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WWI Croix de Guerre Group


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#1 siege1863

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

This is not what I generally collect, but the history behind it made it too good to pass up! The three medals, the Croix de Guerre, the Victory Medal, and the New York State Medal, are all beautiful mimiatures mounted on a photographic copy of the original citation for the CdG. The man to whom they belonged was Leonard Moorhouse Thomas. He was a millionaire's son and spent much of the time with high society types. One newspaper account mentions that he regularly played tennis with John Jacob Astor. His first wife, Blanche Oelrichs, was said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. When she divorced him (1916?), she married John Barrymore, the actor. In 1921, Thomas' worth was estimated at $15,000,000.00!

From Philadelphia: A Story of Progress, published in 1941:

Leonard Moorhead Thomas, born in Philadelphia, March 27, 1878, died August 31, 1937. He attended private schools, including the Episcopal Academy and St. Paul's School at Concord, New Hampshire, and studied in Switzerland. He graduated from Yale University with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1901....After completing his studies he was appointed second secretary to the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy, and five years later became first secretary to the United States Legation in Madrid, Spain, a post from which he resigned a year later. At the outset of the World War he enlisted and served as a first lieutenant in the Interpreters' Corps attached to the 32d Infantry Division of the United States Army. Later he became a liaison officer in Italy and at the headquarters of Marshal Foch. He received the Croix de Guerre from the French Government for services rendered at the second battle of the Marne while acting as liaison officer.

If anyone has additional on Thomas, please let me know or post here. Enjoy!

Thomas_Medals.jpg

#2 siege1863

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:33 PM

Croix_de_Guerre.jpg Victory.jpg New_York.jpg

#3 Jeffrey Magut

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:40 PM

A fantastic "personality" piece. I see that the New York Public Library has saved the love letters between John Barrymore and Mrs. Thomas dating back to 1917.
Nice lady, that Blanche! While Leonard is off fighting the Hun, she's playing footsie with America's greatest actor. Henceforth, I will refer to Mr. Barrymore as "Jody".

#4 siege1863

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:41 PM

Found this article on line. It is from The Syracuse Herald, August 17, 1909. I would love to find a photo of Thomas in uniform!

Thomas_news_notice3a.jpg

#5 Guest_merbear_*

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 05:30 PM

Leonard Moorhead Thomas was my gr-gr-uncle. His brother, George Clifford Thomas, Jr. was my great grandfather. I am the family historian and genealogist, and I googled LMT today and found your post. My great grandfather was a Captain in the war, was in France as part of the 96th Aero Squadron as an instructor. He walked away from three plane crashes. His daughter, my grandmother, recently passed away at 99, and I have the family papers and pictures, etc. I will look for more on LMT for you if you are truely interested. My mom has the war things of my great grandfather. I had to contact you, I am so glad you included the images on your post.
Merbear

This is not what I generally collect, but the history behind it made it too good to pass up! The three medals, the Croix de Guerre, the Victory Medal, and the New York State Medal, are all beautiful mimiatures mounted on a photographic copy of the original citation for the CdG. The man to whom they belonged was Leonard Moorhouse Thomas. He was a millionaire's son and spent much of the time with high society types. One newspaper account mentions that he regularly played tennis with John Jacob Astor. His first wife, Blanche Oelrichs, was said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. When she divorced him (1916?), she married John Barrymore, the actor. In 1921, Thomas' worth was estimated at $15,000,000.00!

From Philadelphia: A Story of Progress, published in 1941:

Leonard Moorhead Thomas, born in Philadelphia, March 27, 1878, died August 31, 1937. He attended private schools, including the Episcopal Academy and St. Paul's School at Concord, New Hampshire, and studied in Switzerland. He graduated from Yale University with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1901....After completing his studies he was appointed second secretary to the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy, and five years later became first secretary to the United States Legation in Madrid, Spain, a post from which he resigned a year later. At the outset of the World War he enlisted and served as a first lieutenant in the Interpreters' Corps attached to the 32d Infantry Division of the United States Army. Later he became a liaison officer in Italy and at the headquarters of Marshal Foch. He received the Croix de Guerre from the French Government for services rendered at the second battle of the Marne while acting as liaison officer.

If anyone has additional on Thomas, please let me know or post here. Enjoy!

Thomas_Medals.jpg



#6 Mark M

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 03:35 PM

Forum members:

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