FORMER SOLDIER’S BODY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO FILL PAUPER’S GRAVE
Shall the body of a soldier who fought with the Allies be allowed to rest in a potter’s field?
WICHITA, KS – An emphatic “no” was the local American Legion’s answer to the question when they discovered that the remains of Robert Elliott, Wichita youth who fought with the Canadian army, filled a pauper’s grave here. When the matter was brought to the Legion’s attention Tuesday night, a committee to arrange for the removal of the body to a lot in Highland Cemetery was appointed.
Robert Elliott, age 22 at the time of his death, joined the Canadian army April 19, 1918. A short time after enlisting he was a sapper with the Seventh Battalion, Canadian Engineers, fighting in France. Gas and shrapnel resulted in his discharge at Toronto, March 28, 1919. He returned to Wichita but died two months afterwards.
Altho (sic) Elliott’s sister owned a lot in Highland cemetery and wanted him buried there, the remains were interred in the potter’s field. It was announced that Elliott was buried in Highland cemetery.
When Thomas Lindley, of the legion welfare committee, searched for the grave at Highland, he could not find it. Mr. Lindley finally located the grave, overgrown and neglected in a corner of the potter’s field. He made a report to the American legion.
Elliott’s body will be exhumed, the Legion decided. Altho her financial situation was stringent, the dead man’s married sister, who lives west of the Orient Tracks on Harry Street, appeared before the Legion and offered $15, her entire savings, to help defray the expense of disinterring the body. The Legions stands the expense in itself.
Steps to secure a pension for Elliotts mother who lives at Haverhill, Kas., have been taken by the Red Cross here. Mrs. Stephen Skinner, head of the Home Service Bureau, has sent a claim to the pension department at Toronto. The ex-soldier’s death certificate shows that he died from the effects of wounds he received in France. The Wichita Beacon, Wichita, Kansas. Friday, June 18, 1920. Page 14. © Transcribed by Rosetta Wiley for the Wichita Genealogical Society & the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.