Local Legionnaire


In 1976, Philip Paige was known locally as the owner of the Paige-Young Furniture Company in Cranston. But decades earlier, a 16-year-old Paige had enlisted to fight in World War I, not with the U.S. Army, but with a branch of the British armed services informally known as the Jewish Legion. Paige was shipped off to Egypt, where he helped guard thousands of Turkish and German prisoners-of-war and met a young David Ben Gurion, who would become first prime minister of Israel. Only diehard military historians have heard of the Jewish Legion, but at its height the combined battalions had 5,000 active members and saw action at the Battle of Megiddo in what was then northern Palestine.

This month in history, February