The World War I diary of A. W. Miller

(Apologies for the rough formatting of this page. I'm clearly not a web designer and welcome ideas for improvement!)

My mom, Evelyn Marvel (maiden name), had an Uncle Paul on her mother's side. When my Uncle Paul died one of his possessions was the diary you are about to read. My mom doesn't know who A. W. Miller is - distant relative, friend of Paul? A little genealogy is in order.

I have had the diary since my teenage years, and hadn't read it probably since first receiving it. My 12 year old son (2006), however, loves history. He can't get enough of it. When he learned of the diary, he excitedly asked to read it. To better preserve it, though, we decided to carefully scan it in. The original scans are much larger than the ones shown on the following web pages.

While Mr. Miller points out that this is a copy of his original diary, it seems that he copied it partway through his time in Europe. Later pages contain names and addresses written by people he met in France, and the names are mentioned in the next diary entry. So at least a portion of the diary must be original. But I can't help wondering if his first diary is the hands of a family in France...

After scanning, I typed the script preserving linebreaks, misspellings, typos, and so on. I am all too human, however, and have probably introduced an error or two. Feel free to point any out that you discover! We are also very interested in any information that might tie other people to Mr. Miller, as well as any general comments or thoughts you might want to share.


I got my wind up honey while laying way out in No Mans Land
And when the shells are coming fast,
I'm afraid I'm smelling gas
Each shell is coming near
Seems to have my name in letters large & small
And when the shells are flying near
I'm afraid I'm stopping here


Machine gun bullets are whistling around me,
The old tin hat seems mighy small
Inside I'd like to crawl
And hug the ground like porus [sic] plaster
My head feels heavy & my knees weak,
I bite my tongue every time I speak

When the shells are dropping near
I'm afraid I'm stopping here
In No Mans Land where you hear
that shell hole rag

Whiz Bang

[See last page]

This is not my original Diary. The
original got quite tattered & soiled so
I copied it word for word in this
French Book. The original lays "somewhere in France"

Gunner. of Cannoners
Hdqr. Co. 108th N.S. Inf.
American Expeditionary Forces
Somewhere in France.

[1st two pages unfortunately missing]
wash-houses in the rear.
It seems strange to live
in a warm building &
gaze through windows once
more. We are under
quarantine for 21 days
not because of sickness
but because we will sail
for France any day & no
man is allowed out of
the grounds where he
might mix with question-
able people.

May 10th 18,

At 4 a.m. today we packed
our belongings & silently
marched thru the outskirts
of a small town to the
docks where our transports
awaited us. Just before
we marched up the
gang-plank some bloke
in Co. C- turned yellow
& attempted to desert. My
ship is H.M.S. Kursk -

- is an old Russian cattle
boat which was torpedoed
once by the Germans.
About 12 oclock noon we got
up steam & headed for the
land of adventure. I found
myself wondering as I
waved goodbye to America
whether or not I should
see her shores again.
The eats aboard this ship
are simply awful. The
bread we get is stale - the
meat tainted - & one man
doesn't get enough to feed
a healthy young kid. The
crew mutinied & are all
under arrest. I have
been assigned to a life
boat crew owing to my
experience in the U.S. Navy,
Each boat is provisioned &
carries a water cart. Everything
seems to be in shape
should the worst happen
& we are sunk.
When we entered the war
zone one could notice the
strained expressions on
many a youthful face. A
feeling of tense excitement
seemed to prevail through-
out the ship, but save
for one or two exceptions,
everyone was outwardly
cool & collected. Of course
each man wore his life
belt constantly & we all
knew precisely what to
do in event of an attack.
Our convoy up to this
time consisted of only
one American cruiser but
when a fleet of swift U.
Boat chasers met us we
didn't think Fritz stood
much chance. At night
though it was different.
Our huge transports (1,4)
loomed up vividly against
the horizon, where as it
would be impossible to

see the small periscope of a
submarine skimming along
the surface of the sea.
We encountered some rough
weather one day & most of
the boys were awful sick.
The ship rolled from side to
side & everytime mess call
sounded I noticed that the
fellows carrying the eats
usually slid all over the
deck & spilled the chuck.
The mess hall on these
occasions looked like a
garbage plant.
About May 20th, I heard our
guns firing & quickly
ran to my station expecting
the ship to be torpedoed.
When I got on deck great
excitement was in evidence
& although I searched the
sea expectantly, I couldn't
sight any hostile U-Boats.
I learned later that
4 submarines were after
us & that at least two of
them were sunk. That
night I thought we were
bound to get it as the
sailors said the surround-
ing waters were full of
German U. Boats.
But nothing happened & on
May 23rd we sighted France.
We worked all of that
night unloading the ship
& on the 24th we dis-em-
barked & marched to a
grove on the outskirts of
the city, which was Brest.
We pitched pup tents in
this grove & remained
there for 3 days. A small
Belgian Boy told me his
mother & father, also him-
self, had been deported
into Germany & that one
day when they failed to
halt at the command
of a Boche sentry, a bomb

was thrown, killing the
boys parents & severely
wounding the boy himself.
He showed me a huge
scar on the small of his
back, also a scar on his
tongue, which he claims
was made when a German
thrust the point of a bay-
onet thru the tongue. Such
acts as this & the Lusitania
sort of encourage a fellow
to shout to kill when the
Huns are in range.

