Pic of the Week: Boys Battalion 1905

Future veterans of WWI and beyond: Edgar Bain, Zeno Hollowell, Kenneth Royall

Boys Patrol, 1905. Kenneth C. Royall and Zeno Hollowell


This photograph was taken in 1905 and shows the local “Boys Battalion”, a mix of the Boy Scouts and Junior ROTC. The quality is not great; it is a low quality scan and the whereabouts of the original are unknown (as far as I know).

  • Edgar Bain

Seated in the center is their leader, Edgar Bain, who at the time would have been about 21 years old. He would later go on to serve in the 30th Division in WWI and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on October 9, 1918.

The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edgar Bain, Captain, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Busigny, France, October 9, 1918. Advancing under heavy fire with orders to pass through the front line company, Captain Bain found the troops he was to relieve 1,000 yards from their position, falling back. Rallying them, he personally led the troops in advance, under terrific fire, assaulting and capturing the assigned objective.

Bain also served in World War II, attaining the rank of Colonel. He died in 1956 and is buried in Willow Dale Cemetery in Goldsboro, NC.


Edgar Bain in uniform                Edgar Bain grave, Willow Dale cemetery, Goldsboro NC


Edgar Bain WWI service card


  • Zeno Hollowell

In the bottom left is Zeno Hollowell, who would later serve as Captain of Company K, 119th Infantry, 30th Division in the Great War. After the war he was mayor of Goldsboro and later the longtime city manager.


Zeno Hollowell WWI service card                                Zeno Hollowell, National Guard training, 1916


  • Kenneth Royall

Seated at the far right is Kenneth Claiborne Royall, born in 1894. Royall graduated from the University of NC-Chapel Hill and Harvard Law School before the war and then  served as an officer in the 317th Field Artillery, 81st Division.

Royall attained the rank of general during World War II and famously served as a defense lawyer for several German-American men caught in a botched attempt to sabotage US infrastructure.

After the war he served as the last Secretary of War and later the first Secretary of the Army in the Truman administration. He died in 1971 and is buried in Willow Dale Cemetery in his hometown of Goldsboro, NC.


Kenneth Royall portrait               Kenneth Royall grave

Kenneth Royall WWI service card


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