Norfolk has long been the place where American service members leave the county and for Raleigh Bagley that was the case as well. He was stationed in Norfolk for a few months before and after his time in France where he had seen a significant amount of contact. In his words, “No training abroad; nothing but fight.” Bagley would see more than his fair share of combat as well as suffer the consequences.
Before the outbreak of
World War I, Raleigh Bagley was a very accomplished man. He was a graduate of
the American School of Osteopathy (the study of bones) and was a doctor in New
York City. His office was at 120 E 34th street which is just down
the road from the word famous Macy’s on 34th street.
When the United States entered
the war, Bagley joined the Virginia National Guard as a private. His unit, the
2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment would be deployed to France in July
of 1918. By the end of the month on July 25th they were in the trenches
holding off the Germans. The area they were sent to was known as Vosges and
while Bagley was there, there were no major offensives. This did not make the
trenches any less dangerous as Bagley would suffer two broken legs on September
15, 1918. This would make the end of his war as he was taken out of the line
and sent back to the United States.
Raleigh Bagley would also
loose 5 teeth during the war in addition to his broken legs. These hardships
did not faze him however because after the war he testified that his faith in
the church had only strengthened as a result of his time in combat.