May 27th 1918.

Today we left Brest in
small freight cars labeled
Cheveaux en-long 8- Hommes
36-40. Our destination
is unknown but we
stopped for a few minutes
in Lorival, France where
I bought some cheap
beer. Travelling in these
cars is a torture. We
are packed in tightly &

have only cold iron rations.
Also the nights are chilly
& one cannot sleep because
there is no room to stretch
out on the floor.

May 29th 1918.

Arrived at Noyales in the
Somme Sector. Last night
Hun aeroplanes hovered
overhead & dropped bombs,
our railroad being their
objective. They missed
however & succeeded only
in killing a poor cow.
On the night of the 29th we
camped in British tents after
a long hot march. The
Germans were overhead
again & we sure expected
almost anything but no
bombs were dropped
near us. All nights were
blown out & no smoking
was allowed.

Today I learned that
the Y.M.C.A. man aboard


our transport, the Kursk (or
as we called it, Cursed) was
a spy & had been shot
accordingly. May his soul
rot in Hell - the two faced

May 30th 1918.

Chanchy, France. After a
long march during which
I suffered with blistered feet
we arrived here & are
billeted in French barns &
houses. At about 10 P.M. on
this night German machines
were directly overhead. I
could see them dimly against
the dark background of the
sky, but the hum of their
motors was plainly discern-
able. One bomb shook my
billet as though it had
been a leaf & I quite
expected a shower of
bricks & plaster down
my head.

May 31st '18

It was plain Hell again
tonight & the poor French
people in whose barn I
am billeted were so
frightened that they went
down cellar & remained
there all during the
raid. Overhead I could
hear the hum of machine
guns so I knew a battle
was on up in the clouds.
The Allies sent up many
star shells & fired on the
Germans with anti air-
craft guns. The bursting
shrapnel overhead was a
wonderful sight but I
commenced to think of
other things when a shell
passed thru the upper
branches of the tree under
which I was standing.
Abbeyville, the next
town, was the German

objective of this raid & from
the number of bombs dropped
I guess much damage was
done. Nine girls, all W.A.A.C.
were killed.

June 1st 1918.

Wow! What a wine party
we had today. Suffice to
say I drank my share &
was pretty well under
the weather.

June 2nd 18,

I was on patrol duty today
& noticed many refugees
fleeing the town. It
seems that the Germans at
this front are advancing
for we can hear the
roar of guns in the dis-
tance & a constant stream
of men & supplies is
going by toward the line.

June 3rd 18,

Today Sergt. Jones, an old
service man was reduced.
In Brest he was drunk
one day & hit a little girl
over the head with his
pistol. Today he was tried
& put back in the ranks.
Word was flashed over the
wire that spies were in
Chanchy. We scattered & another
fellow & I went hunting
them together. We had
lots of fun searching houses
& ruined buildings.
Since my arrival in France
I noticed many of the old
historic drawbridges &

June 9th 1918.

Today 4 of us went hunting
thru the Creay Forests.
Saw a big wild boar but
couldn't get a shot in.

When we got hungry we
approached a flock of
chickens near a farm house
& silently drive them into
the woods. We had one
hell of a time catching
them owing to the thick
brush but finally we
nabbed two nice plump
ones. There was no water
around so two of us
went to another farm
house hoping we could
borrow a pail but the
woman couldn't understand
us so we gave up in
disgust & filled our hats
with water out of the well.
I guess she thinks we are
crazy. Later in the day
we saw a bunch of
German Prisoners working
in a saw mill. One of
them said - You Americans
come far to be killed! Hah!
Wait until we get in the line.

June 11th 1918.

Today I was on kitchen
detail & gave a firey
wop a piece of soap
in place of cheese. After
he took a bite I thought
my life wasn't worth a
nickel. He sure was
some mad. New rifles,
the British Enfield, were
issued today, also steel
helmets. Another raid took
place about 11 P.M. The
firing was extremely heavy
& my billet was jarred
considerable. During every
raid something seems to
remind me about that
new song - "Some day
somebody's going to get you!
I wonder - !

June 13th 1918.

Eats are not very plentiful
so I often raid the kitchen
in order to fill up. Hard-
tack & corned beef are in
abundance, but who the
devil can eat such stuff?
Today I walked about 4 miles
to the W.A.A.C. camp. These
girls work in Abbeyville
during the day but as a
raid occurs almost every
night they are lorried
out to these woods where
they sleep on the ground
in tents. They are all either
British, Scotch, Irish or
Canadian girls.

