WWI soldier Farley Lafore Lock and his namesake VFW post 

via the State Journal-Register newspaper (IL) web site 

Springfield, IL’s Lafore Lock Post 755 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this month, is named after World War I U.S. Army Pvt. Farley Lafore Lock.

Lock died Oct. 18, 1918, of wounds he suffered from an artillery shell the day before in the Verdun sector of France. Born in 1896, Lafore was one of 10 children (eight of them boys) of Nelson and Gretta Lock.

IL SPR SangamonCountyHistoricalLock’s death was described in a letter written to his family in January 1919 by Russell Burleigh, Lock’s sergeant in the medical unit of the 133rd Regiment, 33rd Division.

“Twice in our army life I called for volunteers to go with me on perilous journeys under enemy shell fire and twice Lafore and Neal (full name not given) volunteered to go with me regardless of what our prospect was or our chance of return.

“It was during the trying times when the enemy was trying to stop the rush of American manhood throught the impregnable Argonne Forests that Lafore after going to the front line and assisting in establishing a first aid post, volunteered to return and bring the remainder of the men up after dark.

“He started on his perilous errand with the same smile and joking way that he always wore while doing his duty. He never finished his errand, but we all know and God knows it was not through any fault of his.

“A high explosive shell from the gun of the unseen enemy came within five feet of him and not hearing it he failed to drop on the ground and a piece of the shell cut the lower third of the thigh of his left limb nearly severing it, and also cut the right limb. …

(H)e was immediately put on an ambulance and rushed by special request to the field hospital and the last words we heard him say was, with a faint smile, “Well they got both my legs.” …

“The day after Lafore was injured, he succumbed to his injuries… . The shock from the shell, the pain from the injuries, the loss of blood all were too much for anyone to bear or sustain. …

“We were 68 days in the woods and strewn battlefields, no baths and very little water and unable to claim our lives from one moment to the next.

“Lafore was the only one in the corps to succumb to wounds although several more of the men received wounds.

“LaFore left us nothing to remember him by but his personality which will never leave us. 

Read the entire article on the State Journal-Register web site.

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