Remembering Charles F. Brust: A Bronx Hero of World War I

Find Out aboit Corporal Brust and this amazing park

Corporal Charles F. Brust

In the heart of Bronx, New York, the story of Charles F. Brust begins—a tale that intertwines the local with the global, marking the journey of a young man from the streets of New York to the annals of history as a World War I hero. It is this legacy of courage and service that led to the naming of Brust Park in Riverdale, Bronx, in his honor. A testament to the sacrifices made by countless individuals during one of history’s most tumultuous times, Charles’s journey from Brooklyn to the battlefields of Europe exemplifies the resilience and bravery of the human spirit.

Early Life Shrouded in Mystery

Little is known about the early years of Charles F. Brust. His roots in Bronx, a bustling borough of New York City, suggest a childhood spent amidst the dynamic cultural and social landscape of early 20th-century America. However, the specifics of his formative years remain elusive, painting a picture of a man whose history begins with his commitment to service.

A Brooklyn Residence Steeped in History

3280 Hull Ave, Bronx
The Known Residence of Charles F. Brust

3280 Hull Ave, Bronx, stands as a silent witness to the life of Charles Brust. Captured in the timeless frames of Google Street View, this address marks the last known residence of a man soon to be swept up in the global events of World War I. It is here, in the ordinary streets of Bronx, that the extraordinary story of Charles begins to unfold.

The Call to Arms

The United States’ entry into World War I saw many young men, including Charles, step forward to serve. Enlisting in the 71st New York Infantry, Charles embarked on a journey that would take him far from the familiar environs of Brooklyn. The 71st New York Infantry, known for its valor and discipline, was a fitting place for Charles to begin his military career.

From Training Grounds to European Battlefields

After rigorous training at Camp Wadsworth, SC, Charles and his regiment, re-designated the 105th Infantry Regiment, set sail for France aboard the U.S.S. President Grant. The transition from trainee to soldier was swift as Charles found himself in the midst of intensive combat training under the guidance of British forces upon his arrival in France.

The Front Lines of History

The 27th Division, including the 105th Infantry, was soon ordered to the Ypres salient in Belgium, a name synonymous with the brutality and mud of trench warfare. Charles’s unit was tasked with defending a section of the East Poperinghe Line, a responsibility that placed them directly in harm’s way. The reality of war was ever-present, as recounted by Sergeant H.J. Cochrane, Jr., a comrade of Charles, who described the harrowing journey to the front lines and the constant threat of German artillery.

A Sacrifice Remembered

Charles F. Brust death announcement in the The Kingston Daily Freeman, 7 October 1918
Charles F. Brust death announcement in the The Kingston Daily Freeman, 7 October 1918

Tragically, Charles’s service came to an abrupt end on 30 August 1918. While acting as observers in a forward position, Charles and a fellow soldier were killed by a high explosive shell. This moment, as detailed by Sergeant Cochrane, underscores the perilous nature of their mission and the ultimate sacrifice made by Charles.

Legacy Etched in Stone

Charles F. Brust was laid to rest at Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery in Belgium, a final resting place shared by many who gave their lives during World War I. His grave, plot 3-D-7, is a solemn reminder of the cost of freedom and the bravery of those who fought to preserve it.

Reflections on a Hero’s Journey

Metal Plate resembling a manhole cover says "Brust Park. City of New York. William Grace, Mayor. Smith E. Lane, Commissioner. 1882. Edward I. Koch, Mayorl. Henry J. Stern, Commissionaler. 1987. Parks & Recreation."
Madallion In Lower Brust Park

The story of Charles F. Brust, from the bustling streets of Bronx to the somber battlefields of Europe, encapsulates the valor and sacrifice of those who served in World War I. As we reflect on Charles’s life and service, we also celebrate his enduring legacy through Brust Park in Riverdale, Bronx, a serene space named in his honor. This park not only commemorates Charles’s heroism but also serves as a living tribute to the spirit of all who have answered the call to serve. Charles’s story, deeply rooted in the history of New York and the battles of Europe, continues to inspire us to remember the past and cherish the peace and freedom for which he and countless others fought.

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