Wallingford school honors alumni killed in World War I

Wallingford school honors alumni killed in World War I


WALLINGFORD — In 1921, Memorial House was constructed on Choate Rosemary Hall’s campus to honor the 15 alumni that died in World War I. Ninety-three years later, the school is constructing stairs and columns in front of the building to mark the centennial of the war’s beginning.

World War I started on July 28, 1914. Choate’s new memorial will join a number of others in town that honor those who served in World War I.

During the war, 15 Choate students were killed, according to Choate spokeswoman Lorraine Connelly. The school is spending more than $600,000 to add the steps and columns. Work is expected to be completed this month.

The town has several other World War I memorials, according to town historian Bob Beaumont.

The most visible is in front of Town Hall, 45 S. Main St. It honors town veterans killed in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Before it was erected at Town Hall, Beaumont said a wooden memorial was dedicated to those who served in World War I at Simpson Court, located at the intersection of Center Street and North Main Street.

“The original monument for the veterans was a series of wooden panels listing all the names of the men that served in World War I,” Beaumont said. “That got damaged severely during the Hurricane of 1938.”

Harrison Park, off Cedar Lane, also serves as a memorial to those killed in World War I. While it’s commonly known today as Harrison Park, it used to be called “World War I Memorial Park.” In 1919, over 20 trees were planted with plaques in memory of men that died in the war.

Lufbery Park, off Cheshire Road, was named after Raoul Lufbery, “one of the best pilots of World War I,” Beaumont said. Lufbery was born in France, and lived in Wallingford for a brief period before becoming American’s first air ace and a household name. Lufbery Avenue was also named after the pilot.

Beaumont said he was glad Choate was adding to its World War I memorial.

“Down through the years, there’s just been a tremendous history of Wallingford’s involvement in the wars and Wallingford revering those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

evo@record-journal.com (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ

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