Category: mondaymemories

 ““Where are our latrines?“ “But, Monsie…

 ““Where are our latrines?“

“But, Monsieur le Commandant, we haven’t any.”

“Well,
what are the men to use?“

"Why?!?” exclaimed the French Mayor,
while a look of surprise came over his face that such a question should be
asked, “why?!? You can use the streets!!!”

In
fact, the inhabitants did use the streets, the
whole family in most every case; and the few
toilets in town were under lock and key.”

American officer in France – Doughboy War:
The American Expeditionary Force in World War I
– Photo:1918, France, American
medical officer using the latrine. The National WW1 Memorial & Museum

“Song fest in the café and on the streets. Eve…

“Song fest in the café and on the streets. Everybody happy – Bunch goes to division show and concert.”

November 12 1918 – American ambulance driver’s log – Record of the SSU 585 –– Photo: 1918, an al fresco division concert. The National WW1 Museum & Memorial

                       “The victorious air in …

                       “The
victorious air in the French faces was almost
unbearable to us.”

“November 12 1918 – Today there were no French fliers in the air, not any French soldiers or Annamites at work, the only ones working were
we prisoners. The victorious air
in the French faces was almost unbearable to us. In the afternoon the
French sergeant picked up the
newspaper and lent it to me. Reading to my anxiously listening comrades
the bad news – I hardly could speak and barely hold the paper in my hands. In the evening nobody found sleep out
of grief and sorrow.”

German prisoner’s
diary in a pow camp in France reacting to the news of the Armistice – Commitment and
Sacrifice: Personal Diaries from the Great War
– Photo: 1918, German POWs in
France.

“The was is over, the war is over, we hug, we …

“The was is over, the war is over, we hug,
we cry, we shout, we hug some more. The war is over.”

After the Armistice, November 1918 – La saga
Servan-Schreiber: une famille dans le siècle
– Photo : Happy French soldiers @ Archive du
Finistère, France.

                                              …

                                                     Brighten the Corner Where You Are

This
famous WW1 photo depicts members of two ambulance companies resting in a
church in the village of Vaux. It was November 5, 1918, a week before the
Armistice, and the men were heading toward Sedan. In the image, Howard
Brock
plays the organ and leads the men in singing “Brighten the Corner Where You Are”,
a traditional church hymn.

General
Pershing
declared that “this picture exemplifies the spirit of the American
Soldier and is hereby officially designated as ‘The Spirit of the A. E. F.’”
The image was also Chief of Staff George C. Marshall’s favorite image. Tired of
images of American soldiers shown “drinking and carousing,” he
commissioned an oil painting of the reverent photograph to hang in his office
at the Pentagon, and after his death, it became part of the Marshall Collection
at the George C. Marshall Foundation.

Source: Marshall Museum  Photo: November 5 1918, members of the 317th
and 319th Ambulance companies and the 305th Sanitary Train in Vaux, Ardennes,
France –  from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.

                                              …

                                                               The Gospel of Hate

Hate
is a spreading poison
. It envenoms the whole mind. Like jealousy: “It is the green-eyed
monster which doth mock, the meat it feeds on.”

These men, living in
holes like apes, were taught the ancient code of the jungle law, to track down
human beasts in No Man’s Land, and lie patiently for hours in a shell-hole for
a sniping shot at any head which showed, to bludgeon their enemy to death, to
get at his throat with nails and teeth.

This code can become a habit
of mind.
It may surge up again when there are no Germans present, but some old
woman behind an open till, or some policeman with a

bull’s-eye lantern, or in a street riot where
fellow-citizens are for the time being “the enemy."’

Philip Gibbs,

WW1 British correspondant, describing what he called the “Gospel of Hate” during WW1 in his book “Now It Can Be Told” – Photo: WW1, France, French soldiers at the front.

                                          Nove…

                                          November 5 1918, “getting the gossip" from a soldier

“I just had the most wonderful time. I am so
glad and proud of having had the privilege to be over there. I wouldn’t have
missed the experience for anything.”

Mary Shannon Webster, American Red Cross canteen
worker looking back fondly on her wartime service in France – Photo: a famous
WW1 photo, taken November 5 1918, showing this same lady, Mary S Webster, serving
hot chocolate to an American soldier in Ménil-la-Tour, Lorraine, France. Text
& photo: syracuse.com

“Monday October 28 1918 – On duty at an …

“Monday October 28 1918 – On duty
at an artillery poste in
Barenton Bugny  Terrific
bombardments on trenches – All artillery concentrated on them & little bombardment in rear.
Many civilians are here reclaiming their old homes. Nothing left in them. Received mandolin box
sent June 13!”

American ambulance driver’s diary
in Aisne sector, France Diaries of Samuel Keplinger – Photo: WW1, Aisne
Sector, France, American ambulance & truck drivers playing mandolin.

“At St. Benoit there was a good French piano i…

“At
St. Benoit there was a good French piano in a German officer’s abandoned shack.
As I started to play the “Stars and Stripes Forever” the Germans
began shelling the vicinity. Though unable to compete adequately against the
noise, I finished the piece!”

Fall
1918, American soldier in the Meuse Argonne sector The United States and
World Peace
– Photo: Fall 1918  American soldiers enjoying a
musical interlude with a “captured piano” in the Meuse Argonne sector – The first world war Time-Life Books

‘October 15 1918 – We held a party in an…

‘October 15 1918 – We held a party in an old house the night before last when we stopped at Dreslincourt. We
built a roaring fire and Pernod flowed freely. I never had a
better time at any party. Each one spoke his piece or sang a song.’

American ambulance driver in Dreslincourt, France – Private Heller and the Bantam Boys: An American Medic
in World War
I – Photo: Famous WW1 photo showing Australian soldiers relaxing around a fire – Australian War Memorial