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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mrs. Nath. Webb and "The Boys" Get Royal Greeting at Reception in Second Congregational Church (1919)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. February 14, 1919. Page 1.

 Mrs Nathaniel Webb and more than thirty soldiers and Marines, who have been in the service or at the call of the government, were the guests of honor at a "Welcome Home" reception, given in the memorial chapel of the Second Congregational Church on Tuesday evening. It was a patriotic occasion and was largely attended by the families of the boys and other members of the church. The chapel was attractively decorated with the National colors and the flags of the Allies.

Popular selections were played on the piano by Mrs. Frederick C. Studwell and Mr. Studwell opened the evening's program, and to the strains of "Keep the Home Fires Burning," Mrs. Webb and the boys were escorted by members of the Council from the parlors below to the chapel at 8:15. As Mrs. Webb, with Stuart Mead, of the U.S.N., followed by the soldiers and Marines entered the chapel, the audience rose to its feet and burst into loud and prolonged applause, which lasted until all had taken the seats reserved for them in the front ranks.

Following the singing of "America," Rev. Dr. Oliver Huckel, as presiding officer of the occasion made a few introductory remarks, telling Mrs. Webb and the boys are glad they were to have them all back again. He lauded them for the part they have played in the great war and told how those at home had "kept the home fires burning" during their absence by "doing their bit" to help America win the great war. Dr. Huckel then called upon Corporal Everett Schofield, as the first speaker of the evening.

The corporal told of an incident that occurred during the Argonne drive, when so many American soldiers were wounded. He said that these men, although suffering great pain, never murmured or complained and the thought came to him at the time that if the General and the people all over the world and have seen those men as he saw them, they would be able to realize that no country in the world could ____ a nation, whose soldiers had such "pep" and grit as the American "C_____ies."

Lieutenant George Hubbard, who sustained a broken leg, fractured skull and other injuries while in the flying corps, related some of his experience as an aviator, taking his audience with him from the time he enlisted, through the course of training, which had he had to undergo in order to become an experienced flyer. Landing, he explained, was the hardest part of flying. The best flyers he stated were under 21 years of age and he attributed this to the fact that these men were more daring than men of more advanced age.

While stationed with his Battalion at Camp Merritt, Lieutenant Pierpont Minor told how Mrs. Nathaniel Webb paid a visit to the camp one day and brought the men a number of sweaters. After they arrived oversees, the Major of the Battalion, speaking of Mrs. Webb's visit said, "She is certainly a wonderful woman." In speaking of the pluck of the American soldier, the Lieutenant Minor told of a British soldier who complained greatly in a hospital, where he had been taken, suffering from wounds. An American soldier who had also been wounded was brought in and placed on a cot beside him. This man he said showed much courage and never ordered a groan, although suffering much pain. It was a lesson to the British soldier, who changed to be patient and more courageous than he had been theretofore.

As secretary of the Church Council Walter M. Anderson said in part, "I think every member of the church feel that it is an honor to pay tribute to those who participated in this conflict. It is highly fitting that a tribute should emanate from the church at this time."

In mentioning Mrs. Webb as the last speaker selected, Dr. Huckel said that she had told him that she would rather die then say anything, so he would ask her to sing some of the songs she sang to the boys "Over There." Mrs. Webb, who prior to her enlistment in the Red Cross service was the soprano soloist of the church, sang in an excellent voice, "Dear Old Pal of Mine" and "The Long, Long Trail."

Mrs. Webb was followed by Henry Dayton, who delivered an eloquent address. "Welcome is lodged in every heart to greet you boys," said he, "many of whom have been on the firing line in the trenches and in No Man's Land. I personally am glad to greet everyone of you boys tonight. You wanted to go over on the firing line. You wanted to meet a certain Mr. Wilhelm Hun and excellent Mr. Hahn and Mr. Gott. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, Y.M.C.A., Hebrew Benevolent society and Knights of Columbus all have joined, hand-in-hand, in helping to win this war. Never before has this country been so committed. Religious creeds have been set aside and political creeds suspended.

The speeches were interspersed by a _____ rendered by Mrs. Studwell and Mr. Tilley, vocal solos by Mr. Tilley, Mr. Studwell and Mrs. ____, all members of the church choir.

Ice cream and cake were served at the close of the program.

Those included in the welcome home were Mrs. Nathaniel Webb, Lieutenant Pierpont L. Minor, Lieutenant George F. Hubbard, Bugler Everett H. Schofield, Corp. William Myles, Hobart R. Mead, Harry B. Libra, Sidney O. Thompson, Arthur W. Howard, Lieutenant William J. Crichton, Stuart A. Mead, Wm. A. Bridge, Ensign Paul B. Tubby, Ensign Wm. B. Tubby, Jr., Roger M. Judd, Lieutenant Nelson B. Mead, Jr., Douglas S. Mead, Thomas R. Waterbury, Harry S. Brundage, E. Howard Baker, Jr., Walter L. Eddy, Eric A. Erickson, Ensign Richard O. Mead, Harry Bunton, Joseph L. Crawford, Hervey M. Mead, E. Leighton Lent, Sylvester S. Mead, Lloyd T. Mead, Guy F. Pullem, Frederick Pray, L. Foster Day, J. Frederick Close, Frederick Abrams, Alfred James Chahmers, Lieut. Ralph Cameron, Dr. Stanley Knapp, Lester Reynolds. Of this list the last three were special guests, not formally on this honor roll, but brought up in this church and in service; several years detained by illness or were out of the town on business; but the large majority were present. Thirty-five out of the seventy-five names on the roll of honor of this church have returned, only three have died. As soon as another large group has returned, the church will give another similar reception.

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