PRIVATE FIRST CLASS PHILIP DIAZ was born March 3, 1891 in Philadelphia PA, one of 10 children born to John and Anna Rose Diaz, and the youngest surviving child. John Diaz was born in the Canary Islands in July of 1846, and came to America in 1862. A cigarmaker by trade, by 1900 he owned his own business. The Diaz family then lived at 554 North 17th Street in Philadelphia. Philip Diaz' five older brothers, Gustavus, Adolph, Frank, John Jr. and herbert all were working in the family business when the census was taken on June 5, 1900. Interestingly enough, Frank Diaz, then 24, was the census taker by then.
When the 1910 Census was enumerated, Philip Diaz was working as a library clerk. He lived 2746 garnet Street in Philadelphia, the home of his married sister, Anna Diaz Martin. Older brother Herbert also resided there, still working in the cigar trade. John and Anna Diaz had moved to Bates Avenue in Berlin NJ with oldest sun Gustavus, his wife Pauline, and their grandchildren. Both Diaz men were still in the cigar business. By 1917 the family later moved to Second Avenue in Ashland, a community that straddled the border of Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill) and Voorhees Township NJ. Second Avenue was, and still is in the Cherry Hill side.
When Philip Diaz registered for the draft in Philadelphia on June 4, 1917, he had moved to Ashland with the rest of his family. He was working as a clerk at the Strawbridge and Clothier department store on Market Street. Although he reported "broken arches" in his feet, the Army still called him, in May of 1918. He was sent to Camp Dix for training, and assigned to the 312th Infantry Regiment.
Private Philip Diaz of Second Avenue, Ashland NJ, was killed in action in France during the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October of 1918. The War Department had given 3 different dates to his parents for his heroic demise.
When the census was taken in January of 1920, Anna Rose Diaz, now a widow, and her sons Adolph, Frank, and Herbert were living on Haddonfield Road in Delaware Township. Two of the brothers were still working in the cigar manufacturing industry. Philip Diaz had been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield N, which stood at 20 East Kings Highway.
Only a few doors away from the Diaz family on Haddonfield Road in 1920 was the Blore family. Their son, Gilbert M. Blore, would also be killed in action while serving in France, in the summer of 1944.
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