June 14th 1918.

Today we marched to Domvast
France where we were
issued gas-masks. We
were put thru the Lachsy-
meter chamber to test

our masks, & when we
removed them, our eyes
burned considerable.

June 18th, 1918.

My! What a day. We left
Chancy in full marching
order & hiked to St Blimont
21 miles distant. I never
saw so many men
drop out exhausted. My
feet were full of blisters
& every bone in my body
ached. It was a supreme
test of endurance. I am
sleeping in an old French-
man's wagon & as a result
got a nice batch of
cooties. They are fine
little friends to have
crawling around on one
body - bite like the
devil. These people dont
understand our language
so we have a lot of
fun mis-naming things

Abbeyville (2005)

June 21st 1918.

Houverilles France. Enroute
to this place we crossed
the famous Somme River
It was a long march & again
many men dropped out
exhausted. I am sleeping
on the floor in an old
chateau - shell torn &

June 22nd 1918.

Marched to outskirts of
Abbeyville & then took
Lorries to Rue St. Leger. No
supper was served & as I
was mighty hungry I
rustled some bread & jam
in a British Lorry. Alls fair
in love & war.

June 23rd 1918.

Today I was acting corporal
of the guard. Fair, a rather
nutty fellow, fired two
shots in the air & the
top serg't ordered me to
arrest & hand cuff him.

Poor Fair! I had him chained
to a big roller all night.

June 25th 18.

This is a payday but I draw
nothing owing to my allot-
ment having been over-paid.
I lost all my money on
the transport, $175.00 so
have been broke ever
since. Its hell to be
without smokes & the
price of other comforts.

June 26th 1918.
Wow! Ribble who I loaned
$60.00 in America paid
me 50 Francs & I celebrated
by getting potted on
champagne. I was rough
as usual & offered to
box anyone in the crowd.

June 27th 1918.

German planes overhead.
Heavy firing & one shell

Somme River

in its downward flight
passed quite close to me.
No planes were shot down.

June 29th 1918.

Big Divisional maneuver
today. I was sent out to
locate a certain battalion
& in my travels wandered
close to the front line. At
11.45 a.m. I strolled into a
French Cafe & drank some
English beer.

June 30th 1918.

Gas instruction today. It
seems that the Hun gas
is pretty deadly & we
are cautioned almost
daily against it. Ambulance
after ambulance passes
thru this city loaded with
wounded soldiers. I am
sleeping in an old
chicken coup & am lousy
of course.

[Looks like 2 pages missing here]
Anyway, we didn't wait
for their bombs. We
dove for the nearest shelter

July 7th 1918.

I am now in Abeele Belgium.
It was a long hot march
to this place & it was
a very sad & silent march
too as the whole country
seemed deserted & in ruins.
Passing thru so many cities,
especially Steenvoordie,
the tramps of our feet
echoed thru the
stillness like an un-
canny chant of a heathen
funeral. Not a soul
remained to greet us,
not even a dog remained
to bark a kindly greeting
& all we could see was
ruined houses & buildings
with gaping holes in
their walls.

This is the front called
Flanders & is noted for
its mud & rain. I'll say
its some muddy. The
British call our camp
site "The Bucket of Blood"
because we are under
shell fire & many men
have been killed here.
A little group of silent
wooden crosses are just
a few hundred yards
away & I suppose their
number will increase

July 8th 1918.

Last night was a hummer.
The enemy kept up an
incessant bombardment
trying to cripple our
transports & shells were
bursting all around.
We are billeted in small
elephant huts with a
two foot wall of sand

bags around the out-
side. The huts are
made of galvanized iron
but have wooden floors
on which we sleep.
Shrapnel wont hurt us,
but a direct hit means
goodbye. When I crossed
the Franco-Belgian Border
I noticed that for miles
the road was camouflaged
by a high screen of burlap
painted green. This road
is under shell fire
by the Germans who are
in position the other
side of Mt. Kemel, only
a few miles distant
Rumor has it that one
of the Kaisers son's is
buried under the monastery
at Mt. De Catts & for this
reason the building was
spared. We must carry
our gas-masks at all
times here, & a gas guard

is continually on duty.

July 9th 1918.

The day before we arrived
here a British Tommy had
his head shot off by a
Boche shell, & today an
American was shot in the
foot by a spy. I strolled
toward the front & passed
thru Rentliver, Belgium.
This town is completely
ruined. Not a single
building or house remains
whole. Our artillery is
all around us & when
the big fellows are fired
one is reminded of an
earthquake. The earth
just rocks. Overhead are
many Allied observation
balloons & each day Ger-
man artillery fires on
them. None have been
shot down so far but
many were forced to

descend when the German
shells bursted too close.
On these occasions shrapnel
would fly & hum thru
the air all around us.
The famous battlefields
of Ypres & Passandale Ridge
are only a few miles distant.

