Saluting Our Service Members: Military Spotlight

By The Major Brent Taylor Foundation

The Ultimate Sacrifice

By Sabrina Lee

When WWI broke out, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Holmes three sons enlisted. Ronald Holmes enlisted in the Navy, Dewey Holmes in the Quartermaster Corps (Army), and Raymond Holmes with the Army. Raymond was born and raised in North Ogden and attended Weber Schools. He trained as a machinist in the railroad shops in Ogden so when he enlisted in 1917, he was working as a machinist in Pocatello, Idaho. He was sent to Washington’s Camp Lewis for training and then shipped to France, serving on the front lines. Mrs. Holmes received letters, often months from when they were written, letting her know that they were in good health and roughly where they were serving. Her last letter from Raymond was dated June 14th, 1918. In September of 1918, at around 11 o’clock in the morning, the family received notice that Raymond had been killed on the front lines in France. He was wounded at the Battle of Soissons but succumbed to those wounds on July 25th, 1918. He was initially interred in Tours, France. His brother Dewey, still serving overseas, happened to be stationed in Tours when he learned of his brother’s death. He was able to visit the hospital where Raymond was treated as well as his burial site. The Battle of Soissons raged on the Western Front from July 18th to July 22nd, 1918. French, British, and American units fought together to cut off a main supply railway and road of the German forces. This battle was a major turning point in WWI, as German forces would be on the defensive for the remainder of the war. But it came with a cost: 345,000 men from Britain, France, and America fought, while only 225,741 survived. American casualties totaled 11,259.

Raymond was remembered as a clever baseball player, son, brother, and friend. At his father’s request, his remains were returned home in 1920. He had a massive memorial and escorted procession to the Ben Lomond Cemetery. Hundreds of people attended, and Major Charles
R. Mabey, a republican candidate for Utah Governor, was the principal speaker. The American Legion dedicated his final resting place, he received a gunned salute, and Taps was played. His original headstone has been replaced with a bronze marker, but he is still remembered by this community for his bravery every Memorial Day.


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