Annual Illumination 2016 - Stop #4

She Wore a Woman's Armor into a Man's War;Now She Rests Amongst the Heroes

This year serves as the 150th anniversary of this cemetery, but it is also the centennial of World War I. Several of the soldiers buried here are veterans of that war. Edith Rose Tench is one of only two female veterans interred here, and most likely the only local woman who actively served in the military in World War I.

Edith joined the United States Naval Reserve Force in 1917, becoming one of the 11,000 women to serve. She, along with the other women, performed several tasks including clerical duties, designing camouflage, and other duties that were needed during wartime. After the war ended, the Navy released the women –except for nurses –from active duty. Edith would then go on to study nursing, but ended up dying from Bright's disease –an inflammation of the kidneys –in 1929, shortly after graduating from the hospital's school.

There are 19 other women buried in this cemetery, including the other female veteran Anna Florence Lockhart, who served as a United States Army Corps nurse during World War I.The remaining 18 women buried in this cemetery were married to veterans or superintendents of the cemetery.


Last updated: June 9, 2016

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