Cliveden Cemetery, Buckinghamshire UK




in the

United Kingdom

An Essay by Sidney Clark
Member of the Great War Society

There are twenty U.S. servicemen of the American Expeditionary Force buried in United Kingdom civilian cemeteries, who served in the army, air service, navy and one civilian from the American Red Cross as confirmed by the CWGC, UK. These are in addition to the 468 U.S. war dead buried at the Brookwood, Cemetery, Surrey, which is operated by the American Battle Monuments Commission. These twenty additional individuals are listed as "American Nationals Buried in the UK". This article attempts to show the exact location of the individual cemetery and aid anyone who may be looking for family members, or to researchers of the AEF. The information on each serviceman is not the full version, however, all the photographs and files are available on a CD free to anyone with an interest of this subject for research. To request the CD contact me at:

George A. BRADER
Girvan (Doune) Cemetery in Ayrshire Scotland UK
US Army Signal Corps, Aviation Section

A Cadet named G.A. Brader, American Army, died 4th April 1918, and as shown on the headstone he came from Pennsylvania. Additional information is not available at this time. He may have lost his life as a result of a flying accident. He is also commemorated on the Turnberry memorial that has 52 names engraved of all the servicemen from the R.F.C, R.A.F, R.A.A.F, R.NZ.A.F and the USA Aviation.

Merwin Brewer
George W. Drake
148th Infantry, 37th Division
Buried: Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire

This cemetery is at Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, one of our Stately homes that people visit and which is owned by the National Trust, UK. From what I have learned, you have to apply for permission to visit being that it is within the private grounds which makes me think it was used as a hospital during the 1st WW. It is the burial site for:

  • Merwin Brewer, 1528090, 1375 E. 105th St. Cleveland, Ohio; born Wickliffe, Ohio; HQ Company, 148th Infantry. Served in the Argonne and Flanders. Died from wounds 13 November 1918.
  • George Drake, 1543563, 318 South Blvd, Dayton, Ohio. Medical Detachment 148th Infantry. Died of wounds 3 January 1918.

  • Both men were from a regiment attached to the 37th Division, which was the Ohio National Guard division during the war. The division went over the top the first day of the Meuse-Argonne and was redeployed late in the war to Flanders, where these men likely received their fatal wounds.

    US Air Service
    Buried: Wolvercote Cemetery Oxford, England

    William Smith Ely was born in Rochester, NY, November 18, 1895, born into a medical family; his father and grandfather were both well known physicians, he was expected to enter Harvard Medical School on his graduation from college. On the outbreak of war he abandoned his plans for the study of medicine and joined the Aviation Section of the USA Signal Corps in Boston in May 1917 being assigned to the Ground School of Military Aeronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to receive his preliminary training. He was permitted to continue his studies at Harvard and graduated in the class of 1917, in uniform.

    On July 19th he set sail for England arriving at Liverpool July 30th 1917, he was eventually sent to France to attend the Aviation H.Q. in Paris where he received his commission as 1st Lieutenant. He was then detailed to return to England to train as a Squadron Leader, station at Northolt and at Port Meadow, Oxford.

    On the 2nd January at Port Meadow, Oxford he was invited to be a passenger in an aircraft flown by an instructor who was considered to be an expert flier. What happened is not known, however, the inquest report states by an error of judgment the pilot stalled the engine when turning, the machine crashed to the ground from a height of approximate 300 feet. Both pilot and passenger were killed instantly.

    Wm, Smith Ely is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery Oxford, England. A cenotaph headstone was also erected for him in the family plot in Mt Hope Cemetery, Rochester, N.Y.

    Minnesota Historical Society USA
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission UK
    Rochester Public Library, History and Genealogy Div USA
    WFA, Chairman Scotland (South) Branch UK
    Worcester Cemetery Office UK
    Wolvercote Cemetery Office Oxford UK

    Frederick W. Hough,

    Thomas Cushman Nathan,

    Andrew C. Ortmayer,

    Harry G. Velie,

    Ayr Cemetery,
    Ayrshire, Scotland

    Aviation Section,
    Signal Corps

    The magnificent memorial above is in the Ayr Cemetery, Ayrshire, Scotland. It is a tribute to these four American servicemen who were killed nearby as a result of flying accidents. One of these airmen was Thomas Cushman Nathan, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. At the time of his death he had an address in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. There is a road that commemorates his name in Newton Centre. He enlisted on March 19, 1917 and earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Aviation Section, Signal Corps. On March 20, 1918 he was called to active duty and was attached to the Royal Air Force. He was killed in Scotland whilst testing a Spad aircraft.

    Three of the servicemen, H.G.Velie, A.Ortmayer and F.W. Hough named on the memorial came from Chicago, Nathan is shown as coming from Boston.

    3rd Army [Occupation Duty?]
    Buried in a family grave in Aberdeen (Nellfields) Cemetery, Aberdeenshire UK

    Peter Milne, Jr. 3589931 a soldier of the AEF who was killed at Goblens, Germany on the 23rd April 1919, Age 42. He is buried in a family grave in Aberdeen (Nellfields) cemetery Aberdeenshire UK. The census shows that at 14 years of age he was employed as an office boy in Scotland UK, becoming a trained Lithographer at the age of 23. The exact cause of his death is not available from the military sources due to records being lost or destroyed in a fire that was responsible for many records being lost. As can be seen on the headstone, other family members lived in Rhodesia, the name of the country at that time.

