First and Last Lady Veterans Buried in Soldier’s Circle At Lake View Cemetery

Lt. Comm. Ethelyn C. Nelson

As this is Women’s History Month, I thought it would be nice to highlight Soldiers’ Circle at Lake View Cemetery. Soldiers’ Circle was a necessary addition to Lake View as the second designated area for Veteran Burials because of WWI. The first designated area was Monument Hill where Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, and the Spanish American War are buried. Victor Bratt, who perished from wounds received on the Hindenburg Line on Sept. 29, 1918, was the first burial in Soldiers’ Circle in 1921. Pvt. Bratt was also an employee of the Lake View Cemetery Association when he left Jamestown in service to our country.

Marie Curtis Van Every was the very first Woman Veteran to be buried in Soldiers’ Circle. Marie was born May 9th, 1894, to Frank and Ella Curtis of Jamestown. She was a Registered Nurse when she joind the Army Nurse Corps and arrived at Camp Mills, Long Island, during WWI. This was a large training and embarkation camp for soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces, and when the war ended, it was used as a debarkation camp for returning troops. It is not known if Marie went on from there to serve in Field Hospitals or if she was part of a Nursing Unit to treat the troops at Camp Mills.

After returning to Jamestown Marie married Earl Van Every, joined the Ira Lou Spring American Legion, and unfortunately, passed away on Dec. 22, 1942 from lung cancer at age 48. She is buried in Plot 1, Row 1, Grave 1 of Soldiers’ Circle.

The last and 17th Woman Veteran buried in Soldiers’ Circle is Ethelyn C. Nelson who was born to John and Hilma Nelson in Jamestown on October 27, 1917. She was a Registered Nurse having received her training in Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, IL. She joind the US Navy in 1943, training at Sampson Naval Training Center and it is not known what field or ship hospitals she may have done her best to help servicemen return to health. She left the Navy after WWII, but was recalled for Korea and was at Bethesda during Vietnam, altogether serving 23 years. She retired in 1973 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

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