Category: wednesdaywisdom

                               ‘A short pilgri…

                               ‘A short pilgrimage over the hills to
the little town of Domremy’

24 1919
– Last Sunday, I rode over to the home of Joan of Arc, in the little
village of Domremy, about five miles from here. The house is supposed to have
been built in the Twelfth century. Joan was born in 1412, over 500 years ago.
It is nothing short of remarkable that a house should stand that long! As you
go into the house, you enter the room in which Joan was born. In another room
is an old spinning wheel that she used. Upstairs are many famous oil paintings
and statues of her. About a mile from her house is the famous Basilique that
the French started to build in 1900 in memory of her. It is one of the most
beautiful and wonderful buildings I have ever seen. In this building are six
mural paintings depicting the principal events in the life of Joan of Arc. It
is truly a wonderful trip, and the road was lined with cars and horses. It
would remind you of Chicago on a busy day…’

April 1919,
in Brixey, France, American soldier’s letter to his parents – The College Spokesman volume
– Photo: 1918-1919, a group of American soldiers, chaplains, and nurses,
visiting this “famous basilique” in Domremy – From the great Tumblr “Josephine
by Hélène Lam Trong, a French-Vietnamese Journalist who traces the life
of an American WWI Nurse

Joan of Arc in WW1

“The sky seems lighter but we are not sure&hel…

“The sky seems lighter but we are not sure… Is morning here…? The whole world holds its breath to
hear the crimson Gallic rooster crow !”

May 1919, “To
France” by Ralph Chaplin – The home book of modern
verse: a selection from American and English poetry of the twentieth

Photos: WW1 French soldiers holding the precious French
rooster they found in the rubbles – La Contemporaine – Read about
the Gallic Rooster, a symbol of France. And here: Notre Dame Iconic Rooster Retrieved

                                     “The men…

“The men like me. I suppose they feel my sympathy”

“You see
what I have done is follow the army and offer my services at different hospitals.
They accepted me gladly and asked me to go on night duty.  I was
with a head nurse. We had about eighty patients. I rubbed dirty, lousy backs
with alcohol; gave them water and food. After a while they gave me a ward of my
own. The men like me. I suppose they feel my sympathy. I can let a dying man
hang on my neck and smell the awful putrid wounds of him without minding at
all—I mean I just think of him. I slept for six nights in a closet, seven by
five, on a board; the room next to me was piled eight feet high with bloody,
putrid bandages; no one had time to clear them away. I am pretty tired, but I can
hold out.” 

March 1918, near the front, France – Maude Radford Warren’s letter home –
The University of Chicago Magazine, Volume 11

Note: Maude Radford Warren was a Canadian
born author who, during WW1,
joined the American Expeditionary Force. She rose from private to captain in
just seven months. She was later made an honorary major. She also volunteered
in hospitals, and worked as a war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post.

1918, near the front in France, Maude Warren, saluting and being saluted by the soldiers.
More details & photos – Missouri
Over There

“We’ll make everything new – today…

“We’ll make everything
new – today is the Year I. Today is the sunny
morning of the first day of spring. We
gulp our coffee, splash water on us, jump into our clothes, run downstairs, set
out wide awake into the first morning of the first day of the first year.”

Spring 1919 John Dos Passos, American ambulance driver and author –

1919: Volume Two of the U.S.A.

– Photo: WW1, French soldiers and American ambulance drivers & soldiers, holding hands while standing on a former battlefield in France. Veteran History Project
– Library of Congress

    “If it hadn’t been for you, dear wom…

    “If it hadn’t been for you, dear women,

we couldn’t have gone on”

‘At home and on the
front, in every city, in every home was a woman, a woman who worked. Who gave her
all.  Working, striving,
suffering, smiling, laughing, crying.

And if it hadn’t been
for you, dear women, who gave so willingly and worked so gladly, who cheered
us when the days seemed dark and inspired us when the dangers were terrible, we couldn’t have gone on, we’d
never have gone through.’

“WW1, an ode to women – Twelfth U.S.
Infantry, 1798-1919
– Photo: WW1, somewhere near the front in France,  American Salvation army ladies handing out
goodies to American soldiers.


                                            “It was a bit less bad because we were friends”

‘We only knew that we were young and
life was just a bit more bright because we were friends.

The world moves on, and each of us has known the day when life
seemed bitter, bad, and grey. And yet it was a bit less bad because we were friends.

Let others sing of rich romance, of love’s undying flame — Alone
I raise my voice to say that I am certain, whatever share of deep, true love the future
sends me; I never shall forget the girl whom I knew as a friend.’

1919,  American Poetry Magazine, Volumes 1-2

Photo: WW1 American soldiers and Red
Cross nurses – @JenniferChronicles. Here, Jennifer’s post
about the rare WW1 photo album she found & bought in a flea market. She
writes “It is beyond coincidence that this
precious album, relegated to a junk table at a dusty flea market, made its way
into my hands. It is valuable and precious and it feels like the people in the
pictures chose me to be its caretaker.”

Jennifer Chronicles  Blog


                                             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

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

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.”

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

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…

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.”

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”

“We are quiet in our happiness. The firing cea…

“We are quiet in our happiness. The firing ceased, and the calm seems queer. But of course
everybody’s happy.”

November 1918, after the armistice, American soldier in
the Meuse Argonne sector, France –

Soldier in World War I: The Diary of Elmer W. Sherwood

– Photo: Wednesday November 20 1918, American
soldiers in Sermaize-les-Bains, France. Larry R. Kephart’s Collection