July 12th 1918.

Today I had a close one. I
was on my way over to
Hdqr. to fix up a gas
alarm when suddenly a
big shell whizzed by my
head & bursted about 50
yards away. I dropped
flat in a puddle of mud
& water so was saved
from the flying bits of
steel. Fritz shelled us for
about 2 straight ours today
but no gas was put over.
Several men - killed in action,
were buried. Their bodies are
simply wrapped in burlap

or an old blanket & then are
lowered in the grave. The
bugler sounds taps & the
chaplin offers a prayer.

July 16th 1918.

Today we were reviewed by
Sir Douglas Haig. In the
evening the Germans shelled
our area & for a time
we were kept guessing.
No damage done, however.

July 17th 1918.

Poor Davidson! He was one
of a party of men sent to
the trenches for general
observation & on his way
back was killed by
machine gun fire. He said
to the fellow next to him
Jesus! That was close wasn't
it? And the next instant
he toppled over dead. It
seems that he didn't feel

the bullet, which passed
clean through his body, &
simply imagined it was
pretty close to him. Davidson
was a good friend of mine
& I am mighty sorry to lose
him. He owed me $5.00 which
I loaned him in Ashville, N.C.
Who goes next among us?

July 18th 18.

I am now in Leulingham
France attending a special
cannon school. We rode in
Lorries all the way from
Abeele Belgium. I felt very
sore & stiff when we
finally arrived here. The
37 m/m platoon I belong to
requires specially trained
men hence the school.
Lately I've lived on mostly
greasy army stew & believe
I think often of mothers
pies & regular meals.

July 21st 1918.

Today I borrowed 20 Francs off
Lieut Stuart & visited St. Omer
where I had a good time &
was able to buy steak, eggs
& potatoes. But the steak
was horse flesh, so I didn't
relish it much although
I ate it. It was much
sweeter than real beef
steak. I sat in a French
Estaminet & was served by
a pretty French Mle. who
seemed very happy to wait on
the soldiers for among us
were Australians, Canadians,
New Zealanders, British, French
Italian, & a few of us Yanks.

July 26th 18.

Today the fellows were paid
& I collected some outstanding
bills. We had a big party
on Burgundy wine & that
night when I returned to
my tent I dragged Erico

across a puddle of mud &
water because he wouldn't
keep quiet. We are sleeping
on the ground here & at
night we have much
company in the shape of
worms, spiders etc.

July 27th 1918.

Erico is confined to his
tent as his clothes are
all wet & muddy. He is
very sore & dams me every
time I get in his sight!

July 30th 1918.

This was an exciting day.
Our cook, who is a nutty
old mountaineer lost his
pants, & entirely serious he
went looking for the thief
armed with a cleaver, a
big pistol & several huge
knives. Foley, who stole the
pants hid them in a
tree several hundred yds.
distant. At noon, which we

lined up for mess, the cook
who was drunk, looked
everyone over carefully with
a razor sticking inside of
his leggin. We kidded him
along a lot & he kept getting
madder & madder, threatening
to lick anyone in the line.
Someone gipped his razor &
then he refused to feed us.
Later, in a frenzy of rage
he grabbed a rifle & fired
two shots down the company
street. This ended our dear
cooks career for he was
promptly arrested & locked up.
Before this happened, he had
tacked a sign on his cook
shack, which read
"Come back & get the coat."

July 31st 1918.

This a.m. while breakfast
was being served a wop
& Jew got in an argument.
The wop hit the Jew
square in the face with

A pan full of oatmeal, O, La,
La, - what an awful mess.
Tonight a German raider was
overhead & our guns shelled
him heavily. He was forced
to withdraw before he
reached his objective. During
the day Allied planes pass
here returning from night
raids in Germany & they
fly low turning flips etc.
to amuse us. They are
very daring men, I'll say.

Aug 1st 1918.

Back again in the ruins of
Belgium. The little grave-
yard has increased considerably
since I left here & many of
my comrades are resting
beneath the famous wooden

Aug. 3rd 1918.

6:45pm I am now preparing
to go up to the front on a
working detail. The
prospect thrills me even

though I realize that I'll be
under heavy fire. While we
sat on the edge of a ditch
waiting for our lorry, a shell
bursted about 200 yds. away
& like a flash we all dove
into the ditch, regardless of
mud & water. We returned
from the front safely but it
was a ticklish job speed-
ing over hastily filled
shelled holes in pitch
darkness with Fritz's big
ones bursting all around.
One lorry in our rear
crashed headlong into a
tree & John Keller injured
his leg slightly. We were
on duty at the Front all
night loading material on
lorries & I saw one of our
balloons shot down in flames.

