Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
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|Pvt. Everett Burdette
Co. I, 120th Infantry, 30th Division.
October 17, 1895 - September 1, 1918
"In case of need one single man has the right and duty to compel the whole of mankind." Such was the doctrine of Fichte, the apostie of German unity. The veneration of the Kaiser before the war perpetuated this doctrine and aroused the resistance of most of the world. In this opposition Everett Burdette was ready to give his life. He was born October 17, 1895, at Fort Branch, Ind. He received his education in Evansville at Centennial School. At fifteen he began to learn the painter's trade. As this work did not appeal to him, he found employment in a grocery, where he remained until he went to the army. His first training station after he entered the service, September 15, 1917, was at Camp Taylor. After a sojourn of six months he was transferred to Camp Sevier, S.C., where he was assigned to Co. I, 120th Infantry. Three months later he was ordered to Hoboken, N.J. In May, 1918, he crossed the Atlantic to Liverpool and from there he went to Calais, France. On Sunday morning, September 1, 1918, as Everett Burdette went "over the top" in the battle of Mt. Kemmel, a bursting shell killed him instantly. The circumstances of Everett's death are described in a letter from his brother, Ernest, who was with him at the front at that time. The letter follows: "Dear Mother, Long before this letter reaches you, I suppose you will have heard of the sad news that Everett lost his life last Sunday morning, September 1. We left the front the second day after and this is the first chance I have had to write to you. "Of course, it is hard to bear, but you have to expect such things in the time of war. I am writing to Ralph today also. "We were all in the lines together, but I did not know anything about it until he was buried. He was killed by a shell dropping in a trench and it was instant death. He did not suffer. He was buried with military honors in the Nine Elms cemetery in Belgium. I visited the grave and made arrangements with the British for a nice cross. "The night we went into the trenches he came to me and told me good-bye. The last words I said to him were, 'Be a man and fight to the last,' and he answered, 'Don't worry; I will.' He died a good soldier and game to the last. "Fifteen minutes after it happened the Huns sure were paid for it. There is nothing else to write, only please don't worry about me, I am well and all right." A certificate signed by Gen. John I. Pershing was sent to his parents. The certificate is: "In Memory of Everett Burdette," and it says" "He bravely laid down his life for the cause of his country. His name will forever remain fresh in the hearts of his friends and comrades." _____ Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record, Compiled by Heiman Blatt, Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920 pp37-38.
April 15, 1998