Tuesday, November 11, 2008
John William Ross lied about his age when he joined the army. He was six days past his 15th birthday when the war to end all wars came to a halt on 11 November 1918.
That's Johnny, on the left, and his buddies in post-war Europe. In the 1920 Census, 16-year-old Johnny was in Germany...and reporting his age as 21.
Johnny came home safely from the war, married,* and raised three children. His youngest child is my mother.
*Johnny's wife-to-be gave her age as 18 on the marriage license; she was just past her 17th birthday. Given these precedents, I asked my mother what she lied about. "I had my parents' permission to get married," she told me. (She married at 17, too.)