In the years 1914-1917, before the U.S. entry into WW I, an estimated 50,000 plus American citizens and members of present and future American immigrant families went to war as members of British Commonwealth Forces, largely in Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Officially, 35,000 American-born men enlisted in Canada and 10,000 directly in England.
Though the actual number of Americans and American related is probably larger, the mix of American citizens and American alien immigrants can’t be definitively known. After the war, all Americans in foreign forces on the Allied side were deemed by the United States to be legally equivalent to their American forces comrades. Their early enlistment had been deemed helpful to the Allied cause.
World War II saw a similar movement of American related enlistments in Commonwealth Forces, estimated at 25,000. Approximately 3,500 Americans and American related from both wars are buried and memorialized in Approximately 1,300 cemeteries of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission worldwide.
Also see Americans at War in Foreign Forces.
DICKEBUSCH NEW MILITARY CEMETERY EXTENSION,
Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Memorial Day 2022
HOLT, Gunner, Robert, 687346, "B" Bty. 277th Bde., Royal Field Artillery. 1 June 1917. Son of Mrs. D. M. Holt, of 134, South Mysons Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. Grave Ref. III. A. 38.
The author of The Foreign Burial of American War Dead and the Flanders Field Post of the American Legion have been working together to further identify and memorialize approx. 500 American related in CWGC cemeteries. Each has been researched as fully as possible and that research has provided a profile of Americans in Commonwealth Forces that is probably in keeping with the fluidity of immigration in the World War One years, continued to a lesser extent in WW II.
Approx. 40% of American related burials in CWGC Belgium were U.S. citizens; 25% were members of pre-war, and 25% members of post war immigrant families to the United States. The remaining 10% were husbands of widows who subsequently immigrated to the U.S., or with citizenship still to be determined,
Each year the graves of an increasing number of Americans and members of immigrant families are visited and reflagged by members of the American Legion, and Belgian chapters of the Boy Scouts of America.
Flanders Field American Legion, and other organizations and individuals in Western Europe have begun to find and memorialize American related in CWGC cemeteries. Some of the involved countries and approx. number of U.S. related burials are:
United Kingdom 700
Robert Leo Hage of MIssoula, Montana, buried in Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Netherlands
CWGC policy that all would be buried near where they fell and with their fellows resulted in approximately 1,100 Commonwealth Forces burials in the United States. These were those who arrived at American shores after death at sea, or were in the U.S. for various reasons at the time of death. An effort has begun to make Americans and British subjects within the U.S. aware of their presence in several hundred community and national cemeteries across America.
Also see this site with further information about WWI Commonwealth burials within the United States.
British sailors Harold G. Taylor, John E. Farrall, J.D. Stubbs and Alfred Dryden, killed by a German submarine off coastal Virginia in WW II, buried in Creeds (Oak Grove) Cemetery in nearby Virginia Beach.