    Frank Randle
    104th Engineers, 29th Division
    Buried: Saint Johns Church Cemetery, Worcester UK

    Frank H. Randle, 1270993 B Coy 104 Engineers US Army. Died 27th February 1919. The army records show that he was awarded the World War 1 Victory Medal and the World War 1 Victory Button (Bronze). This soldier is buried in Saint Johns Church Cemetery, Worcester UK; the town from where he originated. Registration papers show that he was living in New Jersey, aged 23. His particular grave [image below, top] was privately purchased by his family as recorded in the cemetery records.

    On the opposite side of the grave are the details [image below, bottom] of another family member who was serving in the British army. L/Cpl E. Randle 1st/8th Worcestershire Regiment KIA at Ypres Aug 27th 1917 age 22, this soldier is listed on the walls to missing in Tyne Cot cemetery Panel 75-77. Details of both soldiers can be clearly seen in the photographs.

    Girvan (Doune) Cemetery in Ayrshire Scotland UK
    US Air Service

    Lieutenant George Squires, from St Paul's, Minnesota joined the first officers training camp at Fort Myer, outside Washington DC, where he received intensive training. In July, volunteers for the flying service were being called for and George Squires was amongst fourteen volunteers who then preceded to Camp Borden, Canada to be trained. On August 17th he was involved in a mid-air collision which resulted in the death of the pilot of the other aircraft, Squires was entirely exonerated. After the completion of his training in Canada, George Squires went to Fort Worth, where there was some delay in the pilots receiving their commissions as 1st Lieutenants. They had been promised if they would take the British Training, they would eventually receive their commissions. On January 19th 1918 the 17th Squadron sailed for England and were ordered to various camps. One such camp was Turnberry Ayrshire, Scotland to study gunnery.

    In addition to the memorial in Girvan (Doune) cemetery there is another memorial at Turnberry to all the other servicemen who were killed whilst learning or improving their flying skills. Including one from Kansas serving in the RFC.

    The following is an extract from a letter to Lt Squires mother dated France May 26th.written by Lt R.Gracie an intimate friend of Lt Squires:

    My dear Mrs Squires,
    I take the liberty of writing to you because I had the privilege of being with George at his last station in Scotland and because I know somewhat of the void that is in your heart after receiving the more or less cold-blooded official Communication of his 'going up.'

    He came down some distance from the drome and the only actual witness was a labourer who was questioned at the inquiry. He told the inquiry of an aeroplane spinning down, which the officers interpreted as stall on a turn and a spin into the ground. The funeral procession was made up of Royal Air Force tenders and touring cars. The first car carried the body in an oaken coffin of Mission style bearing a brass plate with the inscription:

    Lt G, Squires, A.S.S.C, USA
    Age 22 years, Died May 18th 1918

    It was covered with Old Glory and two beautiful wreaths, largely made up of sweet peas from the Royal Air Force and the American Flying Officers of the station.

    Note: Lieutenant Ralph Gracie of Bemidji, Minnesota, was reported missing from Aug 12th 1918 and was feared he was driven into the sea in a fight with the Huns and drowned. The full version of the letters from the Commanding Officer, Lt R. Gracie, and the Labourer Mr L.S. Baikie who witnessed the crash are available on request.

    Extract from letter by L.S. Baikie to his mother:

    Kirkoswald, Maybole 23rd May 1918:
    I happened to be about half a mile away when your son came down. He was circling slowly down from a fair height, when as it appeared to me, he lost flying speed. I heard the crash and ran for the place where it appeared to me had fallen. Poor fellow! When we got there he was past help. A farm worker Robert Lawrie was there a couple of minutes before me and had your son removed from his seat; he cut the fastenings. He was flying a single seated Sopwith Camel machine, I think of about 130 H.p.

    He died for us; he is your son and no doubt hard to lose and he is dead before his time; but he has died a hero's death, as much so as if he had fallen in the stricken field.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Yours truly, sincerely
    L.S. Baikie.

    Currently Under Research:

    Please contact us with any information you have on the following individuals. When we have some additional details and photos of the sites, we will add them to the full entries above.

  • ERKENS J.F., Civilian, American Red Cross,died 14th October 1918, Falmouth Cemetery, Cornwall,UK

  • FARQUHAR,J.H. 140484 American Army died 4th February 1919 Grave ref Row "E" Grave 881, Aberdeen (Springbank) Cemetery Aberdeenshire UK

  • KINSELL, Bertrand, 343rd Inf American Army, died 29th September 1918, no serial number, Grave ref Row 9 grave 47. Portsmouth (Kingston) Cemetery Hampshire, UK

  • MILLER Raymond E., American Merchant Navy died 14th March 1919 Grave ref "C" 18,3. Coatham (Christ Church) Churchyard Yorkshire, UK

  • MUNCASTER R., American Army died 5th February 1918, no serial number or Unit shown,Grave ref 693, Kilnaughton Military Cemetery, Isle of Islay, Argyl Scotland UK.

  • NEIL, Harry, American Army died 26th November 1918. Grave ref "G" 146

  • OLIVER D., 1347704 American Army died 17th October 1918, buried in the East Part of the Cemetery.TYDD St, Mary (St Mary) Lincolnshire UK.

  • NOVECK Harry, 2739827 1st Coy. 7Prov. Grd Dep American Army died 21st October 1918 Grave ref grave 3144, Blackley Jewish Cemetery, Lancashire UK

  • SHARPE, Joseph H. Cadet, American Army died 7th January 1918, no serial number or Unit shown, Grave ref Section "D" No 418 Lincoln (Newport) Cemetery, Lincolnshire UK.

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