Attica in Seneca County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Nurse’s Sacrifice in the Great War
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
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World I. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1917.
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 8 other markers are within 12 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); Boughton Road (approx. 6.9 miles away); The Village of New Washington / The New Washington Band (approx. 7.4 miles away); New Washington (approx. 7.6 miles away); Village of Chatfield (approx. 8˝ miles away); Republic Veterans Memorial (approx. 11.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Attica.
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(Submitted on November 9, 2019.)
At the time, Red 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 9, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 81 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 9, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.