Category: tbthursday

“Thusday November 14 1918 – Maybe moving to Ge…

“Thusday
November 14 1918 – Maybe moving to Germany. On loading detail as usual. Go to
church where Lul has our beds made in rooms – Cook bacon, spuds, and willy. Friends
come over and stay a while. Good fire in room. Will sleep good.”

American ambulance drive in
the Meuse sector, France – Diary of Happy  Gruenberg of
Ambulance Company 167,  serving with the Rainbow Division –Photo: 1918, American soldiers relaxing by the fireside. Illinois University Library

“With this first snow, gently covering the bar…

“With this first snow, gently covering the barns and sheds, woods and fields,
graves and crosses, along came winter… and silence and peace.”

1918, France
– D’une guerre mondiale à l’autre: (1918 – 1945) – Photo : WW1 – La Contemporaine

“Some Germans seemed glad to be captured and c…

“Some Germans seemed glad to be captured and could not stop talking
about what being under our artillery fire was like. They said it was like hell.”

Fall 1918, American soldier in the Meuse Argonne sector, France – New York Times Current History: the European war, Volume 17
Photo: 1918, France, a smiling German
prisoner.

                                              …

                                                                   
Whang!!

“Just
before Langemarck, in the dead quiet of the very early morning – not a sound in
hearing or a moving thing in sight – Whang!! – without warning – a huge blast,
a shower of powder,  mud and sods that
blinded. Crouched down expecting a hit every second – put on speed. Quite
calmly, fully expecting something besides dirt. Nothing to do but wait. It
seemed a long time, but was only a matter of seconds – and ‘twas over. Not a
fragment even touched the car – why, I don’t know. That shell was a big one and
it was beastly near. The right side of the car was pasted over with mud – so
was the top – and big sods. My face was black with powder.”

October 1918, American ambulance driver in Belgium –Amherst Black CatsPhoto: WW1,  close call somewhere at the front in France. La Contemporaine 

BRITISH FRONT – Oct 18, 1918 —To go into…

BRITISH FRONT – Oct 18, 1918 —To go into Lille this
morning was as good as anything that can come to a man who had seen four years
of war, and I am glad that I have lived to see the liberation of that city. I
saw the joy of thousands of people who, during all those four years, have
suffered tragic things, unforgettable outrages to their liberty and spirit.

It seems a miracle to them, now that it has come suddenly, and
they fill their streets like people in a dream. I saw the joy of vast crowds
and It was overwhelming. A lady broke through the ring, and, clasping both
hands, said: “I embrace you for the joy you have brought us.” She
kissed one on both cheeks, and it was the signal for general embraces.

The New York Times Current
History: Oct.-Dec., 1918 – Photos: October 1918,  the British army enters Lille, France
Library of Congres & La Contemporaine

                                              …

                                                         “Must have music!”

“October 12 1918 – Found an old organ in the church & had a
little music — But it suddenly went heavenward! Tough luck! Will try fixing the organ in the morning. Must have music! How strange it seemed to play the Lost Chord & the Doxology in the church — a ruin in the
battleline. It was twilight too…”

Diary of H. Andrew Wallhauser, a first lieutenant ambulance driver in the 165th Ambulance
Company in Exermont, Meuse-Argonne sector, France –
The New Jersey Historical Society

Photo: October 11 1918, a WW1 historic photograph showing this impromptu organ recital in the wrecked church of Exermont,
France. See awesome then & now photos of Exermont (photo#10) and its famous church
(photo#14).

“October 4 1918, Limoges, France – You s…

“October 4 1918, Limoges, France – You
see about all the time that I am off duty, I can get a pass and we are so handy here to town that we can’t help but
use them. The more we go downtown the more I want to go and I can just walk
up and down those streets for hours. Everything is so peculiar and interesting
and some things are so funny. I can’t learn much French but we find lots of English-speaking
people and all the kids are trying to learn all the English they can and they
sure pick it up fast.”

American
ambulance driver’s letter home, in Limoges, a WW1 garrison city in the interior in
France and where an American base hospital was set up in summer 1918. – Loren Elliott’s
letters – worldwar1.com – Photo: 1918, little kids in Limoges, France, photo taken by an American soldier. The National WW1 Museum and
Memorial

                                      “We thou…

                                      “We thought the going would be easy, but it was not.”

September 27 1918, going from Bethincourt to Hill 304, France – “Hill 304 was covered with human skeletons, the meat having
long fallen from the bones. Who could they be? Yes both German and French, who
had been killed in the early part of the war during the great drive and who
could never be buried, because this had been ‘No Man’s Land’ for four years.
Those who were not buried were attacked and eaten by beasts of the field and
the vultures of the air. In walking over this hill plenty of human skeletons,
guns, bayonets, helmets, and scraps of uniforms scattered here and there could
be found.”

Photo: Transport Congestion, Hill 304, Bethincourt, 9-27-18, second day of Argonne offensive. History of the 318th Infantry Regiment

Meuse-Argonne Offensive: 80th Division – YouTube

“Almost expressionless, silent, they resign th…

“Almost expressionless, silent, they resign
themselves to the attendants as if these men are the deaf ministers of some
inexorable power.”

WW1, France, American ambulance writing about the wounded he sees and rescues on the battlefield  – A volunteer poilu – Photo: famous and poignant photo taken September 26 1918, in Varennes-en-Argonne, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. This poor soldier of 

the 110th Infantry (10th Pa.)

has just been wounded,
and is receiving first-aid treatment from a comrade.

   “Nothing there but the real things, absolut…

  
“Nothing there but the real things,
absolutely no sham of any kind.”

“I
saw a scene last night in Neuvilly that I want to tell you about.

Picture a
church about the size of ours at home, with all the north wall out except a supporting column in the
middle, holes in all the other walls, all the windows gone, the floor covered
with debris of wreckage. Over the altar is a beautiful picture
of Christ ascending to heaven; beneath the picture is the office of the field
hospital, some wounded on stretchers in the northeast corner.

About one fourth of the way from the west
end of the north wall, a fire had been built, around which were three
Salvation Army lassies (God bless them), among about two hundred men. These
were the men who had been facing death a thousand times. Men who
looked as though they were chilled through and through; soldiers on their way to the
front, doctors who had been working for days without rest; drivers off ammunition
and ration trucks, who had been at the wheel day and night; wounded on their
stretchers enjoying a smoke.

And as I stepped in the door there were the feminine voices singing the good
old American tunes we all know so well, and not a sound in the church but the
distant booming of big guns…

Every man in the building that night was in the very presence of God. It
was not a religious meeting; it was a meeting full of religion. There was nothing there but the real things,
absolutely no sham of any kind. Oh, it was wonderful!

This picture will ever stand fresh in my memory and I hope you
can get just a little idea of what it was. I wish you would keep this letter. I
want to be able to read it in future years.”

September 1918 –
American  officer’s letter to his wife, talking about
the scene he witnessed in this church of Neuvilly.
The
War Romance of the Salvation Army
American Women in World War
I: They Also Served

Photo: Historic photo taken September
20, 1918,
in the church of Neuvilly, Meuse, France, showing men of the 110th Sanitary Train setting up a field hospital. 

See more interesting photos of this
chuch, the village of Neuvilly, & then and now photos HERE.