Americans who fought and died in the Armies of the British Empire

The United States may only have joined the First World War on 6 April 1917 but many young American men had already given their lives in the allied cause, either crossing the border to enlist in the Canadian army or crossing the Atlantic to serve with British and French forces. Why? We can’t always know but family ties, a sense of adventure, a genuine belief that freedom and justice were on the side of the Allies are just some of the reasons usually given.
Americans who died serving with British regiments are buried in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries where their headstone inscriptions can be illuminating. Some declare their reasons for fighting, none more lofty than Private Adon Smith – ‘He gave his all for freedom the whole wide world to save’, or more specific than Leland Wingate, ‘To avenge the Lusitania murders’. Others wanted to ensure that people knew that the dead man was an American citizen.
The link on the top right shows all the epitaphs so far for Americans who fought in the armies of King George V 1914-1918, and the list will no doubt grow before the Epitaphs of the Great War project finishes on 11 November 2018.

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