Horatio Odell Stone: An American in the Indian Army

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  • #11774

    John_Allgood
    Keymaster

    Below is part of a display I presented at the 2009 Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was awarded a Bronze Medal for this display. The following shows what even a part of medal can reveal with research. This article is part of my research and is, as such, copyrighted by John Allgood.

    John

    In my collection, I have a battered and abused disc in the India General Service Medal 1908 series. Named to a Lt. H.O. Stone, 5th Lt. Infy and with the second type of obverse in the series (George V crowned and robed left with Georgivs V Kaisar-I-Hind), there didn’t seem much to go on. I didn’t have a medal to an officer in my collection when I saw it and it offered a new challenge. Like all medals, this one had a story. I did not realize the connections that would be made in this search.

    Initially examinations didn’t reveal much. I knew that the clasp had to be either Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919 or Waziristan 1919-21 as the 5th Light Infantry did not participate in the Abor campaign and were disbanded by 1922. The earlier clasps of North West Frontier 1908 were also eliminated because the disc would have to have Edward VII on it.

    A brief search in the January 1919 India Army List showed his full name to be Horatio O’Dell Stone and that he was commissioned on February 5, 1918. He was also shown as proficient in colloquial Hindustani. He was serving with the 1st Battalion, 5th Light Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant. Only one other officer was junior to him in the regiment. His commission was with the Indian Army Reserve Officers and, thus, not intended as a permanent one.

    Stone’s Medal Index Card (MIC) gave a few further bits of information. It shows his initial service as a Sapper in the Canadian Engineers, followed by his commission into the Indian Army and subsequent promotion to Lieutenant. His only entitlement for the First World War was a War Medal, issued by the Government of India. It also listed Stone’s address as 24 Collingham Gardens, SW5.

    The mention of Canadian Service led to his Attestation Papers found in the Canadian Archives. Horatio Stone enlisted in the Canadian Army on April 16, 1917. His birthday is initially listed as June 26, 1896 but was later changed to show 1899. His address is shown to be 5th Avenue, Bank of New York, New York. At the time of enlistment, he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, with light brown hair and blue eyes. He had an appendicitis scar on his abdomen and a small scar on the right kneecap. He listed his next of kin as his mother, Matlin Stone Grun, (there is another name in parenthesis – Madeline Stone) her address being 609 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois. He listed his trade a student and mentions that he had OTC at Eaton [sic], England. An email to Eton College confirmed that Stone was indeed a student from 1914 until 1916.

    How did Stone go from being born in the United States to being an Officer in the British Indian Army? Surely this is unusual? Clearly this was not just a beat up disc. Even if Stone did nothing dramatic while in the Army, this was a much more interesting story than it first appeared.

    As the Canadian Attestation Papers said, Stone was indeed born on June 26, 1899. His father was Carl Donner Stone (in some sources his middle name is listed as Downer). Carl D. Stone was born in 1872 in Chicago, the son of Horatio Odell Stone (the first in the line) and Elizabeth Yager Stone. Carl Stone was educated at Kenyon College, in Ohio, and later at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago, where he graduated in 1897. It appears that Stone never practiced medicine but focused on his business interests. (Source: Historical Review of Chicago and Cook County by Arba Waterman). These interests appear to have been substantial. Carl Stone’s father, the first Horatio, had come to Chicago in 1834 soon after its founding and had made his fortune speculating in real estate. To make it even more confusing, the first Horatio Stone named his first son Horatio Stone, Jr. The 1900 census lists Carl D. Stone living on Benson Avenue in Evanston Illinois with his family: wife Madeline, daughters Elizabeth and Emma L and young son Horatio. Carl Stone’s life was cut short by typhoid fever in 1907.

    H.O. Stone’s (hereafter all references to H.O. Stone will be to the third in the line unless otherwise noted) mother was born Madeline Masters in 1872. She was the daughter of Hardin Masters and Emma Dexter Masters. Hardin Masters was a lawyer by profession and also the father of Edgar Lee Masters, the poet most famous for his Spoon River Anthology. One of Edgar Lee Masters’ poems from that anthology, “Dora Williams” is loosely based on his sister, Madeline Stone. (Source: Edgar Lee Masters: A Biography, by Herbert K. Russell).

