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Westwood in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Sgt. Ralph W. Lester

 
 
Sgt. Ralph W. Lester Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 26, 2009
1. Sgt. Ralph W. Lester Marker
Inscription.  
Sgt. Ralph W. Lester (Service No. 1,206,304)
106th U.S. Infantry Co.
27th Infantry Division – 4th Army
Promoted to 2nd Lt. – September 25, 1918
Missing in Action September 27, 1918

Ralph W. Lester, son of Mr. & Mrs. Waldo Lester enlisted into government service on June 12, 1917. He went into training at Sheepshead Bay and later was sent to Spartanburg, South Carolina for further training. In May of 1918, his company left for France. It was only a short time after his arrival in France that he was made Corporal and then Sergeant. On September 25, 1918, he received a battlefield commission to 2nd Lieutenant. Just before the big battle in front of Ronssoy, France, and while he was in command of two platoons, a shell burst near him. While his body was never found, it was reported that one of the Westwood boys, William Greenip, who was a short distance away from Ralph when the shell burst, was the last person to see him alive.

To: Commanding Officer, Machine Gun Co. 106th U.S. Infantry, Camp Mills – 14 March 1919.

“ Upon careful investigation and inquiry of the men
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of this Company, I have been unable to get any definite information as to the fate of Sgt. Ralph W. Lester, formerly of this company, reported as missing in action after the battle in front of Ronssoy, France, in which the 106th U.S. Infantry attacked the Hindenburgh Line. We have been unable to find his name in the burial reports, although one of the men on the burial detail said that he had helped bury a Sergeant of this regiment and at the time, he made the above statement, the First Sergeant of this company questioned him about it, but could gain no further information.”

From: 106th Infantry Missing Personnel Detail

(Note: While it was reported that Ralph W. Lester had received the battlefield commission, it is understood he had not received his Lieutenant’s insignia, which could have identified him as such, rather than having him referred to as “Sgt.” by the 106th U.S. Infantry investigating detail on missing personnel.)
 
Erected by VFW Post 130.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World I. A significant historical date for this entry is March 14, 1919.
 
Location. 40° 59.475′ N, 74° 2′ W. Marker is in Westwood, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is on Washington Avenue near Madison Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Westwood NJ 07675, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers.
Marker in Veterans' Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, June 26, 2011
2. Marker in Veterans' Memorial Park
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Westwood World War I Monument (a few steps from this marker); Westwood Veterans Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles A. Bellon (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Westwood Fire Department Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Bogert’s Mill (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hillsdale Police Booth (approx. 0.9 miles away); Henry J. Werner (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hillsdale Fire Department Monument (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Westwood.
 
Sgt. Ralph W. Lester image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 26, 2009
3. Sgt. Ralph W. Lester
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2009, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,078 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 29, 2009, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.   2. submitted on June 29, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   3. submitted on August 29, 2009, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024