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Left to right: William Brill, Henry Woolford and Emil Asselin. Irving Tufts' draft card is included with these portraits of his brothers-in-arms.

We Will Remember Them

St. Norbert men. Classmates, perhaps, when the entire college fit inside Main Hall. Under one roof, they shared classes, mealtimes, high jinks – and high hopes. Hopes that they carried with them as they went out into the world armed with their fine Norbertine educations in Latin or commerce: destined for opportunity in the church or in business; cut down, instead, in a carnage so terrible that history would know it as the war to end all wars.

This April marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. Seventeen million people died, among them St. Norbert College’s own four fallen men: Emil Asselin; William Brill; Irving Tufts; Henry Woolford. At this centenary, we recall their sacrifice and honor their memories.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. – Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Emil AsselinName: Emil Asselin, of Calumet, Mich.
In civilian life: Worked as a chauffeur in the burgeoning motor industry, under his father (a prominent citizen).
Family: Single.
Age: 22.
Branch of service: Army. Served as a truck driver in 2nd Division supply train. Transferred to military police Sept. 1, 1918.
Died of his wounds: Sept. 11, 1918. Buried in the American Cemetery, Minorville, France.

BrillName: William Brill, of Hammond, Wis.
In civilian life: Worked in farming.
Family: Single.
Age: 30.
Branch of service: Navy. Served as a member of the 13th Regular Guard Co. at Great Lakes, Ill.
Died of pneumonia: Sept. 21, 1918, as he recovered from his wounds at the Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Ill.

Tufts letterName: Irving Tufts of Crystal Falls, Mich.
In civilian life: Worked as a chauffeur in the John Tufts Co. (Although no photo is available, Tufts’ draft card describes him as of medium height and build, with blue eyes and light brown hair.)
Family: Single.
Age: 25.
Branch of service: Army.
Died in action: Nancy, France, in 1918.

Henry WoolfordName: Henry Woolford, of Green Bay, Wis.
In civilian life: Worked as a timber estimator.
Family: Married to Ruth; sons Paul and Harry.
Age: 26.
Branch of service: Army. First Lieutenant, 30th Division, 120th Infantry Regiment.
Died of abdominal wounds: Argonne Forest, Oct. 10, 1918. Buried in the Somme American Cemetery, France. 

March 17, 2017