    When Ruben Pantier ran away and threw me
    I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,
    Whose father just deceased left him a fortune.
    He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.
    A year passed and one day they found him dead.
    That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.
    After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain.
    I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate
    Went mad about me – so another fortune.
    He died one night right in my arms, you know.
    (I saw his purple face for years thereafter.)
    There was almost a scandal. I moved on,
    This time to Paris. I was now a woman,
    Insidious, subtle, versed in the world and rich.
    My sweet apartment near the Champs Élysées
    Became a center for all sorts of people,
    Musicians, poets, dandies, artists, nobles,
    Where we spoke French and German, Italian, English.
    I wed Count Navigato, native of Genoa.
    We went to Rome. He poisoned me, I think.
    Now in the Campo Santo overlooking
    The sea where young Columbus dreamed new worlds,
    See what they chiseled: “Countessa Navigato
    Implora eterna quiete.”

    After Carl Stone’s death, Madeline took her children to Europe. First to France for 3 and a half years, followed by a year in Switzerland and then Norway for a few months. By 1912 she had met and married Niels Grön, a Danish diplomat and businessman. In 1902, Grön helped negotiate a Danish-American treaty where the United States attempted to purchase Danish possessions in the Caribbean. She had another son, Niels Grön Jr., in 1913 while in Norway. Her children by Carl Stone entered various schools in Europe. The eldest, Elizabeth entered a Miss Douglass’ school in London in 1914. Emma-Louise was educated in Paris and Berlin. H.O. was enrolled for a term at St. Vincent’s in Eastbourne and then moved to Eton from 1914 until 1916. As the poem by her brother suggests, Madeline’s marriage was not a happy one. She eventually divorced Grön and took her previous name of Madeline Masters Stone.

    The eldest Stone daughter, Elizabeth, married Alan Silverwood-Cope in London in March 1915. Alan Silverwood-Cope was by then a Captain in the East Kent Regiment, the Buffs. Silverwood-Cope’s MIC shows him entering France in November 24, 1914 and awarded the 1915 trio. There is a brief mention of Silverwood-Cope in Stead the Buffs!, a history of the East Kent Regiment during the First World War. His address at the time was 24 Collingham Gardens, South Kensington, London. Little has been discovered of Alan Silverwood-Cope’s military career although he was awarded an OBE after the war. The quickly had a son, Maclachlan Alan Carl Silverwood-Cope, born on December 15, 1915. Another son, Christopher Lee Silverwood-Cope was born after the war on July 24, 1919 and a daughter, Galia Elizabeth Adrienne Silverwood-Cope was born on July 4, 1921. Unfortunately, their marriage was not a success. In April 1926, Alan Silverwood-Cope filed for divorce from his wife. Although this case was dropped two months later, he filed again for divorce in March 1927 and the divorce was granted in May of that year. She married again in 1929 to Count Louis de Danne, who had been named as a co-respondent in her divorce to Alan Silverwood-Cope. She had two further children: Bernard de Danne and Jean Millot. Elizabeth de Danne died on December 22, 1966. Her eldest son, Maclachlan spent his career working for MI6 through the Foreign Office (Source: MI6 by Stephen Dorril). Christopher, often refered to as Kit, was a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. Captured during the fall of France, he escaped from captivity and helped the Jewish Resistance in Poland. Later recaptured and severely interrogated by the Gestapo, Kit was sent to Colditz prison for the remainder of the war (Source: Colditz by Henry Chancellor). His later career was as a diplomat for the Foreign Office.

    The youngest daughter, Emma-Louise Stone returned to the United States by 1915. She first applied for a passport in Chicago on October 5, 1915 giving her reason for travel to visit her married sister, Mrs. Alan Silverwood-Cope of 34 Hereford Square, London. The character reference on her application was her uncle, Edgar Lee Masters of 4853 Kenwood Avenue, Chicago. She also applied for a further passport on March 9, 1916 also to visit her sister. It is unclear if she went to London with either application. By August 1917 she was living in East Hampton, New York with her mother. There, on August 22, she first met William Sergeant Bouvier (known as Bud). At 5 pm on August 25, they were married. Bud Bouvier was the brother of John Vernou Bouvier III, who would be the father of Jacqueline Bouvier, she would eventually marry John Fitzgerald Kennedy. After the war, the Bouviers have a son, Michel Bouvier IV. Their marriage was not a happy one either and ended in divorce by 1925. By 1929, Bud Bouvier drank himself to death. Emma Louise later married Carlisle Allan, a US Army Captain. Allan died in 1965 in Washingon D.C.. She never remarried and died on May 7, 1982 also in Washington D.C. They are both buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    In the summer of 1915, H.O. Stone returned to the United States. On August 28, 1915, he applies for a passport to go to England “to visit my sister”. The picture above is taken from his passport application. On July 1, 1916, he returned to New York on the S.S. Philadelphia from Liverpool. By April 1917, he has enlisted as a Sapper in the Canadian Engineers. He arrived in England on May 10, 1917 with a draft of men to the regiment and was station at Shoreham Camp near Brighton. At some time he made an application for a commission in the Indian Army, most likely through the help of his brother-in-law, Alan Silverwood-Cope. H.O. Stone’s American citizenship did pose a problem and to remove the problem, he applied to become a naturalized British citizen. A length file is in British National Archives under the heading HO 144/11710. Guiding H.O. Stone through the process was his brother-in-law’s father, William Silverwood-Cope a solicitor. The naturalization process was quickly processed and by the end of September he was off to India.

