HOPKINTON – Allen Dayman Jordan was born to an unmarried 17-year-old girl on Dec. 4, 1890. His mother, Alice, supported him by working as a servant in the Hope Valley home of machinist Ralph Kenyon.
In 1918, Jordan was drafted to serve in the World War. He left his mother, his friends and his job as a mill laborer at Yawgoo Line & Twine to fulfill his patriotic duty. In March, he wrote a letter home.
“Dear Friends in Rhode Island, I write about camp and the life of a soldier. We first left Rhode Island for Ayers, Mass. where we arrived and the surgeons looked down our throats. Then we marched to the barracks of Co. F, 301 Engineers where we were issued our bedding and mess gear and then had supper, after which we made up our bunks and checked our names.
The boys were very noisy after the lights were out (we were supposed to keep still after taps), and the sergeant said, ‘You boys keep still or I will give you picks and shovels in the morning.’ He finally succeeded in quieting them.
At 5:30 next morning the bugle called us out to reveille. We lined up and the roll was called and we had mess, after which we were lined up again and marched to the hospital for vaccination and examination. We were then issued clothing and began learning to drill.
All went well for a while. Some were picked for guard duty. I was one. One Westerly boy was on guard and didn’t understand how to work it. After the time of challenging, which is 10 o’clock, the officer of the day appeared. ‘Halt, who is there?’ ‘Officer of the day,’ was his reply. ‘Well’ said the sentinel, ‘If you are officer of the day, what are you doing around here this time of night?’ This was about 2 o’clock in the morning. The officer said, ‘What are you guarding and the number of buildings?’ ‘I don’t know but I am keeping pretty good watch of these around here.’ But Jim got by because he was new at it.
Sometime later, Lieutenant Day called the roll and called off the names of 84 men and said, ‘Pack up all your personal belongings.’ Then we formed a line and we landed split up, some going in one company and some in another, which was the 301, or ‘Boston’s Own.’ I was put in Co. B with nine other Rhode Island boys who were a fine lot of young fellows and full of friendly relation and fun.
One day broke with sorrow to the whole company when our Captain Perrin called 19 names of men to be transferred to Georgia. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he said, ‘I am sorry to have these boys leave because they were a fine lot of boys and were a good company and I hate to break up such a happy home but I can’t help it.’ Tears rolled down the cheeks of everyone the day we departed. The Captain was a nice man and gave us a chance to visit our homes before leaving.
Captain Fentress told us about bayonet practice, which the boys of Co. C certainly got down as fine as possible, and if we go over there we will be able to give a good account of ourselves. God help Kaiser Bill when Co. C goes over the lines. The Captain said Co. C was way ahead of anything in the regiment or any branch of the service which they have instructed.
A fire broke out at 328 Infantry. The fire alarm was given. Who were first in line for case of emergency? Co. C. Also, this company is leading others in target practice. They fear no German, large or small, but are brave and strong and have the pep in them. This is not a company of fellows with cold feet. They are always wanting to go after the Kaiser and Co. C will bring those Germans to a close and go on to victory.
Peace and happiness to all my Rhode Island friends, Private Allen D. Jordan.”
Jordan left New York on April 29 aboard the Mauretania, an Army transport, as part of Co. G, 326 Infantry, 82 Division. On Jan. 29, 1919, after being gassed, he departed Bordeaux, France aboard the Santa Teresa, a convalescent ship en route to Hoboken, New Jersey where he arrived on Feb. 13.
By 1942, Jordan was residing in Arcadia. His mother died that year and he was unemployed due to being a disabled veteran. He passed away on June 15, 1962 and lays, beside his mother, in Wood River Cemetery.