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Kathleen Kennebeck 1888-1918


Posted By: Joe Conroy (email)
Date: 5/15/2010 at 23:42:30

The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
28 Nov 1918
Page 1

Tributes to Carroll Girl

Through the American Red Cross Bureau of Communication George Kennebeck received the following letter last week in regard to the death of his daughter, Kathleen:
Dear Mr. Kennebeck:

It is my sad duty to tell you that your daughter, Miss Kathleen C. Kenebeck, died on the steamer going to England. There appears to have been an epidemic of influenza on the ship and several of the Red Cross personnel succumbed to it.

You may be very sure that everything possible was done for your daughter that could be done; that she had proper medical attention and good nursing.

As she died before the ship was approaching England it was necessary to bury her at sea, but I am sure that you will agree, for a soldier of mercy, as Miss Kennebeck was, to rest in the ocean with many other brave men and women, who have given their lives for the great cause for which this country is at war, is appropriate. No grave could be more sacred than the sea.

Your daughters effects will of course be returned to this country and will be sent you in due time.

The Red Cross sends you its very sincere sympathy in this great loss and hopes that you will always bear in mind that your daughter gave her life as truly for the cause as do the soldiers who are killed on the front line.
Sincerely yours,
W. R. Castle, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Kenebeck have also received the following resolutions from the chairman and secretary of the Red Cross in Paris:

At a duly called meeting of the American Red Cross Unit, passengers on board the steamship Vestris, bound for war service in France, held on the eleventh day of October, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nineteen Hundred and Eighteen, Anno Domini, the following resolutions were offered by the committee appointed hereto, and unanimously adopted: That

Whereas, on the second day of October, A. D. 1918, there occurred the untimely death of Kathleen C. Kennebeck, a member of our American Red Cross Unit, our patriotic and true fellow workers, and

Whereas, it is the expression of this Unit that her sacrifice was made in the service of humanity and her country, the United States of America, it is

Therefore Resolved, That we, individually and collectively her fellow workers in war service, for the American Red Cross, sincerely regret her loss and that we hereby convey to her family, by these resolutions, properly engrossed, our deepest sympathy in their bereavement and that we will ever hold dear her name in our memory, and

It is further resolved, that a copy of resolutions be forwarded to her family.
Attest: Letitia V. de Paum, Secretary,
Elizabeth F. Hutchin, Chairman

The Carroll Times
Carroll, Iowa
12 Dec 1918
Page 1

Friend Writes to Kennebeck Family

Girl Who Was On Transport Tells Of Kathleen's Death

Took Ill On Train

Miss Nevan O. Betz, of Great Falls, Mont., Gives First Definite Information of Circumstances Surrounding Death of Carroll Girl.

During the past week Mrs. George Kennebeck has received a number of letters from France written by the girls who sailed for France with her daughter, Kathleen. One of the letters carried the information that Kathleen was the first girl among their number to die with the influenza, but before the boat reached France three more of their number had died. Among them was Miss Erma Shaw, daughter of Leslie M. Shaw. Kathleen took sick on the train enroute to Quebec. When that city was reached a doctor was called but he helped her but little. The following letter was written by her friend, Miss Neven Betz:

A. P. O. 712 American Red Cross, France.
My Dear Mrs. Kenebeck:

I am writing you for Kathleen because I know she would want me to do so and we were very good friends, came to New York together and stayed at the same hotel and tried to get in the same stateroom on the boat but they put us across from each other instead. Then too I am from Great Falls, Montana, and we had many friends in common.

Kathleen had her third typhoid inoculation the day before we left New York and then took cold. We did not sail from New York and coming up on the train into Canada she ran a high fever and her cold got much worse. She would not give up for she really did not think it was anything but stayed in bed the first few days out at sea under the ship doctor's care. Then Monday, September 30th, she felt so much better she got up and came up to the smoking room where we were all allowed to have our fun on board.

She only stayed a short time and went back to bed. That night she seemed much worse and the two special nurses were put on the case. They worked hard every minute of the time from then on but she was not conscious and died at a quarter to nine the morning of October 2nd.

That afternoon we buried her at sea with the regulation sea service. They wrapped her in the stars and stripes and with the prayers of the whole convoy lowered her into the arms of the sea. The engines were shut off on the boat and the whole convoy slowed down during the service.

I am a Catholic and know the meaning of prayers for the dying so a few of us got together, about twenty other Catholics and we all knelt down beside her before they took her from stateroom and said the rosary.

She died among friends and happy Mrs. Kennebeck. God wanted her and needed her most I guess and after all He knows best and His will always not ours must be done.

If there is anything I can do to lighten your burden I shall be happy in doing it for you. All of us on the boat felt her loss deeply and want you to know we feel as deeply for you.
Miss Neven O. Betz


Carroll Obituaries maintained by Rich Lowe.
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