San Francisco County
MRS. EMILY ANDREWS
Mrs. Emily Andrews, president of San Francisco Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers of America, was born, reared and educated in England. In 1892 she came to America as the bride of Charles Marlowe and they first settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where their son, Alfred Marlowe, was born. Crossing the border, they took up their abode in Toronto, Ontario, and in the city a daughter, Gertrude, was born to them. With their return to the States they established their home in Los Angeles, California, where their children were educated. Gertrude Marlowe is now the wife of H. Benkman, a member of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and a well known figure in musical circles of the city. They have three children, Patricia, Mitzi and Constance Benkman.
After losing her son in the World war Mrs. Andrews came to San Francisco to reside with her daughter. Since the death of her son she has devoted all of her time to philanthropic work and is most prominent among the Gold Star Mothers. In 1929 she was called to the presidency of the San Francisco Chapter of Gold Star Mothers and at the expiration of her term was reelected to the office, which she still occupies. This organization was formed to honor the dead and serve the living for legislative purposes and the protection of mothers whose sons made the supreme sacrifice for their country. In 1930 Mrs. Andrews carried to Paris, France, the San Francisco tribute to be placed on the waters and also on the tomb of the “Unknown Soldier.” Unselfish, sympathetic and kindhearted, her sole desire is to aid and comfort those in sorrow and need, and her admirable qualities have made her beloved by all who have been brought within the sphere of her influence.
Her son, Alfred Marlowe, who was born May 26, 1893, pursued his studies in Los Angeles and when his education was completed became connected with the motion picture industry. At the time America entered the World war he was in Globe, Arizona, where he enlisted in June, 1917, joining the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Regiment of Arizona Infantry as a private. A machine gun operator, he became corporal of his company and was a gallant soldier. Possessing the dauntless spirit and the high purpose of the Crusaders of old, he never faltered in the performance of duty and met a glorious death on the field of battle. He served under Captain C. C. Chincke, commander of Company C, Sixteenth United States Infantry, who wrote as follows to Mrs. Andrews, January 16, 1919, while stationed at Cernback, Germany:
“Dear Madam: I regret deeply to inform you of the death of your son - Private Alfred Marlowe, Sixteenth Infantry, who was killed in the greatest battle of the present war, the battle of the Argonne. On that eventful date, October 8, 1918, he helped to storm and capture Hill 272, one of the greatest feats in the history of the war. He was highly commended for his courage and bravery and he was an excellent soldier. He was greatly respected by his comrades, who feel his loss very keenly. He was buried with full military honors near Charpentry, France.”
Corporal James Nation, a member of the same company and a close friend of Alfred Marlowe, wrote as follows from Aix les Bains, France, March 29, 1919: “Dear Friend, Mrs. Andrews: I received your much delayed letter a few days ago, and as I was just ready to go on pass, I did not have time to write from there, so will write now. It has been so long since you wrote that I thought it better to write and give the whole detail then wire, so I will try not to leave out anything.
“After we came to France, they asked for some volunteers to take a course with an automatic rifle company, so Alfred and myself volunteered. We studied the different parts of the automatic for about three weeks and then we were sent to the First Division, Sixteenth Infantry, and then to the trenches. We went as qualified automatic riflemen. We stayed in the trenches for about seven days. I am not sure, but I think it was the latter part of August when we left there for old Fort de Pagny. We stayed there three days--then we went up to the St. Mihiel drive. We went over the top on the 12th of September at 5:30 A. M. We made the drive O.K. From there we started for the Argonne woods, arriving there about the last of September. We were in the reserve until October 8; the night of the 8th we moved into the front lines and on the morning of October 9, at 8:50 o’clock, we attacked Hill 272. It was so foggy we could see nothing; couldn’t even see ten feet ahead of us. Well, I was the gunner and Alfred was my loader. The Germans had many machine guns and they were using them, too, but we kept going until we ran into the Germans. The first one I saw jumped out of a hole not ten feet ahead of us, so we all lay flat on the ground. I was using the automatic and Alfred crawled up to my side to load for me; he was just putting in a clip when he got hit--one bullet went through his hand and hit the gun. I thought that was the only one that hit him. I told him to crawl back to the rear and find a hole; he started but never did get there. I had to go on and never knew for sure what had become of him until the next day, when I came back to make sure, for it was agreed between us that if either of us got killed, that the other one would write to mother, and he was still there--hadn’t moved ten feet from where we lay together.
“So, dear friend, that is just what became of your noble son. He is buried somewhere on the battlefield, just this side of Verdun. The way things are now I think it would be impossible for me to get a photo of his grave, as I don’t know, myself, just where it is. But if I ever get a chance and it is within my power, I will do my best to get you one.
“Hoping this will clear things up a little so you will not be in doubt any longer, I remain, as ever,
(Signed) Corporal James Nation.”
Mrs. Andrews has recently created a monument to be placed in Golden Gate park, inscribed with the names of seven hundred hero dead, which will be unveiled in the early part of February, 1932. This is a mother’s gift to the city, as each Gold Star Mother has paid for the inscription of the name of her son or daughter in honor of the deceased. The monument is an eighteen-ton grey granite boulder--the gift of the Raymond Granite Company.
Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.
Source: Byington, Lewis Francis, “History of San Francisco 3 Vols”, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1931. Vol. 2 Pages 111-114.
© 2007 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.