West Union Argo-Gazette
West Union, Fayette Co., Iowa
April 23, 1919
Page 3, column 1 and 2
Dr. Walter H. Fox of Waucoma, who as a captain in the medical
corps of the United States army died in Serbia on Feb. 22, was
decorated by the Serbian government, and a military hospital
has been named in his honor Dr. Fox spent most of his life in
West Union, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Fox, are
residents of this city.
DECORATE CAPT. W.H. FOX
Recognition by Serbian Government of Waucoma
Doctor Who Died on Washington's Birthday
FOX HOSPITAL NAMED
Letters Tell of Affection Felt For Him by
Serbians, and of Funeral Honors Paid
Recent letters received by Dr. Fox's widow, Mrs. Bess Fox of
Waucoma, have been forwarded by her to Dr. Fox's parents here.
One of them is written from Belgrade on Feb 25 by Lieut. Col.
Thomas W. Farnam, commissioner for Serbia of the American Red
Cross, and addressed to Col. Anderson of the Balkan commission,
at Rome. It is as follows:
"I wrote you hurriedly, in long hand, on Washington's birthday
in order to take advantage of the courier leaving that
afternoon. That evening I received a telegram from Smederevo
announcing the death of Capt. Walter H. Fox, who was in charge
of our unit there.
"Captain Fox had been ill for a week, and as soon as pneumonia
developed the doctors felt that his case was hopeless.
Everything that could be done for him was done. Three of our
best nurses were with his unit, and we sent two doctors from
"The Serbian authorities at Smederevo held an impressive
memorial service there, and marched with the body to the boat
when it was brought to Belgrade Sunday afternoon. Through the
courtesy of the Serbian government, a military funeral was
given Dr. Fox yesterday afternoon, here. All the officials were
present, or sent representatives. We all marched to the
cemetery under escort of a full company of Serbian soldiers. At
the cemetery a volley was fired and American 'taps' were
sounded by one of the Serbian buglers. The funeral services
were very impressive, and the kindness and sympathy of the
Serbians were very much appreciated.
"Dr. Fox was awarded a decoration by the minister of war in
recognition of the fine work that he had done during the short
time he was in our service here."
Miss Harriet L. Leete, chief nurse for northern Serbia, who was
chief nurse in A. R. C. military hospital No. 5 when Dr. Fox
was there, writes to his widow as follows:
"Before this you have received the cable from Lieut.-Col.
Farnam telling of Capt. Fox's death. I cannot tell' you how my
'heart aches for you, even though he gave his life for others.
His memory is a blessed one, for he had made the people for
whom he worked love him. The nurses who were with him will
write about his life at Semendria.
"Capt. Fox was with us at No. 5 military hospital, so Lieut.
Regan, adjutant at No. 5, and I, went down to see Capt. Fox on
Saturday. He knew us, and smiled back, even though he was so
desperately ill that we knew he could not recover. The only
flowers we could obtain in Belgrade were some white wild
flowers which were sent into Belgrade for the first time on
Monday. The doctors and nurses took all the florist had, and
made two wreaths for him. We also made an ivy, blanket for
under the casket One of my nurses will write you about the
flowers from Semendria. I was especially touched by the flowers
they arranged around the head of the casket, as I know you
would have been. I tried to take some pictures of the funeral
procession for you, but the pictures here have hot been very
successful, so I am nit sure whether they will be good or not.
If they are I will send them on to you, also will send the
films. It will be several weeks, as they cannot be developed at
once. I am also sending some flowers from the casket. Under the
wreath given by the Serbian people was placed the little
American flag, and over everything a large American flag was
stretched, The funeral was entirely military, with an English
clergyman officiating. At the last, the bugler blew our own
'taps'. The sorrow and the sweet sympathy were beautifully
expressive of appreciation for an American who had died in
service for them. I wish you might know how greatly he was
appreciated by this country, and I know that when the nurses
who were with him write you about his illness you will get a
picture of their devotion to him."
The news concerning the naming of the "Fox Hospital" for Dr.
W.H. Fox comes to Mrs. Fox from Mrs. McPherson of Kansas City,
whose husband, Dr. McPherson, is Dr. Fox's successor in charge.