Aug. 5 - 18.

The regiment is now
occupying the front line

trenches at Mt. Kemel but
my platoon was not allowed
to go in as our guns draw
too much fire & the British
dont want us around. Ha!

Aug. 6 - 18.

At 1:45 P.M. we buried
Priv. Whalen of Co. E. who
was killed in action. I was
on the burial detail &
wondered, when I helped
lower the body, if some
day, somebody would
perform a similar duty
for me. It was a very
touching ceremony. Every-
one was bareheaded as the
band played Nearer My
God to Thee & a farewell
volley was fired over
the grave. Other old
friends of mine were

Aug. 7 - 18.

Today I raided a chicken
coop & gathered three eggs.

I then bribed a British cook with
a sack of Bull Durham to
boil them for me, expecting to
have a swell little supper.
But - when I opened the eggs
I found "chicken". More dead
men were buried today. Death
over here is swift & violent.

Aug. 8 - 18.

Last eve Fritz put over a
hurricane of shells. Its odd
to try & sleep under fire,
because one can't get away
from the thought that any
moment death may call on
you. We sure hugged the

Aug. 9 - 18.

Today Fritz put over 3 big
shells & wounded a sergt
in the leg. We consider him
lucky as he is now resting
safely in some hospital.
The wooden crosses in-
creased in number again
today. Next!

Aug. 10 - 18.

Late last night I was with
a party of men sent to the
front to act as escort for
troops being relieved. We
were under heavy shell &
machine gun fire as we
stood at the entrance of
the front line trenches but
none of us were hit.

Aug. 11 - 18.

Poor Carr! He went bugs up
in the line & was running
around half naked. I guess
he will be transferred to a
non-combatant unit. Whenever
a shell broke near him he
would scream My God! They
got me! And then he would
drop flat. Shorty Ames dis-
appeared in the trenches & it
is assumed that the
Germans came over on a
silent raid & captured him.
Poor Shorty! Johnis & Lauer
got mad when they failed

to silence a German machine
with rifle fire so they
climbed on top of a parepet
& started throwing bombs at
the Boche. Blitzski showed
plenty of nerve crawling
around No Mans Land & firing
off his flare pistol. The
Germans tried many times
to kill him but he was
always too quick for them.

Aug. 14 - 18.

3 P.M. Just now I am sweating
like a horse. I have been
digging graves & burying
dead men. Some of the bodies
stunk fearfully & one was
swarming with maggots.
War may be glorious alright
but when such a death as
this lies in the balance, I
can't see where its really
worthwhile, even tho' I'm
glad I'm over here.

Sunday - Aug. 17 - 18.

9 dead men lay in the grave
yard ready for burial. By
lifting up the burlap covering
them I could see the bodies.
Some were literally shot to
pieces. One poor chap had
his head blown off, another
had all his teeth shot
away, besides other gaping
wounds, & on most of the
rest I could see tattered
flesh sticking out of torn
clothing & mangled shoes.
One chap evidently wasnt
killed outright as he had
bandaged his head & perhaps
crawled in a shell hole,
waiting for aid, when the
shot came along which
finished him.

Aug. 22 - 18.

Fritz is busy shelling our
balloons today & shrapnel
flew all around me.
Many pieces missed me

by only a foot or so, & my
tent was riddled pretty
thoroughly. Hostile planes
also attacked our balloons
but were driven off by
gun fore. It was quite
exciting to watch them.

Aug, 23 - 18.

Last night I went to Wauto or
Watau, Belgium on a party
& while there Fritz shelled
the place & killed 3 Americans,
also several horses. My
seg't. went into the line again
today but the British
wouldn't allow us cannoners
to go along so we were
sent to Trappas Farm
where we are now camping.

Sept. 1 - 18

Today the Germans
evacuated Mt. Kemmel & we
are therefore ordered to
other parts. The 106th

Reg't. was smashed up bad
& lost many men when the
went over the top without a
preliminary barrage. About
4 P.M. today we packed up
& hiked through Steenvorde
to a nearby woods where
we are now in camp.

Sept. 2 - 18.

Last night the enemy
dropped bombs close to us
& a big chunk of dirt hit
me in the face. One of
our balloons was shot
down again today.

Sept. 3 - 18.

I am back on Trappas Farm
once more in charge of a
detail looking after property
& must see that the same
is loaded properly & follows
the reg't. when they move.
Last night was a bear. How
in Hell can a fellow
sleep when the Huns

are flying overhead & you
expect eternity at any mo-

Sept. 4 - 18.

Lorries were to have arrived
yesterday to convey this property
to a railhead. I feel that
we have been forgotten & if
this is so, we sure are in
a fine pickle. Our grub on
hand is barely enough to
last us another day, but
potatoes are available in a
nearby field & we can milk
the peasants cows, also kill
their chickens, should the
worst happen.

