Rose, Ralph (P1, C3, L6)
Private Ralph Rose, 23, of Owenton, Owen County, died in a rail road accident at Gael, France on 26 October 1918 while on federal active duty during World War I.
Rose joined Company H of 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 6 June 1917. He also served in Company F which was redesignated as Battery E of the 138th Field Artillery. He was serving with Headquarters Company of the 138th at the time of his death.
The wreck occurred at Gael, France on 26 October 1918. His unit was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for training. They left Camp Shelby on 18 September 1918 and set sail from New York on 6 October 1918. They arrived in Liverpool England on 18 October 1918 and in Cherbourg, France on 22 October 1918. Ogle was one of eleven Kentucky National Guard soldiers killed in the crash. Many more were injured.
See Kentucky Guard Railroad Related Fatalities 1917-18
According to correspondence by Captain J. C. Hobson, Jr. of the 138th - At 8:50 P. M., October 26, 1918, while enroute from Cherbourg, France, to a training camp at Meucon, France, a train carrying the 113th Ammunition Train collided with the 138th Field Artillery, which had just stopped at the station of Gael, France. The 138th train reportedly had had mechanical difficulties in the trip up to that point. Headquarters Company of the 138th occupied the last six cars of the train—the compartment and three box. All six cars were completely demolished. Other accounts report that 14 train cars were “telescoped” in the event. There are many conflicting accounts of the incident published in newspapers at various times with variation in the numbers of injured and dead and even the location of the wreck. The location had also been reported as St. Main / Mein and Mellistroit.
The men who were killed in the wreck were buried October 28th, in the U. S. Government cemetery No. 18 at Camp Coetquidan, France. Many were returned home in the years following the war. Rose’s body was returned home in August 1920 with services held at the Richland Baptist Church near Monterey and burial in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) section of the Owenton Cemetery in Owen County.
The other members of the Kentucky National Guard Killed in the incident are: William E. Aubrey; Buford G. Craig; Norbert V. Henry; Charles Lucas; Watkins A. Moss; Walter C. Neagle; Roy V. Ogle; James N. Tucker and Garland W. Wells.