Third Thursday Lecture – “A Soldier’s Story”
One hundred years ago, in 1917, Marion Joseph Losco presented himself to Postmaster Walter Jones, at the Mandarin Store and Post Office, to register for the draft of World War I. He continued to work on his father’s farm in the Loretto/Mandarin area, having no idea how the war in Europe would impact him and his family. Like other healthy young men in Jacksonville and across the country, he met his duty and reported to the U.S. Army at Camp Jackson, S.C. He could not know that five months later he would be killed in action in France and would buried there for all time, never to see his beloved family and home again.
Marion’s mother, Dometilla, kept all of his letters and postcards as well as the notices and personal items she received from the Army after his death. She also kept his half smoked cigar and the Rosary beads including among his personal effects. These items were all placed in a trunk and eventually stored in the attic of the Losco homestead. Over 95 years later these objects were donated to the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society by David Losco, hoping that the community could learn about the experiences of his uncle.
One thing led to another and in 2016 Marion’s grandnephew, Paul Ghiotto, transcribed all of these letters and wrote a book based on the letters and other extensive research. A new exhibit was also opened at the Mandarin Museum, displaying these objects and a complete WWI uniform. This exhibit will be up until November 2018.
At this lecture Paul will give a Powerpoint presentation about this amazing story of the only local resident who died in WWI. This event is being held a few days after Veterans Day – in honor of Pvt. Marion Joseph Losco and all who have ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Paul’s book will be available this evening and he will sign them.
Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with and at the Mandarin Community Club, 12447 Mandarin Rd. Refreshments begin at 6:30, with the lecture at 7. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend.
For more information, call 268-0784.