Walter Howard Shaw Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 327 

Post History

Walter-Howard Shaw Post 327, Veterans of


Foreign Wars of the U. S. A.




1920 – 1970


After the return of the men of the community of Lansdowne who served

in the armed forces in World War I, a few of them gathered and decided to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars, U. S. A. These veterans applied for membership in the parent organization and became Post # 327 on January 16, 1920.


          Three young men of Lansdowne paid the supreme sacrifice. To pay honor to these three, part of each man’s name was used in naming the Post. These men were:


Walter Ostrawski


Howard Link


Edwin Shaw


Thus Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327.


          The charter members were:


                   Thomas Barton, Jr.                     Phillip T. Potter

                   Lester M. Ruppert                      George P. Reinhardt

                   Howard F. Clem                         Christian L. Rollman

                   August Doneski                          Hiram B. Wagner

                   J. Herbert Gochnauer                  William H. Riggins

                   Ernest H. Kiefer                         R. E. Lee Stuntz

                   Dwight E. Kellogg                       R. Frank Simmons

                        F. Peter Metzer                     Harry D. Wholley

                    August G. Miller                        George P. Weber

                    Christopher M. Purcell               William J. Weber

                    Charles M. Potter                      Frank Peterson


Thomas E. Barton, Jr. was elected the first commander.


          The Lansdowne Christian Church (Hull Memorial) presented a bible to the Post in 1920. This bible is still being used at the Post meetings.

Post History (Continued)



        At the Lansdowne Christian Church, in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, a service was held every second Sunday in May. This service started on May 14, 1905, by the Grand Army of the Republic. This ceremony was monumental in its inception as it became an all- day affair. Extra coaches were added to the B & O trains to bring people out from Baltimore City to participate. The people of the community took part as well as the Posts both G. A. R. and V. F. W., from different locations of the State of Maryland. After the service meals were served and a reunion of fellowship existed.


          The Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 became active in this affair in May of 1920 and carried on the services after the Grand Army of the Republic was unable to do so.


          In April 1920, to raise funds a dance and raffle was held. The first prize was 100 pounds of sugar. It so happened that sugar was hard to come by, so the winner was given a choice of coal or flour.


          The Post members met at the Lansdowne Fire Hall and at different member’ homes.


          Several of the comrades were interested in having an auxiliary and so on October 6, 1927, The Ladies Auxiliary to Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 was instituted with 13 charter members. Matilda Weber Moran served as its first president.


          In 1868 the National Commander of the G. A. R. had given an order which stated that the 30th of May each year be designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of all deceased comrades. Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 carried out that order when they came in to existence and took over the work of the G. A. R. and started going to the different cemeteries in Baltimore and Elkridge.


          The Post continued on through the years, striving to stay together during the years of the depression. The members continued to carry on the Memorial Services at the Lansdowne Christian and took part in the affairs of the community. 


Europe became involved in war in 1939 and in December 1941 our Country was drawn into this ordeal and so World War II was on. When the veterans returned home some of them joined up with Walter-Howard-Shaw Post. Several of the veterans of World War I, who were members of Post # 327, also served in World War II.

Post History (Continued)



During this war the community raised funds and started a Memorial Park at Washington Ave., between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. After slow progress ground was deeded to our Post and a stone monument was erected on the property. This was dedicated in 1948. Memorial Services were held there for a time.


The members struggled on and continued the aim of the Post to build a home.


The Post has sponsored Soap Box Derbies. Presented flags to schools, and scouts and made contributions to worthy causes such as Lansdowne High School Scholarship Fund, March of Dimes, and others.


A “Poppy” sale is conducted every year and at present committees sell at the Lansdowne Shopping Center and the shopping Center on Patapsco Ave.


Veterans returning from the Korean Conflict became eligible for membership in the V. F. W. and those boys now returning from Vietnam are also eligible to become members.


Due to lack of interest and vandalism at the Memorial grounds on Washington Ave., the Post decided to pay tribute to the deceased comrades by placing a vase of flowers in all the churches in the community on Memorial Day.

With the cooperation of Baltimore County and through the efforts of Lansdowne-Riverview Recreation Council, the Post just recently placed a monument at Hillcrest Park which is located on Third Avenue, near the Lansdowne High School. The inscription on it reads:


This monument is humbly dedicated to all whoever fought to

 preserve the freedom and dignity we now enjoy and to those

at home who also made many sacrifices and anxiously

prayed for and awaited their return. Dedicated by

Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327 Veterans of Foreign Wars

of the U. S. A. and the people of Lansdowne, Maryland”


                                                                                                                -Erected 1968


We extend an invitation to all who served in the armed forces of the United States of America on foreign soil or at sea during times of war or military conflict to join the Walter-Howard-Shaw Post # 327.


The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a good outfit……it remembers the dead by helping the loving.

Various documents and photos from the VFW archives.