Thingish Things

Pvt. Henry Gunther, RIP

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Nov• 11•11

Pvt. Henry N. Gunter

All went quiet on the Western Front on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. The day became known as Armistice Day in America, and later Veterans Day.

With such exact times recorded, one naturally wonders what happened in the minutes before. Did the fighting continue?  Who was the last to die?

It was  Private Henry Gunther of Baltimore, MD. He was killed charging a German machine gun position 60 seconds before the Armistice took effect — at 10:59 am on 11/11/18.  The Germans reportedly shouted to the charging Americans to stop — the war was about to end — but U.S. commanders were ordered to inflict as much damage on the German Army as they could right up to the last minute.  One can only imagine the added grief that caused Pvt. Gunther’s family. His divisional record read: “Almost as he fell, the gunfire died away and an appalling silence prevailed.”

Pvt. Henry N. Gunther.  There’s another name to remember. 

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