The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum has become a place where Rhode Island military history is saved from the dust bin of time. This often includes saving the records detailing the more mundane and low-key types of service to our country.
Not everyone was in combat. Not everyone was heroic. Not everyone made decisions and actions that changed the world. Still, I think these more common records of service need to be preserved even if they don’t go on public display. Regardless, they help to fill in the record of what happened in the past and offer respect to those who sacrificed so much in their personal lives to serve their country.
This donation was made by the Rhode Island World War I Commission. The medals, records, pictures, and flags of James Andrew Clark of Rhode Island. He served in the U.S. Army as a chemist in the Chemical Warfare Division. He invented a way to keep poison gas from permeating cotton fabric and published a book about it. He also served in the U.S. Navy and was discharged from the reserves in 1919. He passed away in 1978.