Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Willard W. Blood, Killed in Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1918

This tombstone was photographed at the Blood Cemetery in Dunstable, Massachusetts.

Willard W. Blood
1869 – 1918
Spanish War Veteran
Merchant Marine World War 1
Killed in Vera Cruz, Mexico

Willard Washington Blood was the son of Washington Eli Blood and Lydia Ann Hersey, born 10 November 1869 in Dunstable, Massachusetts.  He died 22 November 1918 in Vera Cruz, Tamaulipas, Mexico.   I couldn't find any details of his death in military or civilian records.  I wondered if he died of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.  I did finally find this news paper clipping online:

From Genealogybank.com

Times-Picayune, Tuesday, December 17, 1918, New Orleans, Louisiana, page 9

Ship’s Engineer
Slain in Tampico
Business Man Gives Further
Details of Attacks on
Crew of Monterey
Further reports of attacks on members of the crew of the American steamship Monterey, the chief gunner’s mate of which was attacked by Mexican customs guards at Tampico, resulting in a conflict between the Mexicans and the armed navy guard of the ship, were made in New Orleans Monday by an American business man of Vera Cruz, temporarily in the city.

According to his statement, about seven days before the attack at Tampico, which took place November 28, the third engineer of the Monterey was found in Vera Cruz with his skull crushed and all valuables removed from his person.  He had gone ashore on leave, while the Monterey was in port at Vera Cruz, and was discovered next morning not more than a square from his ship."

Willard Blood's death record can be found on Ancestry filed as "Guillermo W. Blood" from Vera Cruz, Mexico.  Here is an image from Ancestry.com.  Thank you to Laurie Stevens for helping me to find this image at both the Ancestry and at the FamilySearch websites.  This document describes the autoposy, the hospital where he died, and the cause as a blow to the head at the base of the cranium.  It also says that he was buried in Mexico, so the stone in Dunstable, Massachusetts is just a cenotaph or memorial (doesn't mark the place of burial).  The description on the death record sounds like the same man described in the newspaper article.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Willard W. Blood, Killed in Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1918", Nutfield Genealogy, posted Nutfield Genealogy, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2018/08/willard-w-blood-killed-in-vera-cruz.html: accessed [access date]).

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