Keeping time with the Yankee Division

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard gathered for a rededication of the Maj. Gen. Edwards Clock outside the Massachusetts National Guard Adjutant General’s office at Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), Dec. 1, 2018.

The almost century-old clock, manufactured by the Waltham Watch Company in Waltham, Mass., was presented to Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Edwards, at the National Headquarters of the Yankee Division Veterans Association (YDVA) in Boston in 1922 by the Yankee Division Veterans Assoc. as a token of esteem to the wartime commander of the 26th “Yankee” Division. 

Maj. Gen. Clarence Ransom Edwards was the commander of the 26th Yankee Division during World War I.  After war was declared on Germany in April 1917, Edwards was tasked to organize defenses.  He traveled to Boston and gathered National Guard troops from the New England area. These troops became members of the 26th YD and with Edwards as their commander they fought in France against German forces at Bois Brule, Seicheprey, Chemin des Dames, St. Mihiel, and the Argonne Forest.  

After Edwards retired from the army as a major general, he continued to stay in contact with many of his comrades from the Yankee Division and fought for the division to be officially recognized for their time in France. Edwards resided at his farm in Westwood, Mass., which he referred to as “Done-roving”, until his death in 1931.  

The clock was kept in Edwards’ home until he died. His family donated it to the Boston Chapter, YDVA and it was officially presented to the Massachusetts National Guard Museum by the Boston Chapter, YDVA on 1 December 2018.  It was refurbished with a generous grant from the Friends of the Massachusetts National Guard Museum.

The clock now stands tall outside Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe’s office, the current Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard.

“Maj. Gen. Keefe wants to display as many Massachusetts National Guard historical items as possible in the JFHQ.  The TAG's outer office seemed like a great place to display the General Edwards clock. Visitors, civilian employees, soldiers and airmen will appreciate seeing it,” said Leonid Kondratiuk, Director of Historical Services, Massachusetts Army National Guard Office of the Adjutant General. 

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