Victor H. Handley (1918/08/14)
Vic's life was stopped short by his own machine gun.
Victor Hubert Handley, a descendent of one of the city's older families, was born in Santa Cruz, California, on April 12, 1888. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Handley, had been early settlers in the community and his father worked for the High Water Company. Vic, as he was familiarly known, was raised in a family that included a sister and two brothers. Young Handley attended the Christian Brothers School, possessed a musical and dramatic talent and was remembered as a gentle good-natured boy. His quiet personality found an outlet at Holy Cross Church where he served as an acolyte and member of the Sanctuary Society. Prior to the war, Victor Handley was employed as a laborer for the National Tank Company at Fruitvale near Berkeley, California.
When Handley entered military service, his draft records described him as being tall, of large stature with brown hair and blue eyes. After his induction, he was sent to Camp Lewis, Washington, and assigned to California's 40th Infantry Division. When he had completed basic training, he was posted to Camp Green, North Carolina, where he became a member of a machine gun crew and was shipped overseas.
The unit to which Handley was ultimately assigned has not been identified but was located in the French province of Lorraine. Sometime in late July or early August 1918, Handley and his machine gun crew was ordered to the front to participate in what is believed to have been the 2nd Battle of the Marne. While the battle was underway, the recoil of his own machine gun seriously wounded Handley and he was sent to England for hospitalization. He was unable to survive those wounds and died August 14, 1918.
Victor Handley was initially buried in England; however, following the war, his remains were reinterred in a Handley plot of Holy Cross Cemetery on February 26, 1921.
(CAG; WWIDR; Santa Cruz County Burial Permits 1905-1938; GSSCC 2001; SCSf September 02, 1918 1:7)