The Centennial of World War One

A forum for general topics and questions.
User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26788
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Palm Leaf
Contact:

Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:11 am

2014 will mark, of course, a century of time having passed since the start of the Great War in August, 1914.

I read that all over Europe events are being planned in anticipation of the event. I suspect it will pass unnoticed for the most part in the US, and moreover I suspect the same when 2017 arrives, and the 100th anniversary of our entry into the war arrives. I hope I'm wrong on that.

Anyhow, as centennial events, commemorations, etc. let us know and post about any you may attend, or which took place in your area.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
User avatar
Couvi
Society Member
Posts: 3742
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2001 9:30 am
Medals: 3
Location: Marlow, OK
:
Society Member Site Content Donation - 5th

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:24 am

How many members had relatives in WWI?

I had one distant cousin who served in the Field Artillery. When I started school, the principal was a great bull of a man and a WWI veteran. He was the school principal, 1st through 12th grade, and taught high school math.

After his retirement he served as a substitute teacher. If, and it wasn’t difficult, we could turn his attention to his combat in WWI, he would spend the rest of the class on that issue. It was always a great deal more interesting and morally uplifting than 11th grade English. He died back in the late 1960s and I truly regret never having interviewed him about his service. :cry:
Couvi

"Equi non rapui"
mmoore
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:59 pm
Last Name: Moore

Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:39 pm

Lord Strathcona’s Horse..png
Lord Strathcona’s Horse..png (572.05 KiB) Viewed 3807 times
http://elinorflorence.com/blog/118181

An interesting story of two troopers of Lord Strathcona’s Horse at this web page.
User avatar
Todd
Website Admin
Posts: 2473
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 4:10 pm
Medals: 3
Last Name: Holmes
Location: USA
:
Society Member Site Content Donation - Palm Leaf

Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:44 pm

A grandfather, and a 1st cousin twice removed. Both were lucky - cousin was at Camp Funston when the Armistice came.

Granddad was just plain lucky as he survived the crap-storm! :thumbup:
User avatar
Jim Bewley
Society Member
Posts: 1727
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2001 10:04 am
Medals: 2
Last Name: Bewley
Location: PA
:
Society Member Donation - 3rd

Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:08 pm

Had a high school teacher who was in the trenches. He spoke in a , no big deal kind of way, about things that scared the heck out of us. That was a war that most have no idea about how bad it was.

Jim
User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26788
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Palm Leaf
Contact:

Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:13 am

Couvi wrote:How many members had relatives in WWI?

I had one distant cousin who served in the Field Artillery. When I started school, the principal was a great bull of a man and a WWI veteran. He was the school principal, 1st through 12th grade, and taught high school math.

After his retirement he served as a substitute teacher. If, and it wasn’t difficult, we could turn his attention to his combat in WWI, he would spend the rest of the class on that issue. It was always a great deal more interesting and morally uplifting than 11th grade English. He died back in the late 1960s and I truly regret never having interviewed him about his service. :cry:
My grandfather on my mother's side was commissioned an officer in the Canadian Army, but being of frail health before the war, he was discharged again before his unit, The Irish Canadian Rangers, were sent overseas. My mother would recall years later his still having the uniform and firearm he'd purchased for service.

His brother (whose name was Patrick, but whom everyone called Jack) went overseas in the Canadian Army as a physician. His marriage was the day prior to his shipping out to go overseas, and the photos taken dockside show the young couple with some pretty serious expressions. Somehow or another his wife secured a position as some sort of nurse and also went overseas, and I've seen a happier photograph of them in England, presumably on leave. Jack served a second time in World War Two.

My mother also had an aunt who had volunteered as a Canadian nurse and who served in that capacity in France. Somewhere I have a letter of hers written back home mentioning the details of life in her hospital, including the people she was serving with, including "Dr. McCrae", presumably the author of Flanders Fields.

On my father's side, my g-grandmother's brother was a career NCO in the British Army, and served through the war retiring thereafter. I don't know much about him other than that. My father indicated that he and my g-grandmother kept up a correspondence over the years, even though my g-grandmother was only three years old when she came with her oldest sister, then 19, to the US from Ireland. It'd be unlikely, therefore that she had any personal recollections of him, so their relationship was via the mail. I don't know if any of the members of my father's paternal side served in the war and I've heard different versions of that, some saying yes and some saying no. My paternal grandfather came from a large family but they were scattered to the winds and he himself had left home, with his parents permission, when he was only 13. I have found the draft card of one of his brothers, but whether he served I don't know.

