Figure 1. Schmidt monument. Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, VA. Photo: author.

Something must be in the air besides viruses. Having published a post only yesterday on Captain Shirley Lee Owens, jr., a victim of World War II, I today came across a typologically similar monument in Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, VA (figure 1).

Corporal Carl Frederick Schmidt’s (1896-1922) monument, a mostly flat granite slab caulked to a rustic-faced base, records that he served in the Motor Truck Company 509, Motor Supply Train 423. I believe this would have put him into the Quartermaster Corps. There is nothing about him on the interwebs besides a record of the grave pictured here, but a search for the unit turns up that it was in France, and one of its members died in October 1918 just after arriving, and before having gone up to the front. I suspect the influenza pandemic got him.

Figure 2. Schmidt monument. Detail: Carl Frederick Schmidt portrait. Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, VA. Photo: author.

In any event, Carl survived the war only to succumb to something in 1922, at the age of 25. His parents, whose monuments stand nearby, erected this substantial monument to his memory and embellished it, like Shirley Owen’s parents did their son’s, with a ceramic cameo of the dead soldier (figure 2). He has a long, agreeable face, prominent ears, and a shock of dark hair that rises alarmingly, like Heat Miser’s (figure 3), above his forehead. He appears to wear a military tunic that is only buttoned at the top, and a scarf about his neck hides his collar. There is a tree behind him and he is sitting up straight in a chair with spindles and crest rail behind him. I can’t make out anything else.

Figure 3. Heat Miser hair style. From A Year Without a Santa Claus, 1974. I rely on a fair use justification for the use of this image in a critical discussion.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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