Charles D. Perry Papers

Windsor Historical Society

96 Palisado Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095

©2015 Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, CT, Inc.

 

 

Creator: Charles D. Perry, 1895-1977

Dates: 1917-1919, 1930s

Extent: .5 linear foot

 

Accession #: 2009.39, 2020.42

Location: Special Collection Storage

 

Biographical Note

            Charles Dexter Perry (1895-1977) was a Windsor, CT native who fought in World War I. The second of five children born to Poquonock residents Clarence and Mary Perry, he began work at the Dunham textile mill after completing the eighth grade. In 1917 he enlisted as a private in the 26th Yankee Division, 102nd Infantry and was sent overseas to France. Charles was the first Poquonock serviceman to be on the war’s casualty list and earned the dubious honor of being Windsor’s most wounded World War I veteran with 26 body wounds. One of his injuries included a piece of shrapnel that wasn’t removed until 1955 for fear of paralyzing two of his fingers.

            Once Charles was discharged in 1918, he toured the country campaigning for the Liberty Loan program and selling war bonds. He was recognized on many occasions for his service during the war and received various medals and awards, including the Purple Heart. In the 1930s, Charles Perry was active as the District Leader of the Gray-Dickinson Post #59 of the American Legion in Windsor. He was also the secretary for the North End Improvement Association of Poquonock and a Boy Scout scoutmaster. Charles worked in the engineering department of the Royal Typewriter Company in Hartford for over thirty years before retiring in 1969. He died in 1977.

 

Scope and Contents

            The collection contains letters written from France by Windsor, Connecticut natives Charles Dexter Perry and by his brother William L. Perry during World War I. Charles Perry’s correspondence in 1917 and 1918 conveys a confident and optimistic attitude about the war and life on the front lines, as opposed to the more depressing and pessimistic outlook expressed in William’s letters from 1919. Charles Perry was active in veteran’s affairs after the war and the collection includes several speeches made for the American Legion, three photographs, and Windsor Legion Post #59 membership lists from the 1920s. Other items of memorabilia include newspaper clippings about Charles Perry, six postcards he purchased in Chateauroux, France, and the fragment of shrapnel which remained in his wrist for 37 years.

 

Arrangement  

The collection is arranged by format.

 

Series I. Correspondence

Subseries A.  Letters written by Charles D. Perry

Subseries B.  Letters written by William L. Perry

Series II. Speeches and reports

Series III. Membership lists

Series IV. Photographs

Series V. Newspaper Clippings

Series VI. Memorabilia

Series VII. Artifacts

 

Box and Folder Lists

Folder 1. Correspondence (1917-1919): fifteen letters written from France by Charles D. Perry to his mother Mary A. Perry and his sister Florence A. Perry.

 

Folder 2. Correspondence (1919): two letters written from France by William L. Perry to his brother Charles D. Perry and to his mother Mary A. Perry.

 

Folder 3. Speeches and reports: speech made by Perry on Armistice Day, speech accepting the position as district commander for the American Legion, report of the Commander for 1931.

 

Folder 4. Membership lists: Gray-Dickinson Post #59 American Legion in Windsor for 1925, 1927, and undated

 

Folder 5. Photographs: Charles Perry in uniform (1917-1918), dedication of the War Memorial Monument on Broad Street Green (1929), and Charles Perry with leadership members of the American Legion (1943).

 

Folder 6. Newspaper clippings: articles about Charles Perry during World War I, articles about honors given to Perry after the war, poems, a political cartoon, and articles about Windsor or Windsor residents during the war.

 

Folder 7. Memorabilia: Charles Perry’s discharge paper and hospital ID card, certificate for the Boy Scouts of America, meeting card for the North End Improvement Association of Poquonock, railroad ticket, and Perry’s obituary.

 

Folder 8. Postcards: six postcards bought in France during World War I.

 

Folder 9. Artifacts: three Department of Connecticut American Legion badges and a piece of shrapnel taken from Perry’s wrist in 1955.

 

Related Materials

Subject files:

Monuments – World War I – Eagle Monument, Broad Street Green

Organizations & Clubs – American Legion

Veterans

Wars – World War I

 

Subject Terms 

American Legion. Department of Connecticut

Perry, Charles D., 1895-1977

Perry, Mary L., 1868-1957

Perry, William L., 1892-1920

United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 102nd

World War, 1914-1918 – Personal narratives       

 

Custodial history 

This collection was processed, arranged, and described by Sara Hawran in August 2009. A few additional items were inserted and the finding aid revised by Barbara Goodwin in January 2015.

 

 

 

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