On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


There will be partly skies over the city today with cooler temperatures. Today’s high will reach 74° with tonight’s low about 57°.

The Episcopal Divinity School at 50th & Woodland Avenue has been sold and will now be used as a hospital for colored soldiers. The Divinity School will move to 901 Clinton Street. The buildings and surrounding land was sold for $120,000.00 to Mercy Hospital, an institution for negroes located at 17th & Fitzwater Street. The new hospital will be called Mercy Hospital for Negro Soldiers and Officers. The hospital will be run by the Crispus Attucks Circle for War Relief, an organization named for a negro slave who was the first patriot to shed his blood in the Revolution. The hospital grounds will also be turned into a recreation center for visiting and recovering negro soldiers.

In international news, the former Czar of Russia, Nicholas Romanov, and his family have been moved to Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains for holding. It was previously announced that the family had been granted permission to leave Russia for Switzerland but that permission, if actually granted, has been revoked. Supposedly the Soviet Government uncovered an plot to free the Romanovs. Upon learning of the plan the Soviet Government decided to move them to Ekaterinburg which is a more secure location where they will be held while their fate is decided. .


German aircraft bombed a British hospital yesterday. The barbaric attack killed more than 100 nurses, patients and attendants. The attack was intentional as the buildings hit were clearly marked with large red crosses. The commander of the German air fleet was shot down and wounded. He is now being cared for in the remains of the hospital his men so viciously attacked. The hospital’s location is being withheld by military censors.

Today’s casualty list contains 44 names. Two of those are of Philadelphians. The lists notes 4 men killed in action, 10 died of disease, 9 died of wounds, 3 died of accident, 17 are listed as severely wounded and 1 listed as slightly wounded.

The men who will be added to Philadelphia’s Honor Roll are Dr. Frederick D. Clair, 3222 Montgomery Avenue. Dr. Clair held the rank of captain in the United States Army. When killed Dr. Clair was with the 64th British Army Brigade. The details of his death are not reported. Dr. Clair was known as a modest man and had not even told his parents of his promotion to captain. He was 26 years old and a graduate Central High School and the Medico-Chirurgical College. His distraught mother expressed her pride in her son saying “My boy has died for his country. Could there be a more noble death?”

Dr. Frederick D. Clair

Also on today’s list is Joseph Flynn, 23 years old of 1329 South 54th Street who is listed as slightly wounded. Private Flynn was serving with an American flying unit.