Monday, November 11, 2013

Josiah F. Broadfoot, Hero of World War 1

In Memory of Josiah F. Broadfoot
Never Forget
Photo by Midge Frazel, 2008 Flag Marker of Josiah F. Broadfoot
There are no known photographs of Josiah F. Broadfoot and no one in my family has the distinguished service cross.

On 12 December 2008, I wrote a blog post about sending for a photograph of my relative's gravestone who served in World War 1. This is a blog post about his life and service to his country.

Josiah Ferguson Broadfoot, my first cousin, twice removed, was born 13 Feb 1889 in Westerly, Rhode Island. His parents, Thomas A. Broadfoot (1862-1911) a stone cutter, and his wife Annie T. H. Ferguson (1859-1945) were naturalized citizens, having come from Scotland, where they were married on 17 Feb 1887 in Dalbeattie, Kircudbrightshire, Scotland. Thomas A. Broadfoot, the first of our family to come to America, is listed as arriving at Castle Garden, New York on 3 Apr 1883 at the age of twenty. As a stone cutter, worked for the Westerly & Niantic Monumental Works (Faverio & Broadfoot) in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Josiah was the second son of seven children born to Thomas and Annie. He was named for his maternal grandfather, Josiah Ferguson. The 1900 census lists him, as a eleven year old student, the oldest child in his family, because older brother Hugh, died as an infant in 1888.  The Rhode Island City Directories list him as a clerk at the age of 18 and as a salesman in a bakery at the age of 26.  Josiah was single when he entered the service. He was living at 27 West St. in Westerly, RI in 1915 with his mother.

Josiah served as a Corporal in Company B, 326th Tank Battalion, Tank Corps in World War 1 (ASN 9260). His service record (in a cablegram) states he was an "extraordinary" hero killed in action and gives the following information: Corporal Josiah F. Broadfoot,  volunteered to drive a tank to attack enemy machine gun nests. His volunteer service being accepted, he attacked enemy machine gun nests until his tank was put out of action. He, then, advanced on foot until he was fatally wounded.

Erected in his memory is a large blue-white granite cross, in the family plot (section 9) in River Bend Cemetery, states he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (D.S.C.) He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France in Plot H, Row 1, Grave 18.
Photo by Brian Zoldak, used with permission

(above) The Disabled Veterans of America, Chapter #6 of Westerly, Rhode Island is named in his honor and he is memorialized by a large granite marker.

Photo by Midge Frazel, 2008

(above) On grave marker in Rhode Island:
In Memory of/Corporal Josiah F./Broadfoot/ D.S.C./ Killed/at/ La Forge Farms/France/Sept. 27, 1918.
Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
(above) On grave in France:
Josiah F. Broadfoot/Corpl. 326 Batt'n Tank Corps/Rhode Island/Sept. 28, 1918 (Grave 18)

Rest in Peace, my hero cousin.


Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

wonderful that you were able to obtain those photos. He may be gone but not forgotten.

Midge Frazel said...

I so wish I had his photograph. Thanks for your comment.

Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a wonderful weekend!