We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sepia Saturday #130 Farewell George Filek

The prompt this week for Sepia Saturday has to do with soldiers, farewells and cats. I couldn't find any photographs of cats or soldiers saying farewell to a loved one. But I did find a photo postcard of a soldier with (can you believe it?) a name written on the back. Here is George E. Filek.

Having the name led me first to Google where I found George listed on this page:

He was listed as a corporal and wounded. But after searching Ancestry to find out more about him, it seemed he wasn't in the Army at all. He was a Marine. I went to Google Images to see if I could match his uniform and found this. Yes the pockets are the same and the collar. But not the hat.

 but then I found this photo. Yes, that's George's hat.

When I blew up George's photo I zeroed in on the insignia: 

That's definitely a Marine insignia. So he was a Marine and not in the Army.

Further search on Ancestry tells a bit of his story. He was born May 18, 1894. His father was Thomas who was a fireman. Mother, Mary and father were of Bohemian/Austrian ancestry.  At 16 he was an office boy for the steam railroad. Later he became the head cattle driver at the Chicago stock yards. They lived at 4808 Jackson Blvd. in Chicago, Il.  I actually found a picture of their house:

He was drafted sometime in 1917 and did his training at Port Royal, S.C.  Then he was sent overseas  and this is where we must say farewell to George. He was killed in the battle of Soisson in France along with 95,000 French, 13,000 British and 12,000 of his own countrymen. The Germans suffered 168,000 casualties.

Farewell to all those soldiers who died in battle and those continuing to die.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.  ~Bertrand Russell

Click Sepia Saturday for other stories about soldiers, cats or farewells.


  1. I love your Nancy Drew impersonation. Three cheers for you to immortalize this man who might have been forgotten (unless his descendents are dedicated genealogists or family historians). This post is just the best.

  2. How sad that someone we first meet with such a cheerful smiling face, should be lost in battle. Well done on the detective work too and for giving George a lasting memorial here.

  3. Over a quarter of a million casualties in one battle - what a waste! I have the same birthday as George. I'm glad you were able to tell us so much about him.

    1. What a waste is right. I couldn't believe those numbers.

      Funny, my ex husband's birthday is May 18 also.
      Are you a stubborn Taurus, too?

  4. Nancy, such a sad farewell of no return most of the time;

  5. He sure looks happy in that photo. Photos mean so much more when there is a name that leads to more information.

  6. World War I was exceptionally murderous, given the insanity of trench warfare. Great research on the photo.

  7. Hi Nancy, you really did well to find so much info out of that postcard! Thanks for researching George and letting us know about his family. I hope that someday they will find this post on the internet.

    Kathy M.

  8. A fine way to restore a man lost in that tragic war. Great detective work.
    It happens that I've been reading a lot about WWI and can recommend a great book ~To End All Wars~ by Adam Hochschild, which skillfully links the stories of individual people into the history and period. It is in my personal Top Ten best books.

  9. I think that this tribute to George is wonderful, especially as he has no direct descendants to remember him. I also hope that someone from his family reads this one day.

  10. Nancy, I'm impressed with your detective work. You even found George's home! Thanks for taking the time to learn more about him and sharing it with us. Everyone deserves to be remembered, especially those who lost their lives during war-time like George. Hope some of his family will find your blog post.

  11. There was also a saying that the winner got to write History, but in this age where information travels faster across the globe, it seems less likely now as we now hear from all parties involved, almost instantly. Hats off to your good job!!

  12. What a researcher! So sorry to hear about George's youthful demise. I hope we hear more about him.

  13. With that smile and those eyes I'm guessing he's looking at his sweetheart who is to the left of the photographer.