Gordon Ware (1886 – 1920)

“Gordon Ware was born Sept. 21, 1886, and prepared for College at Milton Academy.  Gifted with a love of sport, a keen mind, and a brilliant sense of humor, combined with great charm of personality, he quickly made a host of friends and was soon one of  the best-liked men in his Class.

After the outbreak of the World War, he felt more and more the desire for active service in the cause of the Allies, and in the fall of 1916 he went overseas and entered the American Ambulance Field Service , he did brilliant work bot in France and in the East, and though his great modesty forbade his saying anything about it, he felt that happiness of accomplishment.  It is characteristic of him that in writing to his family of a busy night on the line he should say:  ‘Fortunately it was very dark, so that the men probably could not see their brave lieutenant shook.’  Yet in the citation of his section, when he was awarded the Croix de Guerre, Petain says that ‘Under command of Lt. Ware, both in the Argonne (July to December, 1917, and before Verden from January to May, 1918), the section has always accomplished its missions perfectly…’ and, ‘under difficult and perilous conditions and in spite of the very great fatigue, gave a most meritorious example of calm courage combines with cheerfulness and drive.’  During this service Ware received a very severs blow in the chest when his ambulance was in a crash.  It is believed that this was  the probable cause of the illness which proved fatal, and that his death was as much the result of his service as if he had died in the uniform.

After the armistice he was engaged in the courier service.  His tact, thoughtfulness, and charm of manner made him liked and trusted by all his associates.  His commanding officer wrote:  ‘Lt. Gordon Ware has been in the Diplomatic Courier Service, maintained for the American Commission to negotiate Peace and other American interests in Europe, for the past six months.  During this time he has fulfilled a number of important missions involving responsibility, tact, and diplomacy.  For a time he was in entire charge of the office of the service at Berne, Switzerland.  In all of this work he has shown himself to be an officer and gentleman of high order.  He has been recommended for promotion and it is regretted that this has not been received before his departure to America.’

On returning from the service he became a master a Pomfret School.  Here his personality and understanding of boys made him a success both in the classroom and on the baseball field.  After the school year ended,  he was about to take up a position of responsibility in a bank, where his work would have taken him to France for a large part of every year.  In the summer of 1920, while on vacation in France, he fell ill, and died in Paris.”

Source:  The Harvard Graduated Magazine, Vol.29, by Thayer, Castle, Howe, Pier, DeVoto, Morrison, published by the Harvard Graduates Magazine Association, Boston, Massachusetts, 1921, page 658


Gordon Ware (1886 – 1920) — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Joan,

    I know you left this comment a long time ago, but I’m the curator at the Framingham History Center in Framingham, MA. As far as we know, there are no surviving descendants from Gordon’s branch of the family, but we do have a small collection of photographs and an unfinished manuscript written by Gordon in our collections. We are heavily featuring him in an upcoming exhibit on WWI, and we would be very interested in adding these items to our Gordon Ware collection if you still have them. His story is incredible and one we would like to preserve for generations to come.

  2. I have found some paperwork in a packet of letters written by Bartol Parker during WW I. The papers include an Officer’s Pay Voucher made out to Gordon Ware 1st Lt Paris. There are a few photos and postcards, written by Gordon Ware to A. L. Ware in Framingham Centre, as well. I would like to return these to any family member/descendant who might like to receive them. Please contact me.

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