“The little children of today will be the questioners of the
1918 – Elizabeth Ashe, American nurse with the American Red Cross Children’s Bureau in France — She
worked tirelessly to protect the refugee children living in the war-devastated
areas of France. Photo: Summer 1918 – ‘Refugee children under the care of a French organization &
the American Red Cross in Paris. They are about to leave for a large estate near
Paris, where an outdoor life will build up their health’.
Lewis Wickes Hine @ Library of Congress & The Atlantic “100
Years Ago: France in the Final Year of World War I”
“Yes, we see the Americans. They are handsome.
Their faces are just the type we imagined, clean-cut with sharp
outlines. Many of them are blond, of light hair and complexion. The cord
encircling the backs of their heads which secures their slouch hats surprises
us. They smile at the children; they pick them up and carry them in their
muscular arms. It is curious what a strong calm air they have.”
WW1, talking about the American soldiers in France, the French Trench Publication “Le Diable au Cor” – Photo :
WW1, Meuse, France, American soldier surrounded by the children of the village. La Contemporaine.
‘I never thought that I would
like to have
my coat stained with a black man’s
blood but if I could have eased that fine fellow one
jot of pain I would gladly have had my whole uniform wet with it’
American ambulance driver in France, impressed by the bravery of a wounded Senegalese
soldier suffering silently in his ambulance. The Compensations of War. Photo:
this famous photo of wounded Senegalese soldiers was taken June 10 1918, in Monchy-Humières,
“Stunned by the suddenness
of the attack”
was well along in the evening, almost dark in fact. Suddenly, out of the north, just skimming the tree tops two German planes roared on us. At almost point-blank
range, their machine guns fairly riddled the men who lined both sides of the
road. Stunned by the suddenness
of the attack, the men could do little but fall to the
ground. Still in a fog, they picked themselves up, only to find that the Boche
had zoomed around and were coming back at us. I was under my car by this time
and as many of the soldiers scrambled
under the camions. The planes swept down at again with their guns going full force, banked sharply after passing, and disappeared into the northern twilight. It was a
perfect job of air-strafing. Nearly half of the battalion were either killed or
Early June 1918, American ambulance driver in Courmont, Belleau – Chateau-Thierry sector, France –– Letters from Verdun. Illustration: WW1 Artist Gilbert Rogers.
“June 4 1918 – Drove to Betz with two Boche, a gassed poilu and two “assis.” Returning to camp we
dined al fresco with a group of engineers. When a French cook has access to a farm yard
and its garden one is pretty sure of a delicious meal!”
ambulance driver in Belleau / Chateau-Thierry sector, France – The Compensations of War –
Photo: WW1 American ambulance drivers’ al fresco dinner. University of Kentucky Archives
‘June 3-4 1918 – More American troops. French avion gives
spectacular exhibition over town. Nose and tail dives, loop the loop. Go to Bethon in convoy. Bath and shave.’
American ambulance driver in the Belleau / Chateau-Thierry sector – Special Collections
Department, Stewart Library, Weber State University – Photo: WW1, France, American shave. La Contemporaine, France.
Monday May 20
1918 – Section leaves Picquigny about 7 a.m and passing very close to Amiens,
goes to Esquennoy (Oise). Stationed in an old park and most of men sleep in
shelter tents in the woods. Lots of avions tonight.
American ambulance driver’s log –
of S. S. U. 585
– Photo: 1918, Northeastern France, American ambulance drivers’ camp. Library of Congress
“We are working day and night with the
Friends Ambulance Unit in rescuing the people from the danger zone. It is a
tragic period for the poor people who live there. They have clung to their
homes and soil stubbornly and have refused to be driven out of danger until now.
The men of the English Friends Ambulance Unit are doing magnificent work and we
are fortunate to be working closely with them.”
May 1918, American Red Cross, in Northern France –The
Survey, Volume 40 – Photo: May 14 1918, Bethune, Northern France, British
gentlemen of the Friends Ambulance Unit bringing a mother and her babies to
safety. La Contemporaine, France.
Getting to know each other…
WW1 poilus introducing their puppy to their pigeons.
“Right at the beginning of the war, we had
to close the school because some shells were landing on the playground.
However, I set up class for the children of the neighborhood in my kitchen and
later in my cellar. As attendance grew, I moved my class to center city in a
cellar especially fortified for us by the city workers.”
WW1 French teacher in Northern
France – Réponses au
questionnaire sur le territoire occupé par les armées allemandes – La
Contemporaine – Photo : WW1, France, a wine cellar becomes a classroom.