Sept. 5 - 18.

We are still stranded but
today I scoured the country
on a bicycle which I salvaged
& located a ration dump
which I raided pronto. I
got about 15 cans of jam,
20 loaves of bread, 20 cans
of beans, 2 big slabs of

bacon, several cans of milk,
a large hunk of cheese, a
bag of sugar & some tea.
This settles the eat problem
so now we dont care how
long we remain here. I
sold some of the sugar &
bacon, also my russet shoes,
so have beau coup Francs.

Sept. 6 - 18.

We four are having a
fine time here. I am the
chief cook & believe me
creamed & mashed potatoes
are my specialty. If I get
a chance I intend to shoot
some of these chickens
around here but the trouble
is the peasants are always
on the job. We have made
cots & get plenty of sleep.
It seems good to be away
from the call of a bugle &
strict military discipline.
Gee! Last night I had a
regular thrill. Was reading
in my tent by the light

[Arg. Two more missing pages...]

Sept. 11 - 18.

At 3 P.M. today I was back
in Calais setting in a
French movie. I couldn't
understand the play very
well but enjoyed the
music immensely. It
seemed like old times
again to set in a theatre
after my long association
with life up at the
line. Today several Red
Cross trains pulled in
Calais loaded with
wounded soldiers of all
nationalities. German
prisoners of war conveyed
the wounded from the
trains to big ships
at the docks, bound
for hospitals in England.

Sept. 12 - 18.

We left Calais last night
just before a big air
raid in which much
damage was done &

many people were killed.
Our breakfast this A.M.
consisted of only beans
which we warmed over a
candle. We are in the
outskirts of Abbeyville
today & I heard a Belgian
lecture in a Y.M.C.A. hut
on the deportation & cruelties
which his countryman
suffered at German hands.
It was very tragic. Later, at
night we sang songs with
men of different nationalities
but of course there were no
lights in the hut as Fritz
might happen along &
bomb us. At noon today
we built a fire along-
side the tracks & heated
canned army stew, also
made tea. After lunch
we strolled to Commune
Des Romechamps, looking
for potatoes but could
find none.

Sept. 14 - 18.

Last night our car was
bumped around fierce. I was
tossed all over on top of
our baggage & had a fine
time trying to sleep.
During the night we
passed thru Amiens, the
second largest city in
France & only about 18
miles north of Paris.

Sept. 15 - 18.

Am in Rosel du Auvat today
& think this is where we
will meet up with our
reg't. Several train loads
of fresh prisoners are here
& I saw one give an old
Scotchman his Iron Cross
for a cigarette. I yanked
a button off one prisoners
cap which I intend to
send home.

Sept. 16 - 18.

Back with the company
in Amplier France. Wagons

came after our baggage late
last night & we worked
until 3 a.m. getting it all
here. Today I went swimming
the first time since my
arrival overseas, but I couldn't
enjoy the water as its mighty
cold this time of the year!

Sept. 18 - 18.
This morning at 8.30 our
dentist bored a hole thru my
gum in order to reach an
abcessed tooth. Peachy, indeed.
The dentist has his quarters
in a quaint French school
house. The blackboards &
desks are still here, but
the children were taken
to a safer zone farther
in the rear. At 1 P.M.
today we started on hike
in heavy marching order.
The sun was blistering
hot & I soon had blistered
feet. We halted about
7 P.M. & pitched dog tents

Cathedral in Amiens

in an open field.

Sept. 19 - 18.

It rained last night so sleep-
ing on the ground wasn't
much of a pleasure. My
clothes were damp & I
felt very stiff when I
got up this morning.
We started out on man-
euvers about 6.30 a.m. & as
luck would have it my
gun crew got lost in a
very hilly & thickly
wooded country. None of
us happened to be
carrying iron rations
so we had nothing to
eat save for some wild
fruit which we chanced
on occasionally. Gee! But
my feet are blistered.

Sept. 20 - 18.

Today I drew my first pay
in France & immediately

won 155 Francs gambling.

Sept. 21 - 18.

Am in Doolaugh's tanking
up on champagne today.
On Monday the 23rd we
are leaving for the front
so I'm taking advantage of
this opportunity to have
a good time, because it
may be the last chance I'll
ever get.

Sept. 22nd 18.

O! What a head. I wish I
had a bag of ice. Last
night, after the doings, I
stopped in Atheule & slept
with Pat Schafer & John
Blitzski. This afternoon
I increased my winnings
to over 700 Francs & when
I paid a French woman
liberally for a dinner in
her home, she thought
I was a regular Creosus.

In order to relieve my head
I took another cold plunge in
the creek.

Sept. 24th 18.

