Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cpl. Weare - Versailles, Ripley County, Indiana

Cpl. Leora McKinley Weare
Leora was born in Versailles, IN on February 3rd 1894. He was called by his country into the US Army September 20th 1917. Embarked for France on May 17th 1918 with Co. M, 120th Infantry, 30th Division. Corporal Weare was Killed In Action September 29th 1918 at the front line trenches near Ste. Quentin, France on the Hindenburg line. He is buried in the "Old Hickory Cemetery", the American part of the British cemetery. Cpl. Weare was the first soldier from Versailles to pay the ultimate price for his country. He was twenty-four years old. Our Leora Weare, Legion Post #173 was named in his honor.

Below taken from

Leora McKinley Weare, Infantry, 30 th Div., KIA St. Quintin, Ripley County , Indiana

“Hiked to Belgium from Eperlocques, July 4, 1918. Reached Watteau, Belgium on July 4. Went to Lyons and relieved the British soldiers in the trenches between Ypres and Kimmel Hill. Held the trenches for 17 days, going in on the July 15 and coming out August 2, 1918. Rested at Watteau, 4 days. Returned to the trenches for 20 days more. On August 3st, captured Voormezeele with several prisoners and guns.

Left Belgium on September 5, 1918. Went in box cars to Roelle-court, France. Was attached to the Second British Army and trained until September 17th. Moved South to Trencourt, Sept., 22, and took over first line trenches from the Australians on Sept 23rd and 24th. Held this position until September 29th.

On September 29 th, 1918 the 30 th American Division, 27 th American Division and 46 th British Division on the right, the 30 th in the center, assaulted the Hindenburg Line which at the point of the assault curved in front of St. Quintin and was considered by the Germans to be unbreakable. The 60 th Brigade, the 119 th and the 120 th Infantry, supported the 117 th and 118 th Infantries, American troops, 30 th Division, attacked at 5:50 AM and captured with the tunnel system, the German troops holding the city of Bellecourt with five adjacent smaller towns and two entire German Divisions were defeated. 147 officers and 1,434 soldiers were taken prisoners.

Co. M went into the fight with 218 men, came out with 49. Fifty-two were killed, 17 wounded. Ora Weare was killed by a high explosive shell. He was hit in the back and suffered a double fracture of the leg.

The dead were buried on October 2, about 200 yards of the wall of St. Quintin, 3 Ripley County boys, side by side as they fell.

Researched by:
Jack Demaree
Historian for Versailles Legion Post #173