Raymond G. "Ray" White was born on Nov. 4 or 6, 1889 at Hopwood, PA, the son of Robert M. and Mary Rebecca (Pope) White. He is one of several known cousins to have lost their lives serving our nation in World War I.
He said to be "well and favorably known," said a local newspaper. As a young man, he was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and dark hair.
Circa 1917, he was employed as a laborer by the Uniontown Speedway Association at Hopwood. The track at Hopwood hosted many races involving rather prominent names in the automotive field -- among them Indianapolis 500 champion Ralph DePalma (in 1915) and Barney Oldfield (1917). The track was oval-shaped, made of boards and 1 1/8 miles in length.
On Oct. 4, 1917, as he neared his 28th birthday, Ray "left his home in Hopwood where he had spent his boyhood and early manhood," said a newspaper, and enlisted in the U.S. Army.
He trained at Camp Lee, VA, Camp Green and Camp Merritt, and departed for France on April 5, 1918, having been assigned to Company I, 7th United States Infantry. He soon was sent to the front lines at Chateau Thierry.
He only was in Europe for three months at the time of his death, and was age 28.
Tragically, in the horrific fighting on July 15, 1918, Ray was killed in action at Chateau Thierry, France, just nine months after his enlistment. No further details are known, but will be added here when learned.
Ray's remains initially were interred in France. They were exhumbed and brought stateside from France on July 19, 1921, and two days later were laid to rest near several generations of his ancestors at Hopwood Cemetery. Pallbearers included Harold Lowe, Charles Schnatterly, Paul Miner, Harry Shultze, Elsworth Hebb and Albert Ebbert, all of Hopwood.
Local newspapers headlined the burial.
In 1919, when the book Uniontown's Part in the World War was published, Ray was pictured along with a brief profile of his military service. That same year, he was among a number of war casualties to be pictured in the Mid-Week Pictorial, a special newspaper section, distributed in parts of the United States.
Ray is honored today on a special page on our website, "Wartime Military Casualties."
Copyright © 2000-2001, 2005, 2014, 2016 Mark A. Miner