In January of 1918 the War Department issued orders for the formation of the First Corps Artillery Park, C. A. C. This unit was officially organized at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, under the command of Lt. Colonel Elmer P. Walser, USA. The Artillery Park was comprised of a Headquarters Company, six Truck Companies (Company 1-6), one company of 250 men that served as the Park Battery, a Motor Section, Depot Section, and a Medical Detachment. The entire I Corps Artillery Park was comprised of 34 Officers, and 1,156 Enlisted men.
In May of 1918, the I Corps Artillery Park was ordered to France for duty. They were moved from Camp Jackson to Camp Merritt, New Jersey for final preparations to sailing across the Atlantic.
On May 22, 1918, from Port of Embarkation Hoboken, New Jersey, 34 Officers, and 1,156 enlisted men of the I Corps Artillery Park boarded the SS Great Northern, and sailed in convoy along with the SS Leviathan, and USS Northern Pacific, for France.
While in France the I Corps Artillery Park quickly went to the front lines and was in support of the I Army Corps during the following actions:
Champagne-Marne defensive; 15 July - 18 July, 1918
Aisne-Marne offensive; 18 July - 6 August
Chateau-Thierry sector; 7 August - 17 August
Oise-Aisne offensive; 18 August - 10 September
Verdun sector; 12 September - 25 September
Meuse-Argonne offensive; 26 September - 11 November
Once the I Corps Artillery Park was ordered to return to the States they were sent to Brest, France and on July 21, 1919 boarded the USS Artemis and sailed for Newport News, Virginia. They arrived in Newport News on August 3, 1919. The entire Artillery Park sailed together on the USS Artemis. In August of 1919 at Camp Stuart, Virginia the I Corps Artillery Park was demobilized.
In Pedwell, Somerset County, England on April 2, 1885 Victor Reginald Catchpole is born to Elizabeth Ann Wheeler (1843-1924) and James Catchpole (1838-1897). Victor’s father, James, was a stone mason by trade. Victor was the third son born to James and Elizabeth, the other brothers were David and Lester.
It was on June 14 of 1885 that James and Elizabeth took their third son Victor to be baptized in the village of Ashcott, which is in the same general area of Pedwell and Moorlinch. Victor was likely baptized in the Anglican parish church of All Saints in Ashcott.
By 1891 the Catchpole family was living in the village of Moorlinch, which was just west of Pedwell a short distance.
When Victor was 11-years old, a big change in his life took place. In Moorlinch, on February 28, 1897 Victor’s father James, passed away. Now the path of Victor’s life had taken an unexpected turn. Elizabeth had to take over raising the three boys and providing for an income to live on. It is known that by 1901 the family was then living in Ashcott, England.
When Victor was in his 21st year he left the country of his birth and came to America sometime in 1906. Little is known of Victor’s life in America when he first arrived, and it seems that he was the only one of his family to come to America. David, Victor’s eldest brother joined the British Army during WWI and was killed in battle on October 4, 1917 during the opening day of The Battle of Broodseinde, which was just east of the village of Yepres.
Back in America on December 21, 1917, Victor R. Catchpole had joined the American Army, and would soon be sent to France, and be standing within 100-miles of the place his brother David had been killed in battle. It is not known if Victor knew of his brother’s death on the battlefield, but it was likely that he did know.
Victor Catchpole was a member of Truck Company 4, First Corps Artillery Park. This is known from the passenger manifest of the sailing of the SS Great Northern on May 22, 1918 from Hoboken, New Jersey. His name appears as Private First Class Victor Reginold Catchpole, Army Service number 1877317. He listed as next of kin his mother Mrs. E. A. Catchpole of Yarrow Mark, North Highbridge, Sommerset, England.
While in France with the I Corps Artillery Park, PFC Catchpole would serve as a cook for his company, Truck Company No. 4. He would have participated in all the battles the I Corps Artillery Park took part of. He survived the war, and would return back to the States. On July 3, 1919 PFC Catchpole, along with the entire I Corps Artillery Park boarded the USS Artemis in Brest, France and sailed for Newport News, Virginia. Once back on American soil, the I Corps Artillery Park was sent to Camp Stuart, Virginia where the unit was demobilized and PFC Catchpole was Honorably Discharged on August 11, 1919.
After life in the Army Victor Catchpole went to live near Chicago, Illinois. There he met and fell in love with Anna F. Skacha (1892-1972). Victor and Anna were married in Cook County, Illinois on April 7, 1920. It was on January 17, 1923 that Anna gave birth to their first child, a son they named Cyril David Catchpole. Likely Cyril’s middle name of David was in honor of Victor’s brother, David, who was killed during the First World War. Cyril David, during WWII, followed the footsteps laid down by his father Victor and uncle David, and joined the American Army. Cyril David Catchpole passed away on May 7, 1998.
During the time that Anna and Victor Catchpole were starting their family they lived in Mundelein, Illinois, which is in the Chicago area. Anna and Victor would have five children, Cyril David, Victor George, Raymond John, Violet Anna, and June.
During the 1930’s Victor Catchpole worked as a contractor installing tiling for drainage of fields and farm land to support his family. They lived in a rented home on Maple Avenue in Mundelein where the rent was $15 per month in April of 1930.
By 1935 the Catchpole family had moved to a home they owned on Lake Avenue in Mundelein. Victor at the time was working as a laborer on different building projects. By 1942 the Catchpole’s had moved to Cicero, Illinois and were then living at 1835 South 57th Avenue. By then Victor was working for the American Building Foundry Company in Chicago.
After the war, Victor and Anna had moved out of the Chicago area to west central Illinois to Quincy, which sets along the Mississippi River. On April 6, 1959, just two-days past his 74th Birthday, Victor Reginald Catchpole would pass away. He was buried in the Sunset Cemetery in Quincy, Illinois in Plot D-15, Row 13. On May 8, 1959, a white marble military grave stone from the Green Mountain Marble Company arrived and was place upon his grave, which today still stands and marks the spot where an American soldier lies resting in peace.
Victor R. Catchpole
I Corps Artillery Park
World War I
April 4, 1885
April 6, 1959
On June 5, 1917, during the first call up for the Federal Draft during WWI a Charles Bryant Huffman registers in Richlands, North Carolina. Huffman was then 21-years old, and he listed his birth date as October 21, 1895, and born in Richland, North Carolina. Huffman was a medium built man with blue eyes and light sandy hair. He was a single man at the time and worked as a farmer.
Huffman served in the Army and was a member of the I Corps Artillery Park, CAC during the war. His unit the I Corps Artillery Park sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey aboard the USS Great Northern for France on May 22, 1918. He was a Private First Class and was in Truck Company No. 4 of the I Corps Artillery Park. On the passenger manifest he listed as his next of kin his father Levi E. Huffman of RFD No. 1 Box 10, Richlands, NC. His Army Service number was 1878758
He would have served throughout the war with this unit and when the war was over PFC Huffman returned with the same unit.
On July 21, 1919, in Brest, France, the I Corps Artillery Park, which consisted of the HQ Company, Motor Section HQ, the Medical Detachment Truck Companies 106 and the Depot Section, sailed together aboard the USS Artemis. On this return trip he listed his mother, Nancy G. Huffman as next of kin. On August 3, 1919, they landed in Newport News, Virginia.
Charles Bryant was married to Annie Vera Farrior (1901-1966), and he passed away on March 20 1997. He is buried with his wife in the Huffman Grave yard in Richlands, Onslow County, North Carolina.
If you have research comments or additional information on this page e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell
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