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Attica in Seneca County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War

 
 
A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War, side one image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 8, 2019
1. A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War, side one
Inscription.  The Attica-Venice Joint Cemetery is the final resting place of Clara Edith (Work) Ayres, who died in the line of duty soon after the United States entered World War I in April 1917. Mrs. Ayres was born in Venice Township on September 16, 1880. She graduated from Attica High School in 1899 and in 1903 married local merchant Wayland Ayres, who died in 1906. Later, she moved to Chicago and graduated from the Illinois Training School for Nurses.

Ayres joined Red Cross Unit 12 in 1916. She and fellow nurse Helen Wood died May 20, 1917 while their unit was sailing to Europe to join the Allied war effort. Aboard their ship, the S.S. Mongolia, a shell exploded prematurely during gunnery practice. Flying debris killed Ayres and Wood, the first American women to become casualties after the United States declared war. Another nurse, Emma Mazen, was wounded. The Mongolia immediately returned to port. Nurse Ayres’ remains were returned to Attica and she was given a funeral of high honor befitting her sacrifice. She was 36 years old.
 
Erected 2017 by American Legion Family
A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War, side two image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 8, 2019
2. A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War, side two
Post 260, the Attica Area Historical Society, and The Ohio History Connection. (Marker Number 13-74.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 41° 3.989′ N, 82° 52.876′ W. Marker is in Attica, Ohio, in Seneca County. Marker is at the intersection of Lemmon Street and Venice Street, on the left when traveling east on Lemmon Street. It is in the Attica Venice Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Attica OH 44807, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Omar Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.7 miles away); The Underground Railroad (approx. 3.7 miles away); The Western Reserve (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Village of New Washington / The New Washington Band (approx. 7.4 miles away); Village of Chatfield (approx. 8˝ miles away); Remembering Our Veterans of Early Wars (approx. 12.6 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Historian tells story of nurse who died at start of WWI. 2017 article by Antonia Ayres-Brown in the Toledo Blade. Excerpt:
A hundred years after the accident on the Mongolia, historian [Marjorie] Waterfield believes that people can still learn much from Mrs. Ayres’ death. “Women didn’t get the same honors that men did,” said Ms. Waterfield, giving a lecture about Mrs. Ayres at the Way Public Library in Perrysburg on Wednesday.

At the time, Red
A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 8, 2019
3. A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War Marker
Cross nurses did not hold recognized military positions, meaning that Mrs. Ayres never received a military funeral or gravestone. The nurses’ deaths on the Mongolia, however, did receive national coverage. From the New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, the American press mourned the death of Mrs. Ayres.
(Submitted on November 9, 2019.) 
 
Categories. War, World I
 

More. Search the internet for A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 34 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 9, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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