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Topsy McDevitt


Date and Place of Birth: Date unknown Chester, PA
Date and Place of Death:    October 31, 1918 Base Hospital No. 53, Langres, France
Baseball Experience: Semi-Pro
Position: First Base
Rank: Private
Military Unit: Company B, 1st Engineers US Army
Area Served: France

John A. “Topsy” McDevitt, son of James and Rose McDevitt, was born in Chester, Pennsylvania. McDevitt gained prominence in Chester in baseball and soccer. He played soccer in the County League with the Catholic Literary Institute team and played first base with Knights of Columbus and Hamilton in the City League. He also played semi-pro baseball with Eddystone in the Independent League.

McDevitt worked as a moulder at the Penn-Seabord Steel and Ordnance Company. He was drafeted by the military on March 6, 1918 and left Chester for Campe Meade, Maryland. He later served at Camp A.A. Humphreys, Virginia, and went overseas with Company B, 1st Engineers on July 14, 1918.

Hit by machine-gun fire, Private John McDevitt died from wounds at Base Hospital No. 53 at Langres, France on October 31, 1918. Chaplain J.A. Nesbitt wrote to McDevitt’s mother, Rose, explaining that her son was, “indeed a brave and patient sufferer” and that his body had been buried in a small plot of ground near the hospital where he had died.

His remains were later transferred to St. Mihiel American Cemetery in Thiaucourt-Regnieville, Lorraine, France.

Chester Times, March 16, 1912
Chester Times, April 2, 1914
Chester Times, June 27, 1914
Chester Times, March 11, 1915
Chester Times, May 31, 1915
Chester Times, August 26, 1915
Chester Times, June 11, 1918
Chester Times, July 2, 1918
Chester Times, November 26, 1918

Date Added September 8, 2013

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