We travelled all of last night
& yesterday in the usual
small, cold cars, & after a
long hike today, we reached
a neck of woods between
St. Quentin & Cambris where
we are now camping. We
rode thru Albert, Perronne,
& Arrga, & from this point
the front is only a few
miles distant. Perronne &
Albert are merely ghosts now.
They are literally blown to
pieces, the railroads are
destroyed & all bridges
blown up. Huge steel
girders are bent & twisted
as though they were so
much wire. It seems awful
that man's puny fleck must
battle the same Titanic forces
which caused all this

immense destruction. The
railroad on which we
rode had just been laid
by engineers so our progress
was very slow. Bridges had
also been thrown hastily
across all ravines & creeks.
The business of following
a retreating enemy in the
face of mined properties etc.
and establishing a line of
communication for forwarding
supplies & troops is one of
great complication & labor.

Sept. 25 - 18.

In the distance we can
see German observation
balloons so it is necessary
to keep under cover of the
woods as much as possible
else we may have a
rain of shells fall down
among us. Last night in
the dark I stumbled in

many shell holes & got
pretty wet & muddy. This
is the scene of former
hard fighting & all around
us is barbed wire. Hun
dug-outs & other German
articles of war. The enemy
was here in Force only
last week. We are forbidden
to enter dug-outs or pick
up Fritz's equipment, as
man a man has been
blown up by a hidden
mine. I have spread
small boughs of trees on the
ground in my pup tent so
have a better bed than
usual. Water is very scarce
here. We are issued only
one canteen full per day
which must answer for
washing, shaving & drinking.
How in hell can a fellow
keep clean with all this
water at his disposal?
Believe me, we are dirty
& lousy in the bargain.
This is a dam hard life

Sept. 27th 18.

As I record these words I
realize that they may be
the last. We arose early
this morning & after
breakfast rolled our backs
for a march to the line.
Our chaplin held a brief
service & among the most
fitting & impressive hymns
sung were "Nearer My God to
Thee" & Rock of Ages! Many
of the boys wrote a hasty
letter home, & while the
scene in camp was
orderly & quiet, one could
notice a strained expression
on many faces & feel
the tenseness of the
situation. This business
of going into battle was
not one for mirth, for all

of us realized that there
would be some in our
ranks missing on the
return march. All of last
night our guns just ahead
of up put up a terrific
barrage & again I ask - How
in hell can a fellow sleep
on a hard damp bed when
the air is filled with
splitting explosions & the
earth seems to be turning
upside down?
Finally the order came to
fall in & we slung our
packs, formed our squads
& marched forward singing
The Yanks are coming & Over There.
Somebody started to sing
Break the news to Mother but
we wouldn't stand for
any such sad stuff.
While everyone seemed
happy, I'll vouch for it that
this was far from our
true state of feelings. We
knew to a man what the
next few days would bring
us, for it was generally
understood that we were
to be used as sacrifice
troops in an effort to
break the Hindenburg Line.
At 6 P.M. we halted at the
foot of a big hill & scattered
in small groups. Our
artillery was in position
behind us so a steady
stream of shells kept
screaming overhead. About
10 P.M. we grew very sleepy
so lay on the ground huddling
close to each other as we
had no blankets. Suddenly
the hum of hostile planes
was heard approaching &
just as suddenly our guns
put up the worst air
barrage I had heard up
to this time. It was

hell to lay helpless out in
the open expecting a
bullet or bomb any moment.
Of course we got no sleep
& about 2 a.m. the order was
given to fall in. A big
interval was kept between
each platoon & when we
drew closer to the battle
line Fritz shelled us
heavily with gas. The
sky seemed to be a burn-
int red caused by the
enormous quantity of
shells exploding all around
us, & the air was filled
with poisonous stuff.
We all dove into our gas
masks but not before I
got a nice whiff of the
mustard species. It was
a torture to march with
a stifling mask on, the
skies overhead full of
screaming shells & dead
men laying on the road
side. Ahead of us a
whole village was in
flames & in the
flickering light, amid
the roar of mighty guns,
the files of armed
men looked grim &
deadly. One lad in my
rear kept clutching
my coat tail, while
another on my left
insisted on locking arms.
I didn't like this dis-
play of timidity but
said nothing. I thought
half of us would be
killed before we reached
the line & twice, when
shells whizzed close to
my head & exploded
just a few feet to the
right, I thought our
turn had come.

Sept. 28th 1918.

We arrived here early this
a.m. My dug-out is a small
affair in the bank of a
sunken road. The front
line is only a few hundred
yards distant, & talk about
being shelled - holy smoke,
this place is hell.
After marching all of last
night, I was picked for
duty as a runner &
wasn't relieved until just
now - 2.30 a.m.

