Close this search box.

John R. Rowe, First Hawaiian to Sacrifice his Life on WWI Battlefield 

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa published on August 23, 1918.

Aloha Nūhou Monday! 

We once again changed the page last week Wednesday of the Kuokoa newspaper volume on display. It is in the bicentennial of printing in Hawaiʻi display on the third floor in Hawaiian Hall. If you haven’t seen the display yet, what are you waiting for? If you have, you should see the new pages of the Kuokoa now on display for about a month. 

One of the articles on the front page of the August 23, 1918 issue, is a death announcement for John Rupert Rowe, the first Hawaiian to lose his life in World War I. 

Image: “Make Ia Hawaii ma ke Kahua Kaua.” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, August 23, 1918, p. 1.

That Hawaiian Dies on the Battlefield. 


As per the telegraph message received by Mrs. Robert J. Rowe on this past Tuesday evening, General Harris explained that her child John R. Rowe died in France on the 31st of July while he was fighting the enemy as an American soldier. 

This was a boy who had worked in this printing office almost ten years ago, whereupon he left for America, and it was there that he joined the military and went on to the battlefields of France. 

He has two brothers that are in the marines. Their names are Lawrence K. Rowe and Robert J. Rowe. 

(Kuokoa, 8/23/1918, p. 1) 

Image: A comparison of the photo of John R. Rowe as seen online (digitized from a microfilm copy) and an image digitized directly from an original newspaper.

Hawaiʻi Boys Who Died in World War I.

Frank Aki

Archie Bal

F. S. Blackwood

James Henry R. Bryant

Kenneth Cameron

Richard Catton

Henry H. Chapman

Clair Churchill

Alexander Collie

Mekia Corneilson

Harry L. Davies

John Davis

George K. Dwight

H. J. Evans

H. Fogarty

John S. French

Edward Fuller

Louis Gaspar

Manuel Gouveia

Ivan Graham

Edmund Hedemann

George Ibbertson

Edward Jones

Paulo Kaiewe

Charles Kanai

Ekela Kaohi

Apau Kau

R. L. Leander

Han Young Lee

Ted Llewelllyn

Robert G. Mackenzie

Julian Macomber

James P. May

Norman McLean

Philip O. Mills

John S. O’Dowda

Gideon Potter

Manuel Ramos 

Harry Rice

John R. Rowe

William K. Scholtz

Robert Sharpe

Charles B. Tom

Gordon Turner

John Turner

Claude O. H. Usborne

Manuel G. Valente, Jr.

Frank C. Vierra

Clarence Watson

Thomas P. Williams

David L. Withington, Jr.

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Newsletter

Nūhou Mondays

Introducing Nūhou Mondays

Member Spotlight

Paula Pua


Patience Namaka Wiggin