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Howard William Southall

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


Howard William Southall

"He gave his best with heart in America and in the line of duty in France, laid down his life in service to his country for a supreme cause."

Cecil D. Smith, Chaplain, 329th Infantry

Howard William Southall was born October 17, 1892, in Gay, West Virginia, the eldest of nine children born to James Henry and Rosa Pringle Southall.
Southall family
James and Rosa Southall with children Addie, Arnal, Boyd, Holly, Rolly, and Howard William (seated at right).

Southall family farm
Southall family farm

Rocky Knob School
Howard is center (next to last
row) in this picture of the Rocky
Knob School class

As a youth, he lived on the 70-acre family farm where he and his siblings had many responsibilities. He was active in the Elk Fork Church and attended Rocky Knob, a one-room school, at the same time as his brothers Rolly, Boyd and Holly.

On May 11, 1918, Howard married Ruby Alice Kelly.
Howard and Ruby Southall
Howard and Ruby Southall on their wedding day.

Howard Southall letter
Howard Southall letter
Howard left for Camp Lee, Virginia, on May 27, 1918, and after completion of training sailed for France on July 28, 1918. Howard's brother Holly enlisted about the same time and the brothers hoped they would be assigned to the same unit. However, a case of measles prevented Holly from being shipped out. William also contracted measles, but after his arrival in France. He was taken to the base hospital on August 29, 1918, where he developed pneumonia and died on September 14, 1918.

At first buried in France, Howard William Southall was returned to the United States on August 18, 1919, and reburied in Holbert Cemetery in Gay. His body was transferred to Fairplane Cemetery in Jackson County on August 16, 1932. It was discovered that his military service and sacrifice made him eligible for a military marker, which was set at the foot of his grave in Fairplane Cemetery in 2010.
Burial in France
Burial in France.

Tribute to Howard Southall
Tribute to Howard Southall.

Information and photographs provided by Martha (Southall) Marty (niece)


West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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