by Charles Nicholas III
Benjamin Cicero Dancy was born on December 18, 1895 in Driver, Virginia. His parents were Cicero Dancy, Sr. and Annie Dancy. He had two brothers, Jessie and Cicero Jr. The family lived in Sleepy Hole, Virginia while he was growing up. Both Benjamin and his father worked as laborers on a truck (vegetable) farm. A year before enlisting (1917) into the Army, he married his fiancé Mrs. Olivia Lewis. A year later he was sent to France in response of the war effort. Before the war, he worked at the Portsmouth Navy Yard and supported his wife and mother in their home at 914 Salter St., Norfolk.
Dancy enlisted in the National Army in 1917. While initially serving with the 540th Combat Engineer Regiment, Charlie company, Dancy was an infantryman during his time served. On October 27, 1918, Dancy embarked on a voyage from New Jersey to England on the USS Leviathan. From England, he then proceeded to Cherbourg, France. While abroad he was either trained or station in Abbeville, France from November 15, 1918, to August of 1919.
His military career and time in France were cut short due to reasons unknown. There could have been several reasons as the war escalated at that time. Sickness, war, and or disease from war injuries could have taken his life as these things were and still are undocumented. On February 20, 1919, Dancy died in a Gorgenoort, France hospital. He only spent one day being treated in the hospital. Private Dancy was to be buried in an American soldier cemetery in France.
It is very unfortunate that as a soldier who gave their freedoms away to fight for the freedoms of others doesn’t have proper documentation after their death. Dancy left behind his wife as beneficiary with no known children. His cousin, Rosa Williams completed the questionnaire about his service. This happened to many soldiers, sailors, and airmen at the time of war. As the influx of individuals joined the fight for humanity, many of them became lost and forgotten about in the system of war. Benjamin C. Dancy a young man who fraught for his country will now be forever remembered.
“Cicero Dancy” United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.” Available online: FamilySearch(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6Z3-YBB : 23 December 2021).
“United States, World War I American Expeditionary Forces Deaths, 1917-1919”, database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPH4-KJKP : 3 December 2019).
“United States Census, 1900”, database with images, FamilySearch(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMNV-FRH : 11 March 2022), Benjamin Dancy in entry for Simon Dancy, 1900.
“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPGS-6RM : accessed 5 May 2022), Ben James Dancy in household of Cicero Dancy Sr., Sleepy Hole, Nansemond, Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 16, sheet 4A, family 65, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1636; FHL microfilm 1,375,649.