Category: us army

                                        “And y…

you know, Maggie – a wooden is not hereditary”

1919, American soldier returning home from the war, with a prothetic leg –  “You And Our Maimed Soldiers” – The Red Cross Magazine, Volume 14


                                                                    Bone Dry

‘The Prohibition Law went into effect in
June 1919, just in time to greet the million and more American soldiers who
were returning from the War in France and who had acquired abroad a taste for
wines and spirits only to find their own beloved native land had gone bone dry. But
not for long. Within days after
the Prohibition Law had gone into effect, the illegal traffic in drinks was
underway and in a big way, never to be checked until Repeal in 1933′

Decanter Magazine

Illustration: a “changed” Lady
Liberty, and a prohibitionist welcome a returning soldier – Stars and Stripes, June 1919 – The
A.E.F. in Cartoon By Wally – The National WW1 Museum and Memorial

Note: The Wartime
Prohibition Act took effect June 30, 1919, with July 1, 1919 becoming known as
the “Thirsty-First”.

‘Wednesday, June 11 1919 – I used to kick abou…

‘Wednesday, June 11 1919 – I used
to kick about the rain – but thats gone – so I’ll have to complain of the heat
and it sure does get hot in this country. Worse than Missouri in August – We
were ordered  to this place [near Verdun]
to dig up bodies – at the rate we are getting this job done we will be over
here until about 1925. I’d like to get home to see everyone but there is no chance
– absolutely none – we can get away before July.’

Source: James
Robert Davis, M.D., Medical Corps,  816th
Pioneer Infantry Division – Missouri Over

‘It was a very gruesome task, and many of these people who worked for the graves registration
service had no sense of smell or taste – From the film footage I’ve seen, on
the procedure of disinterment and the processing of remains, it seemed that
they all became an automatism and were just doing a job. They had to set their
emotions aside. How could one cope if you were emotionally involved with every
remain that you would have to process?’

Chester and
Gertrude at War: Evansville WW I soldier honored century later –  Courier &

Video showing WW1 US Contractors
and army personnel removing the American dead from battlefield graves and moving
them to larger national cemeteries, or on ships for repatriation to the United
States: Burying the
Dead – From the Civil War to WW1

WARNING: The videos published on these pages contain
graphic content and may be upsetting
to some people.



“waiting, waiting, waiting”


“Why we’re here:
we’re here because we can’t
get home. The ocean is too wide, If it was narrow as the
Rhine, We’d swim to the other side. So we’re waiting, waiting waiting
until the ocean’s dry, then we’ll hike back to God’s country to Mother and
mince pie.”

June 1919, American
soldiers in France & Germany, waiting to go home – The Amaroc News: The Daily Newspaper of the
American Forces in Germany
  – Photo: spring 1919, American soldiers
in Brest, France, waiting to sail home –Tom Caulley


                                                                  “An easy victory”

‘In the Bois de Boulogne, one of the
beauty spots of Paris, the A.E.F. swimming championships
were held on June 5, 6 and 7, 1919.

The gaily dressed Parisians flocked to the lake each day in
thousands to see the Americans contest for the aquatic supremacy of their
Expeditionary Forces.

A. E. F. swimming championships proved an easy
victory for the swimmers from the Army of Occupation. The boys from the 3rd
Army had some fairly good swimmers, but they also had the advantage of good
German pools to train in and the advice of an expert swimmer, Charlies Tooze of
the Y. M. C. A., a man well known in Pacific Coast swimming

Text and photos: 100
years ago, in Bois de Boulogne, Paris –  Elimination meets to select the A. E. F. swim team in the Inter-Allied
a multi-sport event held
from June 22 to July 6, 1919 at the newly constructed Pershing Stadium just
outside Paris.

Sources: Official Rules for Swimming, Fancy Diving, Water PoloOfficial Athletic Almanac of the American Expeditionary
Forces, 1919

Gallica, France


                                                                   “Beaucoup fun”

vocabulary of the average Yank is limited to “Bung jewer! Beaucoup vin*!” — if it is necessary
to write “beaucoup” it is invariably spelled “bookoo” — Occasionally some linguist aspires to “Combien boutelle vin
blanc?* Trop cher!, Trop cher!*” That “trop cher” remark is just thrown in for
euphony; nobody has the slightest idea of the value of French money. It takes
too long to figure it out.’

*Bonjour! Lots of wine!” – “How much is the white wine? Too much! Too much!”

1919, American soldiers in France – The Michigan Alumnus, Volume 25 –  Photo: WW1, American soldier and sailors probably in St
Nazaire or Brest, France. The National WW1 Museum
and Memorial


                                                           “Another short snappy drill“

from the occasional “One — two — three — four” only a few commands are
given. One of these may be "Eyes
up, off
the ground, men!”
Soon the long- looked-for rest comes. Another short snappy drill and the skipper* says: “You fellows did fine
today, I am going to turn you in early."’

Drill Sergeant

1919 – A
Collection of Articles Containing the Experiences of a Small Unit While
Training for a Great Conflict – Photo: May 1919, American soldiers training in Esternach,
Luxembourg – The 33rd Division in Luxembourg, 1918-1919

“This morning, bright and early, a few of us g…

“This morning, bright and early, a few of us got together and tied sprays of
flowers to put on the graves of the soldiers who have died since coming into
Germany. It has been a very warm, cloudless day, and I have never seen a more
lovely one.

We drove up to the little cemetery on a hill overlooking Coblenz and the
smiling landscape all around. Such a quiet, peaceful spot, tucked away in the
corner of the woods, and not a sound to break the stillness. One hates to think of our boys buried in German soil, and yet, if it must
be, a more ideal place could not be found.

Welfare workers were
assembled, as well as a great crowd of soldiers and officers. The graves were
soon covered with flowers and flags and then we all stood in a large circle
waiting for the service to begin. Two or three companies of soldiers were
marching up the hill, and in a moment they appeared around the bend of the
road. A military band preceded them, playing the Chopin Funeral March.

The service was a short
one. At its end, a plane sailed close overhead and dropped flowers. Then came
taps, the saddest and most poignantly beautiful notes in all the world. For a
few moments thereafter an intense silence fell upon the crowd. Slowly the
soldiers filed out and down the winding road and were lost to sight.”

Memorial Day 1919, Marian
American YMCA worker in Germany, Canteening Overseas,
– Photo: Memorial Day 1919, Coblenz, Germany

    “Pour votre demain, ils ont donné leur auj…

    “Pour votre demain, ils ont donné
leur aujourd’hui – For your tomorrow, they gave their today”

Speaking of the high respect of the French people
for Memorial Day, an American volunteer writes: “For
three days men, women and children gathered flowers and
foliage for wreaths to decorate the American graves on May 30. All over France, the day was
set apart, and even isolated resting-places of American soldiers
were remembered.” Source

Photo: Memorial day 1919, French people and children bringing flowers to decorate the American graves – Ministère de la Culture, France

Note: 2 years later, in 1921, same high respect:  Photos
showing children decorating American graves all over France –
“Memorial Day in France – All American Tombs Decorated by French Children”

“Rambled  through Paris to the boulevard des C…

“Rambled  through Paris
to the boulevard des Capucines and sat and drank a petite biére on the terrasse
of the Café de la Paix, watching the
ever-interesting passing show of the boulevard.”

1919, Sidney Alderman, American infantry captain who, after the war, settles in Paris’ Latin Quarter to study at the Sorbonne – Three Americans in Paris
Image: After WW1, the “passing show” au Café de
la Paix, Paris – A snippet from
the amazing video “Seeing Paris: Part One: On the Boulevards” by American Traveler Holmes Burton