Monday, August 22, 2011

Military Monday - WWI Burial Case File for Julius King Councill

After posting some information on the death of my great-uncle Julius Councill in WWI, I received a comment from Heather of Leaves for Trees on WWI Burial Case Files. These are a set of records held by NARA that contain documentation  about a soldier's death and burial records. They also contain records listing next of kin and correspondence between the soldier's next of kin and the government regarding their final burial.

I followed Heather's instructions and wrote to the following address to request a copy of the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) for Julius Councill:

Archives II Reference Section (Military)
Textual Archives Services Division ( NWCT2R[M])
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

I included all of the information that I had on Julius and filled out Standard Form 180.

Name:            Julius King Councill (sometimes spelled Council)
Service Info.:  PVT Company B 111TH Infantry 28TH DIV WWI
Death Date:    12 Aug 1918 in Fismette, France
Cemetery:       Arlington National Cemetery
Birth Date:      Sept. 1899, but had Sept. 15, 1895 on his WWI Registration Card
Birthplace:      Queen Anne's County, MD (WWI Registration Card said Baltimore, MD.)
Next of kin:     His registration card listed his mother, Arianna Councill who lived in Baltimore, MD. (Arianna Councill died in December 1929.) He served as a Corporal in the Pennsylvania National Guard for 1 year. The card was dated June 5, 1917 and was filled out in New Castle, Delaware.

I received a reply in a few days stating that they had a burial case file for Julius and that I could order the 32 pages as paper copies or on CD for $24. I selected CD on the order form and a couple of weeks later, I received paper copies of the records. Ah well, other than that, I was pleased with how quickly I was able to obtain the records!

The records contained the following information:
  • Several forms filled out by Julius' mother Arianna requesting that his remains be moved from France to a final resting place in Arlington Cemetery. These were interesting in that they had her address in Baltimore, MD, her signature and on one form six of Julius' siblings and their addresses were listed.
  • Telegrams from the government confirming the burial and responses from Arianna.
  • A surprise to me was that the burial in Arlington Cemetery took place in June, 1921, so this was 3 years after the death of Julius. From the records included, he had been buried in Battlefield Cemetery #18 with no marker in Fismette, France on August 14, 1918 and then reburied in the American Cemetery #617 in Fismes, Marne, France in Oct. 1918.
  • There was a list of items recovered with his remains, including a gold ring with 1916 on it, identification tags, and a collar ornament with Co. B, 111th on it.
  • Confirmation that Julius had never been married and had no children.
  • Notice that a funeral service for Julius was held in Arlington on June 9, 1921 at 2:30 p.m. and that he was buried with military honors.
  • A list of the names of the soldiers that were being transported from Hoboken, N.J. at the same time as Julius and their escort.
  • Transport papers showing that Julius was shipped back to the US on the U.S.A.T. WHEATON leaving from Antwerp, Belgium and arriving in Hoboken, N.J.
  • The cause of death was from an artillery shell and it said that the death was instantaneous and there were no last words. The date of death on one form was August 8, 1918, but all other forms said August 12, 1918.
These records provided some new and interesting information on the WWI hero in our family and I'd like to thank Heather very much for taking the time to tell me about them!


  1. I'm so happy you were able to get the records! It sounds like the file had some great documentation. So glad I could help!

  2. We really didn't have any history passed down about Julius, so I was so glad to find this source of information. Thanks again Heather!

  3. Great article. Thanks for the info, this is a really helpful post. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a Standard Form 180, I found a blank form in this site PDFfiller. This site also has some tutorials how to fill it out and a few related forms that you might find useful.

    1. Thanks Paul! I hadn't seen the PDFfiller site before, but it looks useful.

  4. I came across your site while searching for information about my great-granduncle's WWI service. He was KIA in France on August 7, 1918. I was searching #617 American Cemetery Fismes, France because he too was buried there. His remains were later interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 1921. It seems our relatives died 5 days apart and were buried in the same cemetery. Ezra L. Langston, born 9/26/1893, KIA 8/7/1918 (3rd Div, 38th Inf, Co. D)

    1. Zach, thanks for letting me know about your relative. Very sad that they both died so young. Kathryn