Alan Tucker, on 28 February 2012 - 08:36 AM, said:
1918 May 22 Birth of a younger son – Richard Ford Rew. One of the sponsors at his baptism was Lieutenant David Wheeler, American Expeditionary Force, who had become a close friend of Elkington in the Foreign Legion.
Just noticed this bit and have to add that Wheeler was an extremely
good friend to Elkington... it was because of him that his leg was able to be saved! Wheeler must be one of the most interesting characters of the whole war so deserves a short mention I think (even though it may be a little off-topic, this guy's one of my Great war 'heroes' , so tough!!!!!
He was born in Buffalo, New York and, after graduating from Williams College and Columbia University, became a medical doctor. Initially enlisting as a red cross worker with the American Field Service in France in August 1914, he decided that he wanted to see action and enlisted as a Soldat 2e Classe
into the 3RM/1RE on February 7th 1915 (sounds familiar?
). Serving on the Somme (where he first met Elkington, becoming firm friends a little later while on leave) , he, too, transferred to the 2RM/1RE and saw service with him in the Vosges and the Champagne. Also badly wounded in the right leg by MG fire on 28th September, he used his medical training on many wounded on his crawl back towards the French lines but discovered Elkington badly wounded in a shell hole and , after issuing laudenum and patching him up as best as he could, stayed with him in the shell hole for 13 hours before the brancardiers arrived (by this point Wheeler had passed out through blood-loss (Elkington too?)). Wheeler was awarded the CdeG for his actions on this day (as opposed to the 'standard issue' for discharge due to wounds of Medaille Militaire and CdeG - which he was to receive later). Like Elkington, this was the end of his Legion service as he was honourably discharged due to his wounds later that year.
Returning to the USA, he enlisted for a short while in the Canadian Army and arrived back in France at the end of 1916 as a Medical Officer in the CEF but returned to the USA in the spring of 1917 and transferred to the US Army in April 1917, becoming MO to the 16th Infantry Regiment. With the 16th, 1st/Lt.Wheeler returned, once again, to France in June 1917 and saw service in Lorraine, Cantigny and the Aisne but was mortally wounded by machine-gun fire near the Paris-Soissons Road in front of Cutry and Coeuvres-et-Valsery during an attack on July 18th 1918, dying later that same day. He is now buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau (Plot B, Row 4, Grave 15).