Church Stories

November 7, 2018

WWI Windows

Written by: Julia Smolucha

 

By The Reverend Dr. William A. Evertsberg

Franklin Bellows, Purcell Macklin, and Manierre Ware attended Sunday School here at Kenilworth Union, and when they grew up to be young men, they enlisted in the United States Army, and gave their lives for their country in World War I.  As we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we should honor their memory.

Franklin Bellows graduated from New Trier High School in 1913 and then matriculated at Northwestern University.  In 1917, one month before his graduation, President Wilson declared war on Germany and Mr. Bellows immediately enlisted at Fort Sheridan.  He was the only member of his graduating class to receive his diploma in uniform.  On September 13, 1918, he was flying a reconnaissance mission behind German lines when his plane was hit by antiaircraft fire.  Though the plane was badly damaged, the pilot managed to land safely in friendly territory, but Lieutenant Bellows had been hit by three bullets and died in his plane.  For his heroism, General Pershing awarded Lieutenant Bellows the Distinguished Service Cross.  Bellows Air Force Station in Hawaii is named after him.

Purcell Macklin was 18 years old when the United States declared war on Germany, too young to enlist in our Armed Forces, so he joined the British Royal Flying Corps instead.  On May 30, 1918, witnesses saw his plane go down out of control behind German lines.  For a long time nobody knew if he’d been killed or taken prisoner, but some time later a German pilot dropped a notice among the American troops telling them that Lieutenant Macklin had been buried in French soil near Amiens.

Manierre Barlow Ware graduated from New Trier High School in 1913 and the University of Illinois in 1917.  As soon as he finished his classes, he enlisted in the U. S. Army.  On October 12, 1918, his unit, Company K of the 362nd Infantry, 91st Division, in charge of 37-millimeter guns, was ordered to mop up a German machine gun nest.  When the commanding officer was killed, Lieutenant Ware took his place and was then brought down himself.  He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery for American soldiers in France, the largest American cemetery outside the United States.  October 12, 1918–exactly 30 days before the Armistice; 30 days from peace and home.

In 1930, our forebears decided that these three former Kenilworth Union Sunday School students were three of our local saints and memorialized them with these beautiful and evocative windows in our transept.