This park honors Bronx veteran John Fraser Bryan (1885-1918), a member of the United States’ Allied Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.). Bryan was an athlete who played basketball in the area and organized the first Fordham Tennis Club. He was also secretary and treasurer of the nearby St. James Sunday School and a member of the church’s vestry.
Bryan entered the service in 1913 during the Mexican Border War as a member of the Old 7th in Company E. At the end of his enlistment period, he re-enlisted as World War I (1914-1918) was raging. He was stationed in Spartanburg where he graduated from Officer’s School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Bryan was sent to France as a part of Company L, 102nd Infantry, 28th Division. The Meuse-Argonne offensive, named for the Argonne Forest and the Meuse River where the trench lines were drawn across southern France, began on September 26, 1918. During the offensive, Bryan was severely wounded and captured by the Germans. He died of his wounds in a German Field hospital on October 31, 1918. Bryan was posthumously awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, Purple Heart, and World War I Victory Medal. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery and American Legion Post 19 was named in his honor.
Discover the history of Bryan Park