The Cleator Moor Doughboys in World War One

Posted on 10th Nov 2023

Doughboy was the nickname given to the American soldiers who enlisted in American Army after they joined the Great war in 1917 on the side of the allies .

In the decades prior  to World War one there was significant migration of Cleator Moor to work in the mining industries in Western  America especially  to Bisbee Arizona  Butte in Montana and Leadsville  in the Rocky Mountains .

Francis McCrickard  during his research on the migration has identified three Cleator Moor men who enlisted in the American forces and can therefore be classed  as Doughboys  

 Fenton Patrick Duffy 

Fenton  lived 49 Duke Street was the son of Patrick and Rose Hannah (formerly McAvoy) and only 17 years old when he emigrated. His father had gone before him, heading to Bisbee in 1908. Fenton followed in 1911 and his mother and two siblings.

Fenton settled and was made a citizen of the USA in March 1917 by the Superior Court of Cochise County held at Tombstone, Arizona. Soon after this when the USA entered World War One, he joined the armed forces of his new country, firstly with the 160th Depot Brigade and then with the 158th Infantry Regiment (Bushmasters). The latter was dispatched to France in April 1918, did not see action at the front but acted as guard of honour to President Woodrow Wilson on his visit to France in December of that year to take part in peace negotiations and promote the plan for a League of Nations. Fenton was given an honourable discharge in June 1919

Thomas  Gaffney  

The brother of Charles Gaffney ( Click here to see more info on Charlie  )  Thomas emigrated to join his older brother, Jack in the Butte, Montana copper mines. I have not been able to get access to his records yet but he is the one, according to “family history” who went through the war unscathed but who celebrated too well on the train home. He fell off the train, injured himself and ended up in hospital in Butte.

See photo  of Thomas  in his American  Army Uniform 

Robert Campbell 

Robert has already been featured on the website here  ,  where he is pictured in the uniform of the Canadian army .  He was another Moor man who emigrated to work in the copper mines of Butte , Montana : Francis has found evidence in his Canadian Army records that Robert had previously been in the American  army . Why and how ? We will probably never know but just another facet to a complex and troubled  character


Many thanks to Francis McCrickard for supplying the project with this fascinating story !

The Cleator Moor Doughboys in World War One