Mrs. W.L. Hyatt recently received the above pictures from the family, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Malherbe and daughter, Josette, of Dolhain, Vervicis, who have adopted and cared for the grave of Lt. Hub G. Hyatt, a native of Spur, for the past four years.
While Hyatt was a staff sergeant he fought with the 99th Division holding off four German Divisions in the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded in December and lay in an ice covered shell hole for five days before being carried to a base hospital. He recovered and returned with a Purple Heart. Soon afterwards he was given a battlefield commission.
It was while on this mission in Cologne on March 1, 1945, that a German sniper's bullet killed him.
The first letter received by Mrs. Hyatt from Lt. Malherbe was in March of 1946. We quote the last of the letter which was written in French,
"You loved ones who have fought with their lives, their love of liberty. How beautiful are the Americans, what a beautiful Army, what riches you have.
You will never know; you cannot imagine, such great joy..Our debt to you is so great that I consider it my duty to adopt the grave of an American soldier from your home. Again I beg your pardon for writing in French. Do not thank me, it is we who should thank you for your sacrifices (of human life) and "Vive I'Amerique", (long live America), and thank you very much.
Lt. Joseph Malherbe
These people like many other grateful Belgians and French have adopted the graves of American soldiers. They go to the grave as often as possible to place a wreath of flowers on the grave and to have a moment of silent prayer before returning to their homes.
Underneath the two pictures: The pictures above were made in the cemetery of Henri Chappelle in Belgium, and were sent to Mrs. W.L. Hyatt recently from the Belgian family who adopted Lt. Hyatt's grave in 1946.
The picture on the left is the white cross that bears Lt. Hub G. Hyatt's name upon it in the Cemetery of Henri Chappelle. The picture on the right is Mrs. Joseph Malherbe and Josetta as they kneel to put a wreath on his grave and to say a word of prayer.
The Texas Spur, April 27, 1950Transcribed by Becky Hodges, September 204
Belgium Cemetery Info
Dickens County TXGenWeb Project