On people I've met who were Great War veterans, up into my teens I knew a local rancher who had served in World War One. He was originally from Ohio and had actually come out here and homesteaded immediately after World War One. He lived to be almost 100 years old and was very clear of mind right up to the end, so I should have asked him some details of his service, but never did. Likewise, up until my 20s there was a fellow here in town who had been an Imperial Russian, and then White Russian, cavalry officer, but I never asked him anything about that either.

A local restaurant owner here, for years and years, was a German veteran of World War One. My father knew him fairly well, and he'd come to the US as an illegal immigrant by jumping ship while employed as a German merchant sailor. He'd told my father than in the 1930s he and his American wife became fearful that his status would be discovered so he took steps to rectify it, which ended up in him having to go back to Germany for a period of months until he could re-enter the US, a process which still mirrors that of today in similar circumstances. In that period he was stunned to find a strange Germany had developed replacing the one he'd left and was scared to death that he wouldn't get back out, but he did.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
User avatar
Kurt Hughes
Society Member
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2001 12:59 pm
Medals: 2
Location: United Kingdom
:
Society Member Donation - 7th

Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:50 am

Like many I had quite a few relations who served. My great uncles five brothers who all served in different battalions of the Hampshire Regiment, one landed at Helles in Gallipoli from the SS River Clyde, the others all served on the Western Front one remained in service after the war but died whilst serving with the regiment in India, the youngest I remember, he was a quiet shy man who could recall losing his three best friends on the same day, he also used to say how he preferred a bayonet when trench fighting, he had been shot and gassed.
On my mothers side my great grandfather served as an enlisted man in the Berkshire regiment from 1914 and ended his service in 1919 as an officer in the Staffordshire regiment.
On my fathers side again there were a few great uncles serving, one in particular was in the Royal Welch Fusiliers but was killed in Oct 1917. My father has his medals and related paperwork including a six page letter written from the soldiers officer to his mother, he was killed along with his sergeant when the post the two were manning took a direct hit from a shell. The officer describes him as "one of the bravest of the brave" they had drove back a German attack and had taken ground. He goes on to say that there is was nothing on him that he could return to the mother except a photo, his friend from his platoon and same home town had asked for his pipe and tabacco. He goes on to say that he was buried along with his sergeant, I guess in reality and knowing what we know now there was probably no much left, he has no known grave and is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Flanders along with another 35000 soldiers whose graves are unknown.

On my wife's side her great grandfather served on the western Front with the London Rifle Brigade. Her other great grandfather served in the Northamptonshire Regiment, whilst researching family history we found some interesting documents related to him, firstly a letter written from his mother to the War office asking is they had news of her son, the last letter she had received was from France and written by someone else saying her son had been wounded, although no reply was found he did survive the war, again serving from 1914-1919, also interesting was that he had been charged for ill treating a horse by striking it with a rein, later drunk in charge of a horse and cart and then galloping a horse on a paved road as well as getting into various fights. Yet I am told in later life he was a peaceful man who would be the last anyone could imagine doing such things, still we were all young once.

Below are a couple of photos, the first is of my great grandfather, the second is from our family photo album but unidentified, we have various other photos of relations in uniform (some identified some not) during this time but I thought this one interesting given the content.

Kurt.
grt j.jpg
grt j.jpg (607.88 KiB) Viewed 3786 times
WW1.jpg
WW1.jpg (401.38 KiB) Viewed 3786 times
selewis
Society Member
Posts: 2161
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:47 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Lewis
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - 3rd

Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:38 am

My maternal grandfather, Llewellyn, served in the infantry. Somewhere there is a picture of him in the trenches. I think my sister has it. She also has his service medals which I saw the last time I visited her. Among them were the Croix de Guerre, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. Other than that, I know almost nothing of his service, nor did my mother. My uncle told me that he was wounded while rescuing a friend in no man's land but he knew none of the details.

