Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Reader offers more information on sinking of WWI ship

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The pain passes, but the beauty remains.

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John Henry Reese died during WWI when the HMS Otranto ship sank off the coast of Ireland. He is buried in Surrey, England.  Special
Special
John Henry Reese died during WWI when the HMS Otranto ship sank off the coast of Ireland. He is buried in Surrey, England.
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– Pierre Auguste Renoir

I told someone the other day, a great thing about our area is that if you share a story about the past, someone will often offer something that adds to it.

That’s what happened Friday when I wrote about the local World War I soldiers who died when their transport ship the HMS Otranto sank off the coast of Ireland just weeks before the war ended.

I received several calls and also got a wonderful e-mail from Thomas P. De Gennaro, who coaches football and teaches social studies at Paul Knox Middle in North Augusta.

He wrote: “My grandmother used to tell us stories about her uncle, John Henry Reese, who also lost his life when the Otranto went down. He is buried in the Brookwood American Cemetery in Surrey, England. In one of the Reese family plots in Westview Cemetery, there is a large memorial dedicated to John Henry.

Coach De Gennaro also said The Chronicle ran a story in 1931 about Annie Elizabeth Reese going to England to see where her son had been buried.

“I have enclosed a picture of John Henry in his uniform and a picture of Annie standing beside her son’s grave. Thank you for remembering this important story about the great sacrifice made by so many during World War I.”

QUICK QUIZ: Bill Wood, of Hephzibah, is asking:

• Since everyone has a camcorder these days how come no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

• How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

• If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

• If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

• Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

• Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

WOOFING: Penny and Chuck Ballas sent a post card from Santa Fe, to report the UGA-New Mexico football game (“Go, dogs”) was not televised, so they had to listen to it on radio.

Chuck and Mary, of Hephzibah; Bill and Linda, of Boneville; and Paul and Iris, of Hephzibah, visited the Pentagon where the 9/11 attack hit. “Very sobering,” they report, “and interesting.”

TODAY’S JOKE: Over a round of golf, two doctors were talking shop.

“I operated on Mr. Lee the other day,” said the surgeon.

“What for?” asked his colleague.

“About $17,000.”

“What did he have?”

“Oh... About $17,000.”


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