Private Henry H Barrows

Private Robert Harris BarrowsPrivate Henry Harold Barrows was a native of New Haven, Vermont.  Henry was born on 20 November 1893 to Frank and Julia Barrows.  He entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) with the class of 1917, majoring in Agriculture and participated in the Army ROTC program.

Henry left RISC in June 1915 and enlisted in the United States Army on 18 February 1918.  On 10 May 1918, he departed for France with the 47th Infantry Regiment. Private Barrows was later assigned as an infantry rifleman, Company M, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.  On 25 May 1918, Private Barrows landed with his unit in Brest, France. Two months were spent training with British and French units before 27 July, when the “Raiders Regiment” was marching knee deep in mud into their first combat action. The 47th Regiment cracked the German lines by fighting Indian style and rapidly secured the town of Sergy. Soon thereafter, his unit joined with other units of the American Expeditionary Force to deal decisive combat losses to the Germans.

On the morning of 27 July 1918, the 47th Infantry Regiment launched a counter-assault under the overall direction of Allied Generalissimo Ferdinand Foch against the German positions. This assault on a 25 mile-wide front was the first major operation in over a year. The American Army was the main effort in the regions around Soissons and Château-Thierry. The allied forces had managed to keep their plans a secret, and their early morning attack took the Germans by surprise.  The American forces went “Over the Top” without a preparatory artillery bombardment, but instead followed closely behind a rolling barrage which began with great synchronized precision. Fighting was very intense, and often hand-to-hand combat in the trenches resulted in the German defeat.  Private Barrows was wounded on 29 July 1918 while engaged in combat with the enemy near Chateau-Thierry, France. He died from his wounds on 20 August 1918 at the American Army Hospital, Chateau-Guyon, France.

Private Henry Harold Barrows was laid to rest with full military honors at Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, Vermont.  Private Barrows volunteered to serve his nation during World War I and paid the ultimate sacrifice. He is a University of Rhode Island and American Hero who gave his life in the cause of Freedom during the “Great War.”