Category Archives: Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 4 Days

The 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range was recently designated a National WWI Centennial Memorial.

Who has the authority to designate National WWI Centennial Memorials?

The WWI Centennial Commission was established by the World War One Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by the President on January 16, 2013. The WWI Centennial Commission Act gave the Commission, among other things, the authority to designate memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I

Who serves on the WWI Centennial Commission?

The Centennial Commission is composed of 12 members:

Three members appointed by the Speaker and minority leader of the US House of Representatives, three members appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the US Senate, three members appointed by the President, one member appointed by the executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, one member appointed by the executive director of the American Legion, one member appointed by the president of the Liberty Memorial Association.

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program, which named the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range a WWI Centennial Memorial, is sponsored by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library with support from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a WWI Centennial Commission partner.

How did the rifle range earn the designation?

A proposal to the WWI Centennial Commission was created using all of the information from the past seven years found on this website. This includes the Stabilization, History, Fundraising, News, WWI Wall of Honor pages, and the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran program.

How many memorials were designated in the United States?

100 memorials in the United States were designated Official WWI Centennial Memorials. The list may be found here.

How many in North Carolina?

There is only one other memorial designated as an official WWI Centennial Memorial in North Carolina. The North Carolina State University’s Belltower in Raleigh was also designated. The Memorial Tower was built to honor NC State’s alumni who were killed in WWI.

Today, May 1, 2018, a full military ceremony will be held at the Belltower in Raleigh. It includes a 21-gun salute and a flyover of F-15s from the 4th Fighter Wing stationed at Goldsboro’s Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. 1000 blooming poppies, planted by a horticulture science class, will be in planters surrounding the belltower.

“We want to wake up the area with North Carolina’s major event to celebrate the Centennial Commission,” says Hester, a 1953 NC State graduate and retired U.S. Air Force veteran. “We have the nation’s only belltower that is dedicated to students [and alumni] who sacrificed everything in World War I.

“They deserve to be remembered with an event like this.”

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range will have members attending and plan to share pictures in tomorrow’s post.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

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Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 6 Days

A new Doughboy Wall of Honor will be displayed along with the World War I Wall of Honor.

The WWI Wall of Honor shows photos of WWI veterans that were sent to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. This has been on display during the Derby and other special occasions for several years.

Photos have continued to be received and added to the Wall – – both the physical one and the page online. See the online version for the very special photos shared by family members.

On the other side of the Wall is the new Doughboy Wall (seen here in progress). This Wall honors the Brunswick County WWI Veterans. Framed and typed cards show many of the veterans that readers have become familiar with by reading the WWI Profiles on the blog.

These profiles have been posted on the website each Monday. Check tomorrow for the new profile which for the first time, includes a photo submitted by a Brunswick County resident!

To view the WWI Profiles already published, 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.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

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Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 7 Days

Themed baskets are new at this year’s Derby Day Fundraiser.

Local artist Helen Radcliffe took the lead.

Many items were donated by local businesses.

More about their donations coming soon.

Baskets were collected. Items were divided into categories or themes, such as:

Mexican Night
Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Spa Day
Lighthouse
Beach Day
Seafood Night

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

Note: Helen Radcliffe is offering a silent auction item again this year: to the winning bidder, an original painting of their home.

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Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 8 Days

The Derby Day Fundraiser will help continue the stabilization of the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

The Fort Caswell Rifle Range was built in 1918 for small arms training of soldiers “in view of the immediate necessity for instruction of men destined for over-seas duty” in World War I.

You can read more about the history of the rifle range here or click on the History tab at the top of the website.

The stabilization effort began seven years ago. What followed includes the long process of identifying the structure, raising funds, applying for and receiving placement on the National Register of Historic Places, forming a non-profit, removing trees, shoring the walls, soil tests, and inspections by engineers.

A group of Boy Scouts recently spent two days working on the structure.

You can read more about the stabilization effort here or click on the Stabilization tab at the top of the website. Newer developments are shown at the top of the journal. An update has been added detailing this week’s meeting.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

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Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 9 Days

The Tabletop Races are a fun activity during the Derby Day Fundraiser.

There are six races with six horses each. Each horse has an owner, which costs $10.

Some horses are still available. Click here to view the list.

For several years, horses were given names using words associated with the area, such as Gator Bait and Bunker Beauty.

Last year, the focus was on WWI. The horse names were Over There and Meuse-Argonne, among others.

With the launch of the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran program on November 11, 2017, it seemed appropriate to create names that would recall the courage and strength of the county’s veterans.

