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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Wiley, Ray B. (P1, C3, L26)

wiley ray bPrivate Ray B. Wiley, was born 24 November 1893, in Henry County, Kentucky, son of J. G. and Lena Wiley. He enlisted in the Kentucky National Guard on 10 May 1915, at Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky. At the time of enlistment he stated his occupation was rail roading. He was inducted into federal service for Mexican Border duty, 1916-1917, serving with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment. Upon returning from border service the company remained on duty guarding rail road bridges.

See Kentucky Guard Railroad Related Fatalities 1917-18

On 16 April 1917, while on duty at High Bridge in Jessamine County, Private Wiley was struck and killed by a train. Various newspaper accounts incorrectly list him as Roy Wiley. He was buried in the Cropper Cemetery, Cropper, Kentucky.

    Guard At High Bridge Found Dead At Post
    Roy Wiley, of Cropper, Believed Killed by Freight Train

    Lexington Herald 18 April 1917 Page 2

    Nicholasville, Ky., April 17. - Roy Wiley, 21 years old, of Cropper, a soldier guarding High Bridge, was found dead at his post at 12 o’clock last night by a comrade who went to relieve him.

    Coroner Charles Hanley summoned a jury, who found he came to his death by being struck on the head by a freight train. The young soldier had not been drinking and no trace of liquor was found on his person.

    In his pocket was a letter he had just received from his mother. His body was shipped to Cropper this afternoon.

    Guard Killed by Train

    The Courier-Journal, 18 April 1917, page 3. Also see Hopkinsville Kentuckian, “Killed by Train,” 21 April 1917, Page 8 and Licking Valley Courier, 26 April 1917, Page 1.

    __________, Ky., April 17. — Roy Wiley, 21 years old, of Cropper, Ky., one of a squad of soldiers guarding a bridge was found dead last night by his relief. His skull had been crushed by a train. His body was sent to Cropper today.

Ray B. Wiley headstoneWiley portrait photo courtesy of Nancy Hill, Shelbyville, KYwiley ray b full size


The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273

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