 19, 1918. Coffin was an active Philennoian Literary Society member and vice president of the Senior Club. He was buried near Soissons in a well-marked grave with full military honors.

Robert Lee Crim

Robert Lee Crim (attended 1912-14)

Crim was killed during the night of October 9, 1918, about half a mile northwest of Somme-Py, France, during a shell bombardment of the front lines. He was trained at Camp Bowie before entering the fighting and is believed buried at the place of his death.

John Morgan Currie

John Morgan Currie ’17

1st Lt. John Morgan Currie left Austin College to join the first officer training class at Camp Leon Springs, Texas, during his senior year and was granted his A.B. in absentia with his class. He was known in football circles as one of the best players ever to wear the Kangaroo uniform. He was at one time president of the A Association and an ex-judge of the Kangaroo Court. Currie was sent to France with the Rainbow Division, wounded several times, and was awarded the Croix de Guerre from the French government before he was killed leading his men on September 12, 1918.

Robert C. Drummond

Robert C. Drummond (attended 1911-13)

In August 1919, the Alumni Monthly reported that, “Eight months after he had been reported missing in action, Battalion Sergeant Major Robert C. Drummond was reported killed in action.” A student from Brookston, Texas, Drummond trained and served at Camp Travis, Texas, until he was sent to the French front line in early August 1918, where he was either captured of killed on September 26, 1918.


Eugene Meek Ellison ’16

Ellison, of Dallas, Texas, was a ministerial candidate who was a leader in college activities. He was elected president of the Y.M.C.A., and distinguished himself as a debate winner. Ellison was a prominent member of his class and held several offices. He returned to work on his master’s degree in English in 1917. Ellison trained at Camp Leon Springs, Texas, before being sent to France, where he was killed 50 yards from the enemy line at Berzy-le-sec, near Soissons, on July 20,1918, at the age of 24.

Gordon Felix Gaither

Gordon Felix Gaither, Jr.’14

A victim of the epidemic of influenza sweeping the United States in 1918, Gaither died at Camp Pike, Arkansas, on October 12, 1918. Gaither attended Austin College for five years and was remembered as a leader among students. He was an able speaker and a member of the Alumni Committee.

Harry A. Lee’12 (prep school)

Lee, of Sherman, Texas, was a member of the College’s preparatory school. Little is known about him or the circumstances of his death.

Robert Jayne Maxey (attended 1889-91)

On May 28, 1918, Lt. Col. Robert Jayne Maxey was killed at Cantigny, France, south of Amiens. He was an Austin College cadet officer registered from Mississippi. Before his service in France, Maxey served in the Spanish-American War and three tours in the Philippines in addition to acting as an instructor at Ft. Leavenworth. He was awarded the Medal of Bravery at San Juan Hill and was with the British at Ypres. On May 28, 1918, he was paralyzed by a bullet in the neck, but refused to leave the battle until he had relayed necessary orders. He is buried in Cantigny, where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the French government’s Croix de Guerre.

Robert Waldo Meyer (attended 1915-16)

Meyer was killed in France on October 26, 1918, while aiding a wounded comrade in No Man’s Land. He attended Austin College for one term before returning to his father’s business in Bowie, Texas, and eventually enlisting in the armed forces. Meyer was struck by shrapnel and severely wounded on the first day of a new American assault. He died in an Army hospital at the age of 23.

Robert Evans Richardson (attended 1916)

Off the English coast on Oct. 11, 1918, Richardson was killed when the seaplane on which he was the radio operator crashed into the North Sea while acting as an escort for an American Special Operation. He was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve Air Force and a prominent member of the freshman class of 1916. His body was flown home for burial in Dallas on Dec. 5, 1918. An armed escort of Austin College men marched in the funeral procession as an honor guard while aviators from Love Field flew overhead and dropped flowers on the parade.

Herbert Franklin Wager

Herbert Franklin Wager’15

Wager  entered Austin College in 1910 and upon graduation entered the ministry whith the intention of working in foreign missions. A leading member of the Athenaeum Literary Society and the Y.M.C.A., Wager graduated from seminary before joining the 322nd Sanitary Train, 97th Division at Camp Cody, Demming, N.M., where he died of influenza on Dec. 14, 1918. He was brought home to Sherman for burial services, which were conducted by Austin College president Thomas S. Clyce at Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Louis B. Wells (attended 1912-13)

Wells, of Bartlett, Texas, died of pneumonia in France on Dec. 22, 1918, after acquiring a distinguished service record on the fighting front. A month before his death, Wells witnessed the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

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