Sunday, September 18, 2011

Harold J Tyrell: Just One Of the Names On the WWI Memorial In Carroll Park

Carroll Park's World War 1 Memorial. The pink granite Soldiers and Sailors World War I Monument was sculpted by Brooklyn-born sculptor Eugene H. Morahan (1869-1949) in 1920. It was dedicated on June 19, 1921
The monument was commissioned by a local committee at a cost of $9,000.
In 1994, as part of a $1.3 million upgrade of Carroll Park and playground,
the monument, its sculptural reliefs, and commemorative plaques were fully restored.
A time capsule has been burried under the granite base.
Harold J Tyrell's name, misspelled on one of the two plaques
Screen shot 2011-09-19 at 8.04.18 PM
Roster Of the 106th Infantry
Screen shot 2011-09-19 at 8.02.35 PM
Harold J Tyrell's photo and name included in roster
Harold J Tyrell
311 Henry Street, where Harold J Tyrell's family once lived
309 Henry Street, next door, was also mentioned as the family's address on one document
At the time of his death, 133 Huntington was listed as Tyrell's address

How many times since I moved to the neighborhood have I walked past the World War I memorial in Carroll Park and glanced at the 187 names engraved on the two bronze plaques affixed on either sides of the 18 foot high pink granite monument?

And how many times did I wonder who those young men were and if members of their families still lived in the neighborhood? After all, each name represents a young soldier or sailor from the surrounding 8th Assembly District, who lost his life. I should have taken the time to find out something about them, but except for taking part in Memorial Day celebrations in the park, I never gave them another thought.

That is until just a few days ago. This is what happened.

I received an email from Thomas H. Seward of Upstate New York. He was researching the life of his great-uncle, Harold JJ Tyrell, and wondered if the name had been included on the Carroll Park monument.

Of course, I would check, I wrote back. The next time I walked through the park, I took a glance at the plaques. Sure enough, Harold's name was right there, though it had been misspelled. I took photos and sent them to Thomas. In exchange, he sent me some of the info he had been able to gather about his ancestor.

Thomas' research showed that Harold J. Tyrell was born in Brooklyn on May 13, 1898, one of six children of Alfred Delancey Tyrell and Dora (Dorothy) Foley Tyrell. His family seems to have lived at 311 Henry Street for quite a few years, though other documents mention 209 Henry Street as an address as well. Harold enlisted in the US Army as a Private 1st Class on April 14, 1917 and served in Company I, 106th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. Sadly, he was killed in action, by shell fire, in France, during the opening day of the attack on the Hindenburg Line on 27 September 1918, just weeks before the end of WWI in November 1918.

A New York Times article from December 7th, 1918 praised "the Brooklyn Men of the 106th" at the Hindenburg Line on September 27th. " The valor of the officers and men of the regiment is well indicated by the location of the bodies of their gallant comrades who fell in the battle by the large number of enemy dead about them."

Harold was laid to rest at the Somme American Cemetery, near the village of Bony, France, together with many of the war dead who fought during WWI. He was 20 years old when he died and was predeceased by his mother (1916) and his brothers John (1909), and Frederic (1911.) He was survived by his father, sister Carrie (Henry A.) Seward, brother Alfred, and sister Dorothy.

Thomas told me that it is his greatest wish to take his family to the Somme Cemetery on November 11, 1918. He adds, "Harold is remembered."

Now thanks to Thomas, hopefully, Harold will be remembered by Carroll Gardeners.
I know that I will be looking for his name as I walk by the monument.



chickenunderwear said...

Thank you.

Minetree said...

This is a lovely post. Thank you. I have family that lived in the neighborhood 130 years ago. It's interesting to think about the times back then.

Anonymous said...

Thats really interesting stuff! Thanks for posting that. Absolutely one of the most interesting postings I have seen on this blog!

Anonymous said...

Great Journalism.

Frederick_F said...

Katia - indeed a most interesting post. By the way, is there a memorial in our neighborhood devoted to the fallen of the Second World War, or other conflicts, for that matter?

Katia said...

Hi Frederick,
I am not aware of any. Perhaps I missed it? Does anyone know if there is a WW2 memorial in the immediate area?

chickenunderwear said...

Cadman Plaza?

Katia said...

True that. I think there may also be one for the Korean War as well, no?

Mary H. said...

Very moving story, Katia. I'm so glad you brought the Carroll Park Memorial to life in this unique way.

Joe Nardiello said...

Thank you for the observation, the story, the history (macro and for our area), and for the presence of mind to visit his resting place. Very nice.

Frederick_F said...

Thank you, C. Underwear. Grand as it is, it is in a forlorn location that far too many people drive by on their way to the Brooklyn Bridge. By the way, there is also a WW2 memorial on Carroll Street between 3rd and 4th Avenue by Our Lady of Peace Church.

Frederick_F said...

Thank you, C. Underwear. It is unfortunate that this memorial happens to be in a location that many people drive by. There is also a WW2 memorial on Carroll between 3rd and 4th Avenues by the Our Lady of Peace Church.