Thursday, April 12, 2018

Glenn Rayne’s Wife

above drafted men arriving at Camp Meade

As we know the American Legion post in Delmar is called the Glenn Rayne post.  It is named for Glenn Rayne, a young man who lived briefly in Delmar and worked for the railroad.  He was born June 14th, 1893 in Berlin, Maryland. His parents were John M. Rayne and Mary Ellen Timmons Rayne.  Like many young men of the time he enlisted in the Army in May of 1918, by October 1918 he was dead.  He had been sent to Camp Meade Maryland, which is north of Baltimore, for training while there he came down with the flu.  This was the start of the outbreak of the Spanish Influenza which swept through the United States killing millions. 

“Private Glen Rayne, of Delmar, a member of the 154th Depot Brigade and Private Earl Frantum of Cambridge, Md., a member of Company E, 72nd Infantry, were among the soldiers at Camp Meade, Md. , who died yesterday of pneumona following influenza.  There were 22 deaths at this camp yesterday from “flu” and there were hundreds of cases of this disease in the camp.” From The Evening Journal 03 Oct 1918.

The disease moved with amazing rapidity, and within a few days there were 1,900 soldiers at the camp ill with influenza. Officers quickly implemented measures to slow or halt the spread of the disease. Large gatherings were banned, and the Hostess House, theater, and base YMCA were closed. Civilians were barred from visiting, except valid employees, and no soldier was permitted to leave the camp.  Meanwhile, approximately 300 cases of influenza were reported at Fort McHenry, the famous Army installation from the War of 1812 and now home to a large military hospital complex, and nearly 1,150 cases at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Edgewood, some 25 miles up the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore.  As the disease ravaged the nearby military installations, Baltimore’s thousands of civilian contract laborers who worked at Camp Meade, Fort McHenry, the Proving Grounds, and area shipyards brought more than their dinner pails home at the end of the day, infecting themselves, their families, and associates with influenza. The city health department would later report that the first ten cases of influenza to strike Baltimore’s civilian population occurred in late-September among these laborers.  From this small batch of cases would follow Baltimore’s influenza epidemic.

Although Private Rayne spent only a few months at Camp Meade he managed to find a bride.  He married Edith Margaret Keyes of Matthew Virginia.  Edith was born February 22, 1896 to John R. Keyes and Laura Lee Boyd Keyes. They obtained their Maryland marriage license on 5 September 1918 when he was 25 and she was 21.  Since he died on October 1st, It was a short marriage.

The Matthews Journal,
Thurs, Oct. 3, 1918

Groom Of Four Weeks Dies With Pnuemonia

“A telegram has been received announcing the death of Mr. Glenn Rayne, a young soldier stationed at Camp Meade, Md. and who died on Tuesday. Mr. Rayne was married to Miss Edith Keyes about four weeks ago in Baltimore. The body is expected to arrive in the county tomorrow and funeral services will be held at Macedonia church. “

Edith would stay a widow for another 9 years until she married on July 9, 1927 George Wiley Shackelford of Matthews county Virginia.  He was a farmer.  George would die in 1970.  Edith would die in 1984 at the age of 88.  All three, Edith, George and Glenn were buried at Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery in Foster Virginia.

Edith may have received a certificate picturing the goddess Columbia as a personification of the United States.  These were awarded to men and women who died in service during World War

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