I also had a teacher in high school-Col. Wagner: World History- who could be depended on to quickly come round to telling stories of his service rather than the subject we were (yawn) ostensibly learning, say, the renaissance: Da Vinci, to flying machines, to his flying machine. 1, 2, 3 and we were off and flying somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He was very popular with students and parents. He had only one lung and was also the track coach and ran with his team during practice.
User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26788
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Palm Leaf
Contact:

Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:01 am

I'm reminded, in reading these great recollections, of meeting the grandfather's of two of my close friends who were World War One veterans. Both of these gentlemen, which they were in the true sense of the world, were very quiet men on the occasion that I met them, and very dignified in their extreme old age.

After the first one died, his grandson inherited two camouflaged helmets, one a U.S. helmet that his grandfather had worn in the war, and the other a camouflaged German M16 helmet. That individual returned home to his farm in Nebraska and lived out a quiet life. Whatever the stories behind those souvenirs was, I never learned of them.

The other man I learned, after his death, had been a messenger during the war. His grandson inherited a M1911 which came with a story. It seems that his grandfather was running a message with a close friend when that soldier was killed. He took the soldiers M1911 and the message and when he returned he turned the M1911 in. The supply sergeant absentmindedly handed him another.

A very close friend here in town had a grandfather that my father worked with, when my father was a very young man. That veteran died before I was born, but he had served in World War One and his son has a collection of things he brought back, including a German gas mask and a bunch of German soldiers gear. And also one of the more common varieties of the Iron Cross. When we were little kids, we used to play with the gas mask, which when worn had an awful mustardy smell and which left it a little difficult to breath thereafter. We were probably unintentionally gassing ourselves.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
selewis
Society Member
Posts: 2161
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:47 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Lewis
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - 3rd

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:04 pm

User avatar
FtValleyPS
Society Member
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:03 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Nelson
Location: Colorado, U.S.
:
Society Member Donation - 5th

Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:26 am

Here's a link to a nice site about cavalry and infantry regiment diaries - not personal accounts, but accounts by unit of normal activities, losses, etc.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... s-ww1.html
John
User avatar
FtValleyPS
Society Member
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:03 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Nelson
Location: Colorado, U.S.
:
Society Member Donation - 5th

Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:30 am

The link I listed doesn't seem to connect, not sure ..... here's another attempt:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... es-ww1.htm
John
User avatar
browerpatch
Society Member
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:44 pm
Medals: 1
Last Name: Brower
Location: Bangor, Alabama
:
Society Member

Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:18 pm

My grandfather, Maj. Walter S. Brower, was with the 29th Div. in France. My great-grandfather's brother, Capt. Mortimer H. Jordan, MD, was killed while in command of Co. K, 4th Alabama Infantry (later the 167th Infantry), 42nd Div., in 1917.
Frank
George Clark
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 10:03 pm
Location: USA

Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:38 pm

My grand uncle Abraham I. Heller Served as a 1st. Lieutenant in Europe with the 165th infantry. As a child I remember Him telling stories about the horrors of trench warfare, and how one could walk through many of the trenches on the bodies of the dead without touching the ground.
Best, George.
Rick Throckmorton
Society Member
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 1:54 pm
Medals: 1
Last Name: Throckmorton
:
Society Member

Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:35 am

Kurt,
Great pics. I hope you realize that you look very much like your great grandfather. No denying that relationship!

As for me, I had a great uncle, John Smallwood, who was an NCO attached to a "colored" (black) regiment. I don't know what his capacity was with the unit. I do know they had moved as a unit to the port of embarkation for movement to Europe, when the Armistice was signed. They stayed in place and stood down.

I remember as a child, we had a man in the small, northern Oklahoma town where I lived, that we all knew had mental instabilities. He was older, and in layman's terms, had the mind of a child. We simply called him, "Frank", and treated him with respect, because it was understood that he was a veteran, and that's the way we were raised. He lived by himself about a block away from downtown and a couple of folks in town saw to it that he was fed, etc. He later died, and at his estate auction, I found his old WW1 overcoat and a set of leggins, that I still own. I found out his condition was from battlefield injuries. It seems he was overcome by gas and was laying in a shell hole, where he was further bayoneted several times. Unfortunately, I was fairly young and failed to log the units in which he served to get a better history of his service. I have often thought about the tragedy of his life spent in his condition from 1918 up until his death in the 1960s.

