Has anyone seen John Kyle?

Information sought on WWI veteran on 100th anniversary of his remains coming home

A few months ago, I took on a project that seems to be getting bigger every day.  I learned that Black soldiers from Louisiana who served in WWI have largely been forgotten, and in some small way I want to correct that error. 

Some people may not even realize just how many Black men went to France in 1918 in the final months of WWI. 

Once such Louisiana man was Private John Kyle.  John, according to military records, was born September 6, 1889 in Noble and probably lived in Robeline at some point.  His mother. Martha Belton, apparently lived in Converse.  I believe John married Bulah Elzy in March of 1918, not too long before he shipped out.  John died November 4 in France and was buried there. 

What many folks don’t realize is that thousands of WWI soldier’s remains were removed from their graves in France and were shipped back to the US, and John was one of them.  The records show John’s remains were received by his mother, in Noble, on July 8, 1921.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It had been over 2 ½ years since his death that he returned home. 

And this is where the story goes cold.  I find no burial record of any John Kyle who died in 1918 to be the one I’m looking for.  The only clue I might have of benefit right now is that there is a Martha Belton buried in the Saline Cemetery in Converse.  There are also some other folks named “Kyles” in the Saline cemetery, but all of the military records show “Kyle” without an “s”. 

Today, July 8, 2021, marks the 100th anniversary of John’s remains arriving in Noble.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to finally recognize this Louisiana soldier who gave his life for his country?  So, I ask the good folks of Sabine who are related to John, or know anyone in the Kyle or Belton or Elzy family, to help me solve this mystery. 

John Kyle and I will appreciate the help. For anyone with information, please don’t hesitate to email John Singleton at john@valveboss.com.  One can also call Daniel Jones at the Sabine Index at 318-256-3495 or email news@sabineindex.net.


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