Category: fridayflashback

“April 20 1918 – A quiet day at Bois Sacré. Th…

“April 20 1918 – A quiet day at Bois Sacré. The Brancardiers are all old friends  and insist that we eat with them. They make a lot of
special dishes themselves and they are a jolly, hilarious crowd, particularly
the red beard, M. Cancel with his rich rolling patois. It
is curious to live in an abri as we lose all sense of time. There is nothing
to indicate whether it is noon or midnight outside and we don’t really much
care – unless we have
to roll!”

American ambulance driver’s diary
in  the Champagne Hills sector, France – The Diary of Jerome
– Photo: 1918, American and French soldiers in an abri. La
Contemporaine, France.


                                                                        “A dead city”

“We struck a sharp curving descent of the road, and we were on the paved streets of a town. It was Badonviller,
the deserted city on the edge of No Man’s Land. Most dangerous – the
Germans shell the place each night to
hamper any possible troop movements or the passage of ration and ammunition
trains. Shortly after entering the town we turned sharply to the right down a
street lined with ruined dwellings and public buildings. Broken shutters banged
in the wind, which whined dismally through empty rooms and deserted galleries
of tottering structures. The gurgling of water from the fountain-head seemed a
strange sound in the dead city.”

1918, American soldiers in Meurthe-et-Moselle, France – Photo: Friday
April 19 1918,  American soldiers in Badonviller – “Ruetschmann Hosiery, The
Small Benefit, Funeral wreaths”. La Contemporaine, France.

“He has been a faithful animal to me, both in …

“He has been a faithful animal to me, both in holding the line and attacking. I have had him a long time. He
has been slightly wounded twice in going over the top with me. He
deserves to come with me, as he has stuck to me through thick and thin, and when
I was wounded and could not walk he stayed with me all through the attack under a heavy barrage for nearly three hours, so you can imagine how attached I am to him”

American soldier in France who wants to bring his doggie back home to the US. Working
Like a Dog: The Story of Working Dogs through History
– Photo: WW1 Soldier carrying
his wounded doggie on his back. AntiquePooch.

“This hand-grenade throwing is great exe…

“This hand-grenade throwing is great exercise for the arm. It’s a little different from throwing a baseball but it sure
does develop the arm and shoulder…”

Henry Nort, “A Message from the War Front.” – Photo: 1918, French soldiers’ hand-grenade throwing drill. Archives du Ministere de la Culture, France.

Friday, April 12 –  Men take gas test, e…

Friday, April 12 –  Men
take gas test, each driver trying out his Tissot in addition to the ordinary
mask. Band concert in P.M. and ball game after supper.

In Baccarat sector, American ambulance driver’s log – Record of S. S. U. 585 – Photo: Spring 1918, American troops wearing Tissot respirators – Archives du Ministère de la Culture, France.

                                 “Friday the 1…

                                 “Friday the 13th" proved to be everything but unlucky!

in the morning of Friday the 13th, the regiment enjoyed the luxury of a
refreshing breakfast at their new stopping-place. “Friday
the 13th” proved to be everything but unlucky; and the 55th long remembered Courtisols for its general neatness, its  Y. M. C. A. hut, and the big armful of white champagne grapes that could
be purchased for a franc. The regiment had even the pleasure of hearing town-crier
proclaim a great American victory at St. Mihiel—the complete disappearance of
the salient and the capture of two entire German divisions!’

September 1918, Marne, FranceThe 55th Artillery in the American
Expeditionary Forces, France, 1918 

– Photo: Early spring 1918, France, American & a few French soldiers standing front of a YMCA hut. In 1918, there were 2 instances of “Friday the 13th”:

September 13, 1918 & December 13, 1918

“Having been duly declared a qualified driver,…

“Having been duly
declared a qualified driver, I am assigned to a car which happens to be number 13, but not being particularly superstitious
this does not make me

WW1 American ambulance driver’s diary in France – An Ambulance Driver in France:
Being Experiences, Memories and Impressions of the Western Front
– Illustration: WW1 ambulance in France –  WW1 – American field Service in France, Camion Cartoons

Spring 1918, Somme, France – “The …

Spring 1918, Somme, France – “The regimental medical personnel not only gave all
possible attention to the wounded arriving at the stations, but generally
accompanied squads of combat troops in sorties and raids. Until communication
trenches were established, evacuation was in the open. Because of visibility
and the activity of enemy artillery, aided by aeroplane observation, it was
almost impossible to remove wounded from the advance stations until after dark,
though frequently in the daytime individual ambulances would rush down the road
to Broyes or Villers-Tournelle
, in response to an urgent call from an overcrowded aid station or to remove some desperately wounded soldier.

medical department of the United States Army in the world war (Volume 8)“

– Photo April 6 1918 – American ambulances at the poste de secours in
Villers-Tournelle. The main hospital was located in Beauvais. See map of the American ambulances’ route  here.



Vive l’Amérique!

“April 6,
1918 – It’s been just one year ago today that the US entered the war and she sure made wonderful strides. In another year her
weight will be the deciding factor and I’m sure the Germans realize it. They
are making a grand stand play now in the hopes that they can accomplish their
end before America is strong enough to
take hold. Germans will fail and will come in at the short end of this war.”

American soldier in Meurthe-et-Moselle France – On the Western Front with the Rainbow Division: A
World War I Diary

Photo: in April 1917 when the United States declared war on
Germany, French school children celebrated this action and reflected  on its impact on the war’s outcome through writing and
drawing. Source: Vive
l’Amérique! French School Children Welcome Their American Ally 
  National WW1 Museum and


It’s misery on the march.

Somme, April 6 April – Quartered at
Laversines, near
. The Boches are attacking en masse, we are
dispatched in haste to the front. And, as we advance, so the zone gets worse;
poor refugees of all ages; tramping the road, with tears in their eyes
carrying what they can, a few clothes, some chickens or rabbits; sometimes followed by a few
cattle. It’s misery on the march.’

A French
Soldier’s War Diary 1914-1918
– Photo: Spring 1918, fleeing the Somme in the midst of the Spring OffensiveLa Contemporaine, France