One of nine so-called "doughboy" statues found throughout New York City parks. This particular one depicts a solemn and contemplative rifle and helmet-bearing soldier with downcast eyes, known sometimes by the affectionate moniker "My Buddy." The monument in total contains a doughboy statue, a commemorative flagstaff and a small oval plaza dedicated to one of Richmond Hill's own distinguished soldiers.


  • Up close look at Joseph Pollia's 1925 doughboy statue.
    Up close look at Joseph Pollia's 1925 doughboy statue.
  • Forward facing photo; "Honor Roll" and plaque and flagstaff now visible
    Forward facing photo; "Honor Roll" and plaque and flagstaff now visible
  • Tribute to Staff Sgt. Joseph E. Schaefer, Richmond Hill resident and Medal of Honor
    Tribute to Staff Sgt. Joseph E. Schaefer, Richmond Hill resident and Medal of Honor

Located in Forest Park, which itself is a living memorial to members of the Richmond Hill community who died in the first world war, the Richmond Hill War Memorial was designed by William Van Allen, architect of Manhattan's famous Chrysler building. This particular monument was commissioned not by the city or local government but by members of the community directly, specifically the Richmond Hill War Memorial Committee and the Gold Star Mothers Association of Richmond Hill. The dedication ceremony in 1925 was presided over by Queens Parks Commissioner Albert C. Benninger, the President of the Richmond Hill Mothers Association, Mrs. Mathilda Burling and United States Senator Royal S. Copeland. The monument was dedicated on November 10, 1925.

The statue, central to the monument, was created by the Italian-born sculptor Joseph Pollia. Pollia was responsible for almost two dozen public monuments. It is said that the statue, My Buddy, bears a striking resemblance to a silent film star of the time, Francis X. Bushman, who some theories was used as a model. A second cast of the statue sits in Storm Lake, Iowa's Chautauqua Park.

Adjacent to the sculpture is an ornamental flagstaff, a local honor roll, a a commemorative plaza named for Medal of Honor winner Sergeant Joseph E. Schaefer, a resident of the neighborhood specifically recognized for his distinguished service in the second World War.

"Forest Park." Forest Park Highlights - Richmond Hill War Memorial : NYC Parks. Accessed November 02, 2017. https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/forest-park/highlights/12146.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Evan Hart (November 1st 2017)

Evan Hart (November 1st 2017)

Evan Hart (November 1st 2017)