Each horse name is in honor of a veteran who was killed, died of disease, or wounded. The name is taken from division or unit mottoes, nicknames, or something similar.

Names were created such as Everlasting Support, a motto created later for the 105th Engineers, Undaunted, the motto for the 119th Infantry, Old Hickory, the nickname for the 30th Division (the division served by more NC veterans than any other), and Hindenburg Line, the assault that made the 30th Division famous and led to the end of the war. Click here to view the Brunswick County WWI Army/Marine veteran rosters.

Fort Caswell nurses are also honored with their own race, with horses named after their residence at enlistment. For example, Chief Nurse Nellie E. Davis served at Fort Caswell through both WWI and WWII. She was from Denver, Colorado; a horse was named Denver in her honor.

Click here to see all of the horse names, along with a link that lists those veterans being honored.

Stay tuned…

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Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 10 Days

Preparations are well underway for the 6th and last Derby Day fundraiser for the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range Memorial.

Caswell Dunes Clubhouse in Caswell Beach
May 5th from 2:30-7:00 PM
Tickets are $15, which include dinner.
Email ftcaswellriflerange@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

What is the Derby Day Fundraiser?

The Derby Day Fundraiser is the annual fundraiser to help stabilize the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range. The focus this year is the WWI Centennial.

What activities are planned?

Activities include Tabletop horse races; Silent auctions including themed baskets; Contests such as Best Dressed and Best Hat, 50/50, Blind pool; and the Kentucky Derby viewing. Dinner is served before the Kentucky Derby.

Is 2018 the last year?

Yes, a new fundraiser is planned for 2019.

Click here for more information.

Stay tuned…

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Kentucky Derby Day Fundraiser: May 5, 2018

Buy your tickets now for the last ever Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser!

Commemorating the WWI Centennial

Be a proud supporter of the rifle range and those who served

Funds raised will support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range Memorial honoring Brunswick County veterans of WWI or assist with the stabilization efforts underway.

Click here to view the 2018 Derby Day Fundraiser page or select the Fundraising tab at the top of every page.

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Commemorate the 101st Anniversary of World War I

Attend the Commemoration of the US entry into World War I on Friday, April 6, 2018, 10:30am, at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range in Caswell Beach, NC.

There will be a Roll Call from the list of Brunswick County veterans honored. The entire list can be viewed here or by clicking the blue button on the top right of the website. The complete list will be available at the ceremony.

Those reciting names include Dave Lewis from Brunswick County Historical Society; Carl Mauney, a re-enactor who has most graciously participated in previous events; and members from the Brunswick Town Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Click below to view the flyer.

WWI Commemoration Flyer with Roll Call

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Derby Day volunteers needed

For five years, volunteers have been the key to the success of the Derby Day fundraisers for the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Volunteers for the 2018 Derby Fundraiser are now needed.

Please click on this link to go directly to the 2018 Derby Day Fundraiser webpage.

Thank you!

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Commemorate the WWI Centennial of Armistice Day

2018 is a special year for the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. What began seven years ago as an effort to save a irreplaceable piece of history, a relic from 1918, reaches a milestone of 100 years old.

At the same time, an important date in history is the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, a day which is commemorated every year. This year, we commemorate the centennial of the signing, when the tragic war came to an end and the death and destruction from the war in Europe ended.

We have seen how our young men and women bravely volunteered or heeded the call to service and traveled across the ocean to fight with the Allies. Many of them had never before left the county or state. Many of them left behind families. Many of them did not return.

The focus since November 2017 has been on the veterans in Brunswick County and their sacrifices and this continues with our two events this year. We have received donations for the planned WWI memorial at the site of the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range. The thermometer at the right side of the website indicates the amount of funds still needed for the memorial. It also shows the number of Brunswick County WWI veterans who have been honored and the number not yet honored. Please take a moment to read through the veteran list and donor list, and view the WWI Profiles that are being posted weekly. Their stories can be both inspiring and tragic.

Our next event is April 6, 2018, the Commemoration of the Centennial +1 of the United States entering WWI. A flyer will be posted soon. This event is similar to last year’s commemorating the Centennial. The names of those Brunswick County veterans who have been chosen for honor by residents and donors will be read aloud.

The 2018 Derby Fundraiser is also being planned. As years past, it will be held at the Caswell Dunes clubhouse on May 5, 2018, from 2:30pm – 7:00pm. See the Fundraising section for details, or click on this link to go directly to the 2018 Derby Day Fundraiser webpage.

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