Tuesday, 14 May 2024 21:14

Lieutenant James W. Slater

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As you have heard us say many times before, the Times Herald and other local newspapers are a great resource for genealogist. Recently, former Board President and volunteer Charles Kelly came across an obituary for Lieutenant James W. Slater of Norristown while reading our microfilm at HSMC.

Slater photo

April 28, 1943, Times Herald, HSMC Microfilm Collection

Before entering the US military in 1942, Lt. Slater lived at 45 East Spruce Street. He served in the Quartermaster Corps and was first assigned to Camp Lee, Virginia where he received his commission. Lt. Slater was later stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey and then Langley Field, Virginia.

His last assignment was in El Paso, Texas where he fell ill with tuberculosis in November 1942. Lt. Slater was kept at William Beaumont General Hospital for a while before ultimately being transferred to Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

Two weeks before his death, his family was notified that his condition was critical and, if possible, they should travel to Denver to see him. Sadly, only his half-brother George Lawrence Samuels was able to make the trip. St. Slater died shortly afterward at the age of 25.

first page

April 28, 1943, Times Herald, HSMC Microfilm Collection

His obituary described him as being a "brilliant student, orator, and writer" when he was a student at Norristown High School. Before he enlisted, St. Slater was preparing to write a book. The article in the Times Herald unfortunately did not say what the book was going to be about. 

Lt. Slater's funeral service was held at B. L. Reid Funeral Home at 222 East Wood Street on Monday, May 3, 1943. He was buried at Tremont Cemetery in Norristown.


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