Jun. 24, 1887 Painter Accomack County Virginia, USA
Jul. 15, 1918 Departement de la Marne Champagne-Ardenne, France
Painter - W.T. Bonniwell received a telegram from Washington on Tuesday morning, announcing the death of his son, Private Gus Bonniwell who was killed in action July 15th, some where in France. Found in Peninsula Enterprise, The (Accomac, VA); pg 5 on 10 Aug 1918. --- Memorial Notices of Accomack County Boys Who Died in the Service The following Memorial Notices of the Accomack County Boys who died in the service were read at the Home Welcome Celebration, held at Tasley Fair Grounds, September 17, 1919... Augustus Drummond Bonniwell, son of W.H. and Cordelia Bonniwell, was born in Painter, Accomack County, Va., June 24th, 1889. The whole of this young man's life was spent around and in the community in which he was born, save the brief period spent on foreign soil in defense of his country. Gus, as he was generally known, was a quiet, unassuming, lovable young fellow and by reason of the qualities possessed, he was loved by all, both young and old. One thing that commended the young man to the love and esteem of the outside world was the fact that, one of the greatest of God's commands given with promise, was no sounding brass or tinkling cymbal to him namely-"Honor thy Father and thy Mother as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee that thy days may be prolonged." As far as we are able to judge, no boy ever loved Father or Mother more than he, and when he was brought face to face with the supreme test of his life, it was not a question of fighting for his country, but the question of leaving home and Mother. It was the privilege of the writer to read several of his letters to his parents and his one thought was, Mother. One of his last charges given to his preacher as he took his departure for parts unknown, was the care of his mother. When the call "to arms" came from the Chief Executive of this nation, figuratively speaking, when he asked "who shall go for us and whom shall we send," like the prophet of old he answered, "Here am I send me." On September 22nd, 1917 he was drafted for Camp Lee and left with others of his comrades to prepare to fight for God, home and native land. After six months of training, he left for France on March 30th, 1918 and four months later on the morning of the 22nd day of July, while in action fighting a common foe, at the bursting of a shell he made the supreme sacrifice. His body fell, his spirit went home to God. There was no earthly hand near to wipe the death dew from his chilly brow, no earthly hands to close his eyes in death, no ear to catch the faintest whisper of farewell to loved ones in the far distant west, but God was there. What a comforting thought that God can set up the mystic ladder the top of which reaches Heaven from the loneliest Island of the sea, and our friends and loved ones can flee to the shelter of his presence all the more fully, because ours is so far away. ... As the golden hue robbed the setting sun at the close of day, one of his companions from youth digged his grave and gently laid his remains away to rest until the resurrection morn. He sleeps today on the edge of Flanders in a quiet woodland by the way. His grave may soon be lost to human intellegence, but his name and his deeds will go down upon the pages of his country's history and he will be remembered and regarded by the generations yet unborn as one of the glorious and immortal sons of America who gave his all for you, and me. Rev. C.H. Kidd Found in Peninsula Enterprise, The (Accomac, VA); pg 12 on 4 Oct 1919. ---- Body of Gus Bonniwell Brought Back From France For Burial The body of Private Gus Bonniwell, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Bonniwell, of Painter, Va., who was killed in action in France on July 17th, 1918, was brought to his old home on Thursday, July 21st. Funeral services were held in Painter Methodist Church on Friday morning, July 22nd, conducted by Rev. G.W. Watkins, of Exmore, and interment was in Pungoteague Cemetery. Mr. Watkins' sermon was very impressive and appropriate. The church was crowded with friends, who gathered to give evidence of their esteem of this hero, who laid down his life on Flanders Field that the world might be made safe for democracy. Mr. Bonniwell was an excellent young man and had a host of friends throughout the community in which he lived. At the time of his death Mr. Bonniwell was 25 years of age. The pall bearers were: Active - Messrs. David Northam, Dorsey Lewis, Walter Elmore, Elwood Onley, Garland Kellam and Willie Mears; Honorary - Messrs. Cecil Belote, George Drummond, Gus Phillips, and Joe Rayfield. Found in Peninsula enterprise, The (Accomac, VA); pg 1 on 30 Jul 1921.