Private William J. Hocking
Obituary From the Front Page of the
Monday, September 26, 1921
“Funeral of Wharton Hero Held Thursday
Marines, Legion Men and Firemen Act as Escort
Private William J. Hocking, a popular young man of Wharton, who met his death while fighting Germans at St. Juvin, Ardennes, November 1, 1918, was buried last Thursday (September 22, 1921) in Orchard Street Cemetery with military honors. Private Hocking was killed while fighting with Company I, 309th Infantry, Seventy-eighth Division. At the time of his death he was twenty-seven years old.
In the same squad with Private Hocking was John M. Grogan, of Bowlbyville, who saw his friend fall from a machine gun wound as the company started over the top at Ardennes. He turned to assist his fallen comrade, but the rules of warfare brought orders from those in charge to continue in battle leaving the first aid work to the ambulance corps which brought up the rear. Mr. Grogan, who is a member of the American Legion, was wounded the day following Private Hocking’s death. Only thirteen men remained in the company of 250 after the battle, all other being killed or wounded. Mr. Grogan was one of the bearers at the funeral on Thursday when his comrade was laid to rest.
The funeral services at the Hocking residence in Hance Street, Wharton, were very impressive. Rev. Samuel Jones, pastor of the Wharton M.E. Church, officiated and delivered a stirring address, eulogizing the dead hero for his great sacrifice. Flags in the borough were at half-mast during the services.
Private Hocking had served as foreman of Active Hose Company in the Borough fire department. A delegation of twenty members of the fire department, in uniform, acted as escort immediately behind the delegation of United States Marines, who fired three volleys over the grave. A delegation of members of the American Legion, of Dover, also attended the funeral.
At the services vocal selections were rendered by Mrs. U.G. Davenport and Miss Addie Curtis. Many beautiful floral pieces were banked by the casket from friends of the dead hero.
At the cemetery a large crowd had gathered to witness the final ceremony and tears dimmed the eyes of everyone as taps sounded following the military salute of three volleys.”
William Hocking (front passenger seat) with William T. and Margaret A. Williams in front of their church, United Methodist Church of Succasunna. (Date Unknown)