    After arriving in India, H.O. Stone was posted to the 1st Battalion of the 5th Light Infantry. The 1st/5th had a troubled war so far. In 1915, the unit was in Singapore and had been ordered to go to Hong Kong. On February 15, 1915 nearly all of the men of the 5th Light Infantry, along with some men of the Malay States Guides mutinied. The mutiny was crushed with a number of men executed, more imprisoned and the remainder sent to Africa to capture the German colonies there. By 1918 the unit had returned from Africa and was refitting. Their time in India was not a peaceful one as in May 1919 the Afghan army invaded the North West Frontier of India. The 1st/5th Light Infantry formed part of the 10th Infantry Brigade and were moved to Harnai, on the railway junction, east of Quetta. On May 20, 1919 the 1/5 were moved up to Kali Saifulla. By the end of June the 1/5 were marched to Fort Sandeman. In early July a party of the 1/5 ambushed a party of Afghan raiders. Although it is possible that H.O. Stone took part in the ambush, it is highly unlikely as he was one of the most junior officers. All told, the 1/5 did little during the Third Afghan War. The map below shows the area around Zhob where the 1/5th were during the Third Afghan War. Most likely they were held in a reserve position due to their previous history in Singapore and weakened state after the rigors of the Great War in Africa.

    H.O. Stone left the Indian Army soon after the Third Afghan War. On September 22, 1920 he married Dorothea Aline Silverwood-Cope, a sister of Alan Lachlan Silverwood-Cope. Among those attending the wedding were his sister, Elizabeth Silverwood-Cope and Dorothea’s parents William and Edith Silverwood-Cope. A daughter, Patricia Stone, was born on August 2, 1922. Much like his two sisters’ marriages, this was not a happy one. In 1926 Dorothea Stone filed for divorce from H.O. Stone on the grounds of cruelty and adultery. She named as a co-respondent, Muriel Metcalfe. Strangely, the address where he supposedly committed adultery was the same address that his sister, Elizabeth Silverwood-Cope, was alleged to commit adultery in her divorce proceedings.

    By 1928, the divorced had been finalized and H.O. Stone had remarried, this time to Muriel Metcalfe, the co-respondent in his divorce to his previous wife. The newly married couple travelled back and forth from the United Kingdom to the United States. In fact, by 1930 H.O. Stone had renounced his British citizenship to regain citizenship in the United States. H.O. Stone argued that he was coerced into renouncing his US citizenship in 1917 and was not competent as he was a minor at the time. The files at the British National Archives express concern about whether his vacillating citizenship was in fact legal. The British consul in New York referred to Stone as “evasive” about his motives for reverting to US citizenship. Although nothing explicit is mentioned, it seems that he may have been escaping his previous marriage and his commitment to alimony, which was extensive. The final divorce decree gave Patricia Stone 1/12 of his property holdings all of them in Cook County and most of them in the valuable areas of downtown Chicago.

    In 1930, H.O. Stone, his wife Muriel, their daughter Madeline (born 1928) and newborn son, Horatio Odell Stone IV, were living in New York City. The census lists Madeline as born in Savannah Georgia and his son as born in the US. But there is a birth certificate for the son in Kensington, London. After 1930, things become much more confusing. On September 3, 1932, the wedding of Emma Louise Bouvier (H.O. Stone’s younger sister) was announced. Her only attendant was Mrs. H.O. Stone (Muriel Stone). Strangely another brother, Edgar Lee Stone is listed. Within a few weeks, their mother, Madeline Stone had died in New York. Madeline Stone’s obituary is the only other record I can find of Edgar Lee Stone. On December 28, 1935, the troopship, USAT Republic left from New York for San Francisco, California via the Panama Canal and then on to Honolulu, Hawaii. Listed on the manifest of Passengers are Muriel Elmore (in notations, Eveline Stone – showing the same birthday as Muriel Stone), Madeline Stone and Horatio O Stone (the last is clearly H.O. Stone IV by the birthday). Why they went on a troopship to California or even on to Hawaii is a mystery. The two other records occur after 1935. The Social Security death index lists a Muriel E. Elmore (same birthdate as Muriel Stone nee Metcalfe) as dying at Fort Belvoir, Virginia on November 2, 1995; she had applied for her number in Virginia in 1963. The same index shows Horatio Odell Stone dying in June 1977 in Washington DC; he had applied for his number in New York in 1964. Here the Social Security Index is incorrect, as a copy of his Death Certificate shows he died in Battleboro, Vermont at Memorial Hospital. He is shown as being “divorced” at the time of his death with his occupation as “invalid”. His final residence was 75 Linden Street, Battleboro Vermont, which is the address of the Battleboro Retreat. At the present time, the Battleboro Retreat is a hospital treating mental health and addiction.
    HO STone’s medal.jpg
    close up of Stone.jpg

