Monthly Archives: November 2019

Veterans Day 2019

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them” – George Eliot

The program for today’s Roll Call will be posted soon.

WWI Snapshots will continue next week.

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Invitation to the 2019 Veterans Day Roll Call on November 11

On Monday, November 11th, Veterans Day, at 11:00 am, the Roll Call continues for the 724 men and one woman nurse who served in WWI from Brunswick County. It will once again be held beside the 1918 Rifle Range Memorial at Caswell Beach.

The event is sponsored jointly by the Brunswick Town Chapter NSDAR and the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. The Southport Historical Society Firing Crew will fire Thor in commemoration of the veterans’ service. Gwen Causey, locally known for her historic focus and knowledge of Brunswick County will speak: “Brunswick County, 1900-1921.”

The public is welcome. Please bring a folding chair. For safety, be sure to park in condo parking lots and not on the roadside.

Photo courtesy of Christine Urick; April 2019 Roll Call

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WWI Snapshot: Alonzo Lee Murrell 1894-1955

Alonzo Lee Murrell’s son was a World War II Prisoner of War.

NC WWI Service Card
Alonzo Lee Murrell was born on June 20, 1894, in Brunswick County, NC.

While living in Navassa, he was called to duty and inducted into the US Army in Southport on April 2, 1918. PFC Murrell served in the Medical Department, serving overseas from October 13, 1918 until June 10, 1919. He was honorably discharged on June 27, 1919.

Alonzo married Emma E. Allen in Wilmington on April 11, 1921. A son, Jack Allen, was born in Wilmington. In 1925 they relocated to the Cumberland, MD, area, where a daughter was born.

His son, Jack Allen Murrell, served in WWII and was reported missing for six months, from September 18, 1944 until March 16, 1945. Records indicate he was a POW. The following article describes his experience.

Lt. Jack Murrell Reported To Be Safe in England
Lt. Jack Allen Murrell, pilot of a C-47 transport plane is, “free and back in England,” according to a cablegram he sent his wife, Mrs. Mary Weakley Murrell, 42 Potomac Street, Ridgeley, yesterday. He was reported missing in Groesbeek, Holland September 18, the day his baby daughter was one month old.

Serving overseas since February 14, 1944, Lt. Murrell for seven months flew a regular run from England to France carrying paratroopers. At the time he was reported missing he was towing gliders over Holland.

The last word Mrs. Murrell had from her husband was October 3; recently she received a small note, she said, from an English paratrooper, stating that he hoped her husband would reach his base some day soon; on March 15 she received a letter from an English pilot who wrote he had been with Lt. Murrell eight weeks having left him on February 10, when the English pilot made his way back to England. In concluding, he wrote, “Lt. Murrell should be following any moment now.” Mrs. Murrell said she had reason to believe her husband and the English pilot were assisted by the underground in their escape of the Nazis and their return to England.

The son of Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Murrell, Ridgeley, Lt. Murrell entered the service April 25, 1941, and was commissioned and received his wings at Columbus, Miss., leaving from Fort Benning, Ga., in February 1944, for England. He was awarded the Air Medal for his part in the D-day invasion.
Source: Cumberland News (Cumberland, MD), 17 March 1945, p14.

Alonzo Lee Murrell passed away suddenly at work on March 18, 1955, at age 60. He was laid to rest in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC. The following obituary was published.

Alonzo L. Murrell, 60, of Ridgeley, pipefitter for the Western Railway Company at Maryland Junction, died suddenly yesterday afternoon while at work.

A native of Wilmington, N.C., he was a son of the late John and Julia Murrell and had resided in Ridgeley for the past 30 years.

A veteran of World War I, Mr. Murrell was a member of the First Presbyterian Church here. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Emma Murrell; a daughter, Miss Faye Murrell, Wilmington, a son, Jack A. Murrell, city; and a granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Murrell, city; two sisters and two brothers, Leland, N.C.

The body is at the Kight Funeral Home where a service will be conducted today at 7:30 p.m. with Rev. W. Randolph Keefe Jr., pastor of Grace Baptist Church, officiating.

Tomorrow the body will be taken to Wilmington for burial in the Oakdale Cemetery. The family requests that flowers be omitted.
Source: Cumberland News (Cumberland, MD), 19 March 1955, p6.

To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Alonzo Lee Murrell or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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