Log Cabin Memorial - Veterans 314th Infantry Regiment A.E.F.
John S. Winner - John Sanford Winner
Machine Gun Company
314th Infantry 79th Division A.E.F.
KIA - November 11 1918
We are thankful to Mr. Jeffrey Croteau for writing the John S. Winner article below,
which appeared in the Masonic magazine The Northern Light, and for permission
from the magazine's Editor Mr. Alan Foulds for the 314th to reprint with acknowledgment.
The article is also available in PDF format here
More Then Just Books
Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives
By Mr. Jeffrey Croteau
The Northern Light August 2014 page 29
John S. Winner - Scottish Rite Mason
IN 1919, THE SUPREME COUNCIL PUBLISHED Our
Killed in Action on the final day of WWI
Honor Roll: Those Who Served, 1917-1919. The book
contains a list of 14,843 Scottish Flite members from the 15
states that comprise the jurisdiction who "have gloriously
served Our Country and the World in its hours of direst
need, and have thus nobly assisted to fix the word
American as a title of honor wherever courage and
self-sacrifice are the cardinal virtues among men..." (The
Supreme Council's Proceedings for 1919 noted that the list
was incomplete, stating that .subsequent information
indicates that the number of our Scottish Rite brethren of
this Jurisdiction in the service exceeds 16,000.")
While browsing through the names, I was immediately
struck by one entry in particular because of the death date:
WlNNER, JOHN SANFORD
(Killed in action Nov. 11, 1918)
The armistice-signing, which ended combat in World War I, took place at 5 a.m. on November 11, 1918. However, the armistice stipulated that combat would end six hours later - at the memorable eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. During the six hours between the signing of the armistice and the end of combat, a shockingly high number of deaths occurred as fighting continued, even with the knowledge that peace was coming at 11 a.m. Joseph Persico, in his book Eleventh Day, Eleventh Month, Eleventh Hour? Armistice Day 1918, World War l and its Violent Climax, writes:
"According to the most conservative estimates, during the last day of the war, principally in the six hours after the armistice was signed. all sides on the western front suffered 10,944 casualties, of which 2,738 were deaths, more than the average daily casualties throughout the war. Putting these losses into perspective. in the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Normandy, nearly twenty-six years later, the total losses reported at 10,000 for\al| sides. Thus the total Armistice Day casualties were nearly 10 percent higher than those on D-Day. There was, however, a vast difference. The men storming Normandy beaches were fighting for victory. Men dying on Armistice Day were fighting in a war already decided."
Persico also notes that, of those 2.738 deaths, at least 320 were Americans.
Sergeant John Sanford Winner (1887-1918), a Scottish Rite Mason from Pennsylvania's Valley oi Bloomsburg was among those killed on the .nal day of WWI. He was part of the 314th's Machine Gun Company and was killed alongside Private James Smith. At 9:15, on the morning of November 11. as the 314th Infantry attempted to take Cote de Romagne, Winner was killed, less than two hours before the cease fire. An account notes:
At 9:15 A.M. Nov 11 1918 the company passed through the heaviest artillery it had ever experienced. The company had these casualties Sergt. John S. Winner and Private Harold_Edwards killed, Corp. Roy Rinner, John Bramble, and Private Edwin Spaulding wounded..
According to Winners WWI draft registration card, he was a 30-year-old unmarried barber from Danville, PA. before joining the 314th Infantry. We hope that further research will reveal more information about Wmner, including when he joined the Scottish Rite.
This article appeared in a slightly different form on the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library's blog.
Find more at nationaiheritagemuseum.typepad.com.
The Van Gordan-Williams Library & Archives is located just off the main lobby of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library
and is open to the public 10-4:30. Wednesday-Saturday. Reference assistance is provided in person, by phone, or by e-mail. You may contact us at 781-457-4109 or
21:19:24 February 20 2020
web page at
March 08 2015