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    #14893

    Anonymous

    Mr. Allgood:

    By chance, I read today your account of Horatio Odell Stone. His mother was my grandmother, Madeline Masters Stone Gron, and my father is her son Niels Gron. Much of what you write in your account of ‘An American in the Indian Army’ is known to me, either through accounts by family members or through experience, but I learned more than I had known beforehand – and the possibilities of learning more, as you have done so well in your research on the Net.

    On my father’s death in 1995 I was given ‘A Statement’ that my grandfather wrote. It was an account of his marriage, written to obtain a court settlement for custody of his only son. It was certified by a New York court in 1922. Madeline Masters Stone won the suit, and my grandfather never saw his nine-year-old son again. He died a recluse in Denmark.

    With good wishes

    Madeline McGahern

    #13060

    cecawthorne
    Moderator

    Hello Madeline,

    I read with fascination your comments on John’s medal in his collection and your connection to it. This is one big reason this hobby of ours is so enjoyable……. to be able to share stories such as yours!

    Best regards,
    Chris

    #15622

    Anonymous

    As the son of Kit Silverwood-Cope mentioned in the above story, I find the information you have gathered remarkable and fascinating. You know great areas about my family that I don’t!

    I vaguely remember being told that brother and sister had married sister and brother and that there was a very tenuous and distant relationship with the Kennedys. I was touched by the reference to my father.

    I can correct a point or two. Jean Millot wasn’t Elizabeth Silverwood-Cope’s son but her son-in-law; he married Gallia, known to me as Lalla. I met him when I was a child aged six. He was a Frenchman and I accordingly thought he ought to be informed of the rules of French cricket. My father’s one half brother was known as Louis Leon, so I don’t know where Bernard comes from.

    I too am married to an Elizabeth……

    But anyway best wishes for this fascinating post.

    Nick

    #15639

    Anonymous

    Thanks for the great research, John. I work in the alumni office of a boarding school in North Carolina. I came across your article when trying to find information on one of our alumni who has been lost since the 1940’s. I believe our alumnus is the brother you refer to towards the end of the article:

    "On September 3, 1932, the wedding of Emma Louise Bouvier (H.O. Stone’s younger sister) was announced. Her only attendant was Mrs. H.O. Stone (Muriel Stone). Strangely another brother, Edgar Lee Stone is listed. Within a few weeks, their mother, Madeline Stone had died in New York. Madeline Stone’s obituary is the only other record I can find of Edgar Lee Stone. "

    Our alumnus, class of 1932, was known as a student Edgar Lee Stone, but a note in his file in 1936 states he "changed his name back to Grön". His year book (I do have a photo) says he was born in Norway August 13, 1913, and his mother is listed as "Mrs. Masters Stone". Earlier in your article you write, "By 1912 she had met and married Niels Grön, a Danish diplomat and businessman…She had another son, Niels Grön Jr., in 1913 while in Norway … She eventually divorced Grön and took her previous name of Madeline Masters Stone." This seems to indicate that Mrs. Masters Stone’s son with Niels Grön may have been originally named Niels Grön, Jr., but his name was later changed to Edgar Lee Stone (I assume after they divorced).

    A New York Times article from 1922 about the Stone/Gron divorce proceeding seems to slightly contradict some of "our" information — the article states that they were married in 1913 and as of July 1920 their son was 9 years old (precluding the 1913 date of birth).
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-fr … 5B828EF1D3

    The NYT article does say the child was a music prodigy, and our alumnus was head of a music department at a Junior College in 1936 and in 1940 was a "composer, pianist, teacher".

    Travis Price
    Asheville School
    pricet@ashevilleschool.org

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