Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
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1st Lt. Alfred K. Gymer
Medical Corps
January 15, 1890 - August 27, 1918

   Among his college friends, Alfred K. Gymer was affectionately
known as "Reliable Alf." A fraternity brother who knew him intimately,
said of him: "Clean to the bone is the way I found and remember him."
He did not perform valiant deeds on the fields of France,
but his whole life was heroic. His goal in life was high; his
ambitions were noble, and obstacles only stimulated him to further effort.

   Alfred Kelloud Gymer, the only Evansville doctor who died in the
service of his country, was born January 15, 1890, at Earlington, Ky.
He was not a year old when he was brought to Howell. His elementary
education was received in the public schools of Howell. He completed
his secondary education in the Evansville High School in 1907.

   His ambition in life was a medical career. However, after graduating
from high school, he took a teacher's training course at the
Marion, (Ind) Normal School, and later taught school for one term.
Before he began his medical studies he was identified with several of
the leading firms of this city. He was a yard clerk and locomotive
fireman for the L. & N. Railroad, and was later employed as a
stockkeeper by the Hercules Buggy Co. When the Bucyrus Company
converted its machinery for the production of howitzers, Gymer was
engaged as a shell inspector.

   At the Louisville Medical School, Alfred K. Gymer was popular
among the students. He was a Mason, and a member of the Phi Beta
Pi Fraternity.  It was three months before his graduation when the
government called for volunteers in the medical department of the
navy.

   Gymer was among the first to volunteer his services. Because of
strenuous work during his student days he was under weight, and
consequently he was rejected.

   When he received his M.D. he served as intern in the St. Mary's
hospital for one year.  He was then appointed as a member of the
staff of the state hospital at Kalamazoo, Mich. When his number, 128.
was called in the draft he returned to Howell, and left on the first
train of selectives for Camp Taylor.

   He did not remain a private very long. When his medical training
became known he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and was
made a member of the examining board. On August 15, 1918, he fell
ill with tonsilitis. He was removed to the base hospital for treatment,
so that he could accompany his division which left that week. How-
ever, pneumonia developed, and death claimed him on August 27, 1918,
at Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio.  His body was sent to Evansville,
and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

   In a report to the Secretary of War, General Pershing included
the following description of the fighting in which Elmer S. Harper
participated: "It was the fortune of the two corps, composed of the
27th and 30th Divisions, which had remained with the British, to have
a place of honor in co-operation with Australian Corps on September
29. and October 1 in the assault on the Hindenburg Line where the St.
Quentin Canal passes through a tunnel under a ridge. The 30th
Division speedily broke through the main line of defense for all its
obectives.  In the midst of the maze of trenches and shell craters and
under cross-fire from machine guns the other elements fought desperately
against odds.  The spirit and aggressiveness of these divisions have
been highly praised by the British army commander, under whom they served."
_____

Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
pp77-78.

cdmyers@wowway.com
October 25, 1998