“Fourth of July – Did we
celebrate? Hell yes!
dinner we had twelve invited Frenchmen with us. The “meat hounds”, we
call them, as they are drivers of the famous Paris autobuses, now used for
hauling meat in the Verdun sector. They sleep in the same barn with us —
immediately below. This big dinner or
banquet was the best I ever had in France. We had placement cards for all,
too!! Pinard, white wine, champagne (one bottle for 2) followed by a couple
crates of beer was the undoing of us all — except me. I was happy but not
drunk. One guy — on duty
at the Rambluzin hospital came up for dinner. God knows how he returned to the
hospital. He was dead drunk. He took sick there and telephoned for someone to
come after him. He came back on a stretcher! “All Guv Out”. I, being
the most sober fellow in camp, had to take his place.”
Fourth of July 1918, American ambulance driver’s diary in Rambluzin, Verdun sector, France –
Diaries of Samuel Keplinger. Photo: July 1918, American ambulance drivers and
French soldiers’ banquet.
“July 4th – We called nos camarades les poilus and drank a toast to America & to France. We would have
included the other allies but the champagne ran out after America & France had
been taken care of so we could not.”
July 4th 1918 – American ambulance driver in Boursonne,
Aisne, France – The Compensations of War – Photo: 1918, American ambulance
drivers and French soldiers ‘s toast. Source: Mr. Remy Jaegle Collection.
‘moving forward all the time’
‘France is one continuous camp and the troops are coming
in all the time and every one moves forward all the time, and no one gets to
the rear except the wounded – So
you see that the whole movement is constantly towards Berlin. Everything
is moving fine over here so far and I think we have Fritz on the run, thanks to
the good work of the people back home – Here,
my people are doing their bit to win the war, they sure make good soldiers.’
Letter of James William Alston, American First Lieutenant in the US 372nd
Infantry, an all-black regiment – African American Soldiers in World War
I @ DPLA – Photo: July 4th 1918, Independence Day Parade in Lignieres, Meuse, France. La Contemporaine, France.
July 4th 1918, Walking Strong
“The Fourth of July found me in Chaumont. The French people there never missed an opportunity to
show their pleasure at having us in their midst.“ General Pershing.
And a nice note from Clemenceau:
“General Pershing; The American troops who took part in the
Fourth of July ceremony on the Avenue President
Wilson made a deep impression all over Paris. On this holiday celebrated with
such sincerity by all our Allies, the splendid appearance of your soldiers
sparked not only our enthusiasm but our absolute confidence as well. Please, transmit
to your troops, with my compliments, the expression of my true admiration. “Clemenceau.””
My Experiences In The World War –Photo: July 4th 1918, General Pershing and French officials in Chaumont. More photos of these beautiful day @ 100 ans en Haute Marne.
I really felt that I had reached the supreme moment of my life
“The 4th celebration in Paris. To
our delight the nurses were asked by the French government to march in
the parade. It was the first time women have ever marched in a parade in Paris.
We formed in the Place de Trocadero at 8:45am. I carried the flag, it was the
proudest moment of my life, in fact I don’t think I ever had that proud feeling
before. But when we fell in line behind the Marines, our band playing Dixie and
I held that banner on high to the cheers of the crowd “Vive l’Amerique!”
I really felt that I had reached the supreme moment of my life. You can’t imagine
the exalted sensation of marching through that sea of cheering people, throwing
flowers before us, and every now and then someone would shout: “I want to
touch that flag, I love it! The flowers are for it!””
july 4th 1918, Paris, American Red Cross nurse, Elizabeth Ashe “Intimate
Letters from France During America’s First Year of War” – Photo: July 4th 1918, Paris, proud American Red Cross Nurses marching in the parade. La Contemporaine
“Wednesday July 3 1918 –
Bugle practice – Nous avons bière aujourd’hui! (we have beer today) and
concert at YMCA tent.”
American ambulance driver’s diary in Marne France – Franklin &
Marshall College – Photo: 1918, France, American ambulance driver carrying a
barrel of beer. Weber State University.
LONG LIVE THE UNITED STATES!
100 years ago, in Paris, French school children and their
teacher celebrating Independence Day. Note: The “Vivent les Etats-Unis” sign; the correct spelling is “Vive les
Etats-Unis”. La Contemporaine,
“Yesterday I took my shoes off for the first time since the month of May.
Several of us went down to the River and took a much-needed bath. We didn’t have any clean clothes to put on, but
it was refreshing at that. Since we came out of the lines we are lying in
reserve a few kilometres back. Another division comes up in a day or two to
relieve us and then we go to some town for a rest, get a new outfit of clothes
and equipment, and new men to replace the casualties.
I understand the Brigade of Marines will take part in the parade of July 4th in Paris. It is rumored
that we’ll get the Croix de Guerre —
I hope it’s true.
Late june 1918, Belleau Wood
sector, US marine’ s letter home – Dear Folks at Home – Photo: WW1, France, American soldiers taking a bath in a river. La Contemporaine
This year, 4th of July must be a NATIONAL HOLIDAY
June 28 1918 – France
French Newspaper Excelsior’s headline – Source: MeuseArgonne.com
‘The work has increased and the road is
taking on a new life. Batteries of guns are moving up, and long convoys of
ammunition trucks pass continuously. So no one in the Section was willing to
take advantage of the Fourth-of-July leave, but in appreciation the General gave
us an Independence Day Fête, with a band, champagne, etc.,
and we had as guests men from the neighboring ambulance sections. We put two
big tents end to end, with flaps up and the American and French flags flying
from the pole. The fellows worked like beavers rooting up red poppies, blue
cornflowers, and white lilies, which we tied to the tent-poles, also adorned
with bunches of cherries. Besides about fifty Americans, various chaplains and
military doctors were also present, while the General Staff sent one of its
captains. So it was a very good party, with the “Marseillaise,” “Star-Spangled
Banner,” and decent weather thrown in.
The Boches, I should add, supplied the fireworks, but did not get anything out
of it in return.’
1917, Rarécourt, France – American ambulance driver’s diary – History of the American Field Service in France – Photo: July 1917 American ambulance/truck drivers parade at a Franco-American celebration. 1418 Images.