RickT
User avatar
browerpatch
Society Member
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:44 pm
Medals: 1
Last Name: Brower
Location: Bangor, Alabama
:
Society Member

Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:40 pm

My father was a radiologist, and on into the 1980's had patients with chronic pneumonia resulting from gas exposure during WW1. Only a few were disabled by it, as most were farmers scattered around north Alabama. It was just something they lived with.

Frank
Frank
JV Puleo
Society Member
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:18 pm
Medals: 2
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donor - 1st

Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:45 am

My four great uncles all served in WWI... 3 in the Army and one in the Navy. My grandfathers were both too old at the time... My dad also had a cousin who was badly gassed. His doctor ordered him to move to a drier climate or die (this would have been in the late 20s or early 30s) When I met him, in the late 60s, he lived in Tucson. He hated the place and always had but he did live to almost 100 so the doctor must have known what he was talking about.
User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26788
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Palm Leaf
Contact:

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:29 am

browerpatch wrote:My father was a radiologist, and on into the 1980's had patients with chronic pneumonia resulting from gas exposure during WW1. Only a few were disabled by it, as most were farmers scattered around north Alabama. It was just something they lived with.

Frank
JV Puleo wrote:My four great uncles all served in WWI... 3 in the Army and one in the Navy. My grandfathers were both too old at the time... My dad also had a cousin who was badly gassed. His doctor ordered him to move to a drier climate or die (this would have been in the late 20s or early 30s) When I met him, in the late 60s, he lived in Tucson. He hated the place and always had but he did live to almost 100 so the doctor must have known what he was talking about.
The outdoor humorist Patrick McManus wrote, quite some time ago, a memoir that was combined with a recipe book. Sort of an odd combination, but he wrote the memoir portion and his sister wrote the recipe portion. I have the book and have used the recipe portion probably more than any other cookbook we have, as it has a lot of wild game and fish recipes that are quite good.

Anyhow, I've always like his humor and in his memoir he provides true stories behind the characters who show up in his short stories. It's very good, but frankly quite bittersweet, even sad. His father, he related, died when he was quit young and he recalled that basically the entire time he knew his father as a boy he was slowly dieing from his gas exposure in World War One.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26788
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Palm Leaf
Contact:

Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:34 am

There's a fairly recent book out about American troops in World War One, the name of which I've forgotten, and which I haven't read. I did hear the author interviewed, however, and he'd done a lot of research on the soldiers themselves.

In his interview, one thing he really did was to dispute the "age of innocence" claims that it seems are always made for the era for any American war. Seems any time we enter a war, some author later claims that the war ended our "age of innocence", no matter what war that was. Anyhow, what the author did say was that the mental makeup and view of WWI U.S. troops was quite different from later eras, as they generally went into the service with the view that life was really hard and difficult, the war demonstrated that it was, and that after the war they just kept on keeping on, as the war hadn't altered their view of life much.

I wonder to what extent that's true?
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
JV Puleo
Society Member
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:18 pm
Medals: 2
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donor - 1st

Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:02 am

I suppose its a product of my age, but I still find it hard to think of WWI as being very long ago... My great uncles were all still working when I knew them. I don't think of the Civil War as being very far back either, at least partly because my grandmother, and her brothers, knew plenty of CW veterans. When I was about 12 (this would have been 1963, at the height of the CW centennial) I was given a CW fyfe by a friend of my father's. Dad was the 1st viola of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra and his friend played the flute in the orchestra... I've forgotten the gentleman's name but he was probably in his 80s at the time. Hearing from my father that I was a "Civil War buff" he gave me his father's fyfe... one he had carried as a boy musician during the war. So... in my mind, the war was not all that far removed. (I still have it too).
Another time, I bought a CW buff Cavalry belt from a gentleman in his late 90s who's father had been wearing it when he was wounded at Antietam... one section of the inside was stiff with blood stains.

I also was given a WWI German Artillery Pickelhaube by a violinist friend of my fathers... also the son of the man who'd worn it. He told me he'd thrown the rest of the uniform out because it had moth holes in it.
Post Reply