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Lawrence Wenell, a superior soldier and civilian, remembered.

Lawrence Wenell, a superior soldier and civilian, remembered.

By SUE HUNTER WEIR Lawrence Wenell had an elementary-school education. He loved baseball, and according to his mother, he was very good at it. Private Carl Wenell laying flowers at the grave of his brother Lawrence Wenell.: Courtesy Wenell family Lawrence was born on July 5, 1893, the oldest of August and Laura Wenell”™s fourteen children. He attended Irving School, which has since been demolished, but which was located on the corner of 17th Avenue and 28th Street. By the time that he was 17 years old he was working as a “shirt cutter,” for the Wyman-Partridge Company. In June 1917, he enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to the Battery C 151st Field Artillery, also known as the Gopher Gunners, part of the Rainbow Division. His unit sailed from New York on October 18, 1917, aboard the President Lincoln. Less than five months later, on March 9, 1918, his parents received a telegram from the War Department notifying them that their son had been seriously wounded. By the time that the telegram reached them Lawrence had already died. He suffered a skull fracture and broken neck when a shell near him exploded. He was the first young man from Minneapolis to die from injuries received during World War I. The French government honored him with a Croix de Guerre. The Wenell family were active members of St. Paul”™s Lutheran Church (located at the corner of 15th Avenue and 28th Street). During a memorial service for Lawrence, Emmanuel O. Stone, the church”™s pastor “spoke highly of Wenell”™s superior qualities as both a soldier and a civilian” More than 800 mourners attended the service. Lawrence was initially interred in Baccarat, France shortly after he died. He was disinterred and reburied in a second soldiers”™ cemetery in France on February 7, 1921. The French government was initially reluctant to share responsibility for sending the bodies of the estimated 100,000 [...]

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