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OBITUARY

Leonard Sigfred Banks was born February 22, 1892, in Webster county, Nebr. In the spring of 1911, he moved with his parents to Farnam, Nebr., where he lived until he answered the call to service in September, 1917.

He was a member of Co. H, 355th Infantry, at Camp Funston, Kans. After five months’ training at this place he was transferred to Co. G, 4th Infantry, stationed at Camp Stuart, Newport News, Va. On April 5, 1918, this division sailed for France, landing April 15.

Leonard was wounded in the Chateau Thierry drive July 23, 1918. He was sent to the front again in September and fell on the battlefield in defense of his country, October 4, 1918.

He was well known and much loved by the people of this community, as he was one of our country’s best. He was kind and loving to all and made friends with everyone. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Swan Banks, living four miles northwest of Farnam and the sad news of his death came as a death knell to the family and cast a gloom of sorrow over the entire community.

The deceased was a member of the Methodist church of Farnam at the time of his death. He lived a consistent Christian life. We hope to meet in the grand camp above, where parting never comes.

Funeral services were held at the hall Sunday afternoon and interment was in the Farnam cemtery.


Card of Thanks

We take this means to express our heartfelt thanks to the many friends and neighbors for the kindness rendered us during our recent sorrow. Especially are we grateful to the American Legion and to those who helped with the music and decorating.

Swan Banks and Family

The Farnam Echo, 18(52):1 Thursday, October 27, 1921


Crowds Gather To
Honor Departed Hero


Funeral of Leonard Banks Held
at Farnam Sunday


The remains of Leonard Banks, a Farnam boy who fell on the battlefield in France in 1918, arrived in Farnam last Saturday. Funeral services were held at Bayley’s hall Sunday. The hall was inadequate to accomodate the crowds of people who gathered to honor our hero who died for his country.

The service was in charge of the local post of the American Legion. The boys all willingly performed their share in rendering the last honors to their departed comrade. Many ex–service men were present from a distance.

The Farnam Echo, 18(52):1 Thursday, October 27, 1921



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Cross marking the temporary grave of
Pvt. Leonard S. Banks
Meuse-Argonne Battlefield, France



Click to Enlarge

To the Memory of
Leonard S. Banks
United States of America
Died for Freedom
During the Great War
Tribute of France
The President of the Republic
Raymond Poincare


Awarded Cross for Bravery

Below is a clipping taken from one of the French papers sent to E. T. Buss by his son, Harold regarding soldiers who were awarded service crosses for acts of extraordinary bravery; Among the list is one of our Farnam boys. The article reads as follows:

"Private Leonard S. Banks, deceased, Co. G, 4th Inf. (A.S. No. 2213782) For extraordinary heroism in action in the Foret de Fere France, July 23, 1918. Badly wounded while on patrol, Private Banks returned to his company to get assistance for wounded comrades. He then volunteered and led the first-aid men through heavy gas and shell bombardment to the place where his wounded comrades were. Home address, Swan Banks, father. R.F.D. No. 2, Farnam, Neb."

The Farnam Echo, 6 Mar 1919


The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Private Leonard S. Banks (ASN: 2213782), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company G, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3d Division, A.E.F., in the Foret-de-Fere, France, 23 July 1918. Badly wounded while on patrol Private Banks returned to his company to get assistance for wounded comrades. He then volunteered and led the first-aid men through heavy gas and shell bombardment to the place where his wounded comrades were.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 32 (1919)


2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment assigned to the 3rd Division 1 October 1917 and moved to New York and then to New Port News, Virginia in preparation for transport to France. The 2nd Battalion was shipped to France aboard the SS "Great Northern," disembarking at Brest, France.


Draft Registration Card

See: Lest We Forget Memorial Day Address, 29 May 2006



Published: 12/11/2018 - http://www.historicfarnam.us/cemetery/obits/index.asp
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