March 31, 1921: Remains of Soldier Harry Hines Eshbach to Burial with Honor


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

March 31, 1921: The remains of the body of Harry Hines Eshbach, who was killed in action on May 28, 1918, in the battle of Cantingy in France, have come to Boyertown for burial. The cortege was met by a a large delegation from the American Legion Charles B. Yerger Post No. 471, in command of Lieutenant Harry Mountjoy.

Lloyd Musselman of Perkasie and Carl Troutman from Pottstown had made a pact with Eshbach that they would contact parents in the event that one of them was killed in the war and they came to fulfill that battlefield promise. They had not been able to contact Eshbach’s parents earlier because they had no address for them until they saw a notice of the burial in the newspaper.

They reported that Eshbach had been hit by a a piece of an exploding shell and was killed instantly. They had carried his lifeless body back to camp and he was buried in the field. His remains were later reinterred to Villieres-Tournell Cemetery, where they rested until exhumed for shipment home.

His parents were overcome with gratitude to hear what had befallen their son and for his friends taking the trouble to come to his burial. The soldiers and sailors escorted the body to the Fairview Cemetery where several hundred townspeople gathered around the grave, which was decorated with roses, ferns, and lilies.

After lowering the remains into is final resting place, the Chaplain of the Post, Rev. Ernest Weber, conducted the burial services. The local firing squad under the command of William Coleman then fired the salute and bugler Howard Haring sounded “Taps.”

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