Category: wednesdaymotivation

“Wed. December 11 1918 – We have been ke…

“Wed. December 11 1918 – We have been kept
very busy until yesterday.
Now there is prospect of three weeks of rest before we go to Alsace, Lorraine,
or the vicinity of Cologne.

I was much amused by Father’s advice not to come home in a crowded ship before the influenza epidemic was over. I will wait if you wish; I must
wait no matter what we wish. There is no “dope" about our return. I do not
expect it for several months, not till the transportation system of the War
Zone is reestablished.

For now I
am going on permission
and may spend Christmas in Paris. Then I want to see the Riviera and some
sunshine!”

American ambulance driver in Belgium – Ambulance
Service in France: The Wartime Letters of William Gorham Rice, Jr – Photo:
1918, Soldiers enjoying the sunshine of Nice in France

                                             D…

                                             December 1918, walking free in Strasbourg

“To Strasbourg! To Strasbourg! To Strasbourg!  We
are again French! We are freed and saved in liberty, equality, and fraternity: We are
French!”

Above all we must thank our two great allies, England, represented here by Marshal
Haig, and America, whose representative, General Pershing,
led our great armies, whose irresistible valor brought nearer the dawn
of peace, saving hundreds of our brothers from death and preserving Alsace and
Lorraine from destruction. And we turn in tribute to one of the greatest
figures of America’s glory, the leaders for
her three great wars, Washington, Lincoln, and Wilson.”

And later

“We
did not realize the real significance of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty until
Mr. Wilson directed its rays upon Europe, cutting our shackles and casting them
among the heap of fallen crowns.”

December
9 1918, Mayor of Strasbourg’s welcome speech to French president Poincaré,
British Marechal Haig, American General Pershing and many other French & foreign officials. Photos:
December 9 1918, Strasbourg, French ladies and soldiers on their way to center-city to watch the presidential parade. The ladies are wearing the traditional Alsatian costume. Ministere de la culture

Sources:
The Day of GloryAlsace to the Alsatians?: Visions and Divisions of Alsatian – More photos of this day in the awesome city of Strasbourg: Imgur Gallica

“Sometimes it’s not so soft to be a cook…

“Sometimes
it’s not so soft to be a cook; especially on a hike like that, when all you’ve
got is a dinky little field-range.”

WW1
American soldier’s memoir – Heaven, Hell, Or Hoboken – Photo: December 1918, in
Waxweiler, Germany, in the march to Germany, American soldiers’ meal break.
The cooks are tending a “dinky little field-range” – Mr. Tom Caulley’s collection

November 28 1918 ‘My Dear Judge and Father,I a…

November 28 1918

‘My Dear Judge and Father,

I am well and happy over
the great victory and very thankful to God that I am still alive. For believe
me I sure had some close shaves. On the night of Oct the 9th was one of the worst

– Shells of all caliber were landing
over my head cutting branches from trees, shrapnel bursting and flying
everywhere over and around me. Men and horses being killed and wounded by the
score far and near and yet I was spared without a scratch. Strange it may seem
immediately after asking God to protect me, a feeling of absolute safety possessed
me and I actually slept out there in the open under that hellish shell fire.

We sure did turn that
expected German victory to a disastrous defeat in spite of all that died. And
thank God it is over. I never expected to be alive today. We are now following
up the retreat of the Germans to the Rhine River and are doing it by hiking
with packs and camp where ever we get to at night. We started to hike from St.
Maurice, we are now in German speaking country.
They seem to be very glad it’s
over and are very friendly.

Well Papa,
I must close. I am as ever your loving son’

In Luxembourg, Private Wm L Moylan’s letter – Mr. Ken Moylan – See
the entire letter @ Meuse-Argonne Facebook – Photo: American soldiers hiking
through the Moselle valley toward Germany. “Logistic in Motion: Supporting the
March to the Rhine”

‘Wednesday November 6 1918 – Awakened at…

‘Wednesday November 6 1918 – Awakened at 5
A.M., enroute for Marle at 6:30 with branchardiers & their baggage. We
were the first Americans in
Marle!! What a reception! People waved their hands; men tipped their hats. Civilians went wild when French marched
thru. Ladies embraced the
soldiers!

The
civilians are overjoyed. They say the Bosche’s morale is the lowest and admit their own fate. The Bosche
regime here was terribly strict & the civils liken their four years with
the Bosche to 4 yrs. Of prison.

Run
out to La Tombelle and back again to
Marle then relieved.’

American ambulance driver in the
Aisne sector, France – Google map Diaries of Samuel Keplinger – Photo: 1918, Aisne
sector, taken by an American ambulance driver, smiling French ladies and
soldiers standing front of an American ambulance. Weber State University

“We smile at each other acros…

“We smile at each other
across the counter and make bets on the opening date of my canteen in Berlin (a
joke that never ceases to be amusing) and I promise them free coffee and countless cigarettes. They laugh and make
remarks to each other as they carry their food to the tables, and I know they
won’t forget me.”

1918, American lady, Red Cross canteen worker in France – The Red Cross Bulletin; Volume 2 – WW1, France, Red cross canteen workers and soldiers smiling at each other. Library of Congress

“These past 3 nighs I have been waking up wond…

“These past 3 nighs I have been waking up
wondering if I am not dreaming, if i am
really here. We have lost
the habit of this restful silence. Everything is calm. Can it be possible? Our joy is growing. Every day we are getting used to happiness again.”

October 1918, a French civilian who stayed
in Lille, Northern France, during the German occupation – The Long Silence: Civilian Life under the German Occupation
of Northern France, 1914-1918 –
– Photo:
October 24 1918, Lille, relaxed French citizens reading a notification informing
the population on how to move around in the recently liberated city. La
Contemporaine

                                              …

                                                          “Almost impossible to see”

‘October 10 1918 – Today was a day of “beaucoup travail”. The boche sent
in thousands of gas shells so the cars were kept busy all day, all night. The starlight
brought the boche over but it made no difference. Later a heavy fog settled in
the Meuse valley and it was almost impossible to see. Today’s news announced that President Wilson answered Germany. He sort of
told Germany how to get off and how to do it. Hoping she does it. Today, the
British have taken Cambrai and are advancing on a 30 mile wide front.’

American ambulance driver in the Meuse Argonne sector, France – Diary of Arthur B Eddy – Orleans County Department of History
Photo: WW1, the Meuse a night. La
Contemporaine.

“Three trucks passed the park, but the fourth …

“Three
trucks passed the park, but the
fourth received a direct hit with a six-inch mustard gas shell. The driver and
five other men on the truck were but slightly wounded and were taken at once to
the dressing station, Everyone put on his gas mask and began to search
the truck for wounded.”

1918, American ambulance
driver in Meuse Argonne, France – 307 at home and in France – Photo: October 3
1918
, Meuse Argonne sector, US Camouflaged Mustard Gas Ambulances on the road at Very, France.  Library of Congress

“Worked on my car from 8A.M. to 5 P.M. Washing…

“Worked on my car from 8A.M. to 5 P.M. Washing it, cleaned it, greased &
oiled it, changed bands and other things to numerous to mention.
After
such work I forgot all about the front.

Used
the last of Aunt Jemima’s Pancake flower for breakfast. 

Getting
ready for permission!”

September 1918 – American ambulance driver’s diary in Dammartin, Aisne-Marne sector, France – Diaries of Samuel Keplinger – Photo: WW1, France, American ambulance drivers working on their car – The American Field Service Archives