It’s A Long Way To Tipperary was a music-hall tune written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams in 1912.
This refrain is known throughout the world:
It’s a long way to Tipperary,
It’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!
Farewell Leicester Square!
It’s a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart’s right there.
I wonder if William Lagasse sang that song when he was on a ship on his way to England in September 1917.
William is my cousin once removed.
This is what I found on him.
William was the son of Antoine Lagasse and Delia Betrand. Both were born in Quebec in the 1860s. Delia Bertrand died December 23, 1918, in Bristol, Connecticut.
This could be William’s parents…
Their sons William and Joseph took part in the first battle fought by the Americans in World War I.
World War I Bristol’s Soldiers (DOUGHBOYS)
Three Bristol National Guardsmen lost their lives right here in Connecticut shortly after their unit, Company D, was activated for Federal service in the spring of 1917. Guardsmen were used to provide security for factories, bridges, and railroads from possible sabotage.
The first Bristol soldier to die was Pvt. William Nolan who was struck by a train while on guard duty in Ansonia, CT. Another Bristol soldier, Pvt. Max Killian, was also struck and killed by a train in the same area a few weeks later. Pvt. Archie Easland was killed in New Haven as a result of a fall from a trolley car.
The Connecticut National Guard trained during the summer of 1917 at a camp called Platt Field which was opposite from the Yale Bowl. Connecticut’s citizen soldiers sailed off to Europe in September of 1917.
The first Bristol soldier to die in France was Cpl. James H. Hinchey. Hinchey died from illness (meningitis). The costliest battle in the history of Bristol, Connecticut was the battle of Seicheprey, France which took place on April 20, 1918. More Bristol men died in 24 hours during this battle than during any war before or after.
The dead were all from Company D. 102 infantry, 26th “Yankee” Division.
The men who made the supreme sacrifice were:
Damase J. LaFlamme
In addition to the above dead, eighteen men were wounded and twenty-five were taken prisoner at the Battle of Seicheprey.
It’s A Long Way To Bristol, Connecticut…
Click on the image to hear the song.