Sept. 29th

Running from company
to company with orders
is a risky job. I was
shot at hundreds of times
by machine gunners &
sharpshooters & often I
was obliged to dash
across a piece of No-Mans-
Land - in full view of
the enemy. Bullets
were humming all
around me, & once when

I went to the 3rd Batt. Hdqr.
two men, close to me in
a shell wrecked trench,
were shot. The trench
was full of blood in
some places & several
wounded men were laying
on stretchers. It was too
risky to take the wounded
to the rear in daylight
but the attempt was made
in the case of a wounded
captain. The 4 stretcher
bearers were killed & the
capt. wounded a second
time. This happened only
a few feet from me. Many
dead Germans lay in No
Man's Land & almost at the
entrance of my dug-out
was a dead Fritz who was
so far gone that he
stunk. At night my
duties were pure hell.
I couldn't see where I
was going half the

time & was forever stumbling
over dead men or falling
into muddy shell holes.
Barbed wire also bothered
me & I had to be very
careful when I bumped
into a stretch of it because
of hidden mines. Poor Carter,
another Runner, tripped
over a wire & was blown
to pieces.
At 2.30 a.m. I was relieved &
tried to sleep but the roar
of guns & frequent gas
alarms kept me awake.

Sept. 29th 1918.

This has been a day of
violence & death. 10 men in
my platoon, including my-
self, were selected to go
Over The Top with the machine
gun co. when the big attack
started at 6 a.m.
We took up our position
in a trench as per orders

& stood waiting for zero
hour. As near as I can
recall, I wasn't afraid, but
I realized fully, as I glanced
out over No Mans Land, that
many of us would die there
very soon. Dawn was just
breaking when suddenly a
Verey signal light went up
& then with one accord
thousands of guns opened
fire & filled the air overhead
with shreiking shells. The
earth shook, & for a moment
I was dazed by the awful
magnitude of the barrage.
We scrambled over the
parapet, dragging our 1
pounder behind us but
before we had advanced
many hundreds of yards
a German shell blew up
our gun & wounded
Donnelly & Campano. I
piece of shrapnel crashed
thru a steel mirror

which I carried in my left
breast pocket, but didn't
penetrate thru a thick
package of letters underneath.
I was knocked down, & almost
lost consciousness. By this
time the Germans had
put up a terrific counter
barrage & I was caught in the
open. I dove headlong
into a small shell hole,
just made, & lay there wonder-
ing how long it would be
before I went west. Shells
were exploding all around
me but I was hit only
by chunks of flying dirt.
I realized that my chances of
living thru a barrage in
that small shell hole were
very slender, so muttering
a half forgotten prayer
I ran hell bent for
election to a trench
some few hundred yds.
distant. I never expected to
reach it alive, but somehow
none of the shells & bullets
whistling by my head
never touched me. I dove into
the trench & with my shovel
dug deeper for more protection.
When the barrage lifted, the
men in my platoon were
ordered to the rear as we
were of no further use
with a wrecked gun. But
I saw our tanks crawling
into action, firing as they
advanced, & stayed on the
battlefield to watch them.
Following the tanks came
the Australians, smoking
& walking calmly forward.
Suddenly the tanks ran
over a mine field & were
blown up. The explosion
was terrific, & the men
inside were all killed
or burned alive.

The battlefield was covered
with dead, dying, & wounded.
Many a man in the throes
of death would call loudly
for his mother or some other
loved one. Others in their last
moments read the Bible or
died, clutching a crucifix.
George Yerkes, a very good
friend of mind was
mortally wounded when we
went over the top, & died
a few minutes later. He
fell face forward, & when
stretcher bearers went to
pick him up, he waved
them away, as though to
say - no use - I'm done
for. Other friends of mine
were killed or wounded &
all told, my division lost
about 11,000 men in the
days attack. One lad, not
far from me, was wounded
in the shoulder. He pulled
off his shirt & lay in
a shell hole waiting to
be carried to the rear but
suddenly, a big shell
landed directly on top of
him & he went skyward
in pieces. The air was
full of gas. Fritz first
gave us a dose of sneezing
gas so that we sneezed
violently & could hardly
wear our masks. Then he
put over phosgene & tear
gas, while shrapnel &
bullets were singing all
around. I got plenty of
his gas, but it didn't
bother me as much as
wearing my beastly

Oct. 1 - 18.

It is a long time since I
have slept. I am very
tired, very muddy, very
wet & very haggard.

All of last night I was on
a ration party. I was
weighted down with bread
& had one hell of a time
pushing forward thru
barbed wire, over shell
holes, dead men, while
shells were bursting all
around & a terriffic rain
was falling. We were to
take the rations to the
men in the advanced positions
but when we reached Capt.
Farmer, who was to give
us directions, he was
scared stiff & owing to
the dark, he didn't know
which way to go. Finally
he decided that we had
better wait until dawn
before moving & when
he saw that we were
armed only with pistols,
he said, "My God men!
Get rifles & bayonets,
what will you do if
the Germans counter-
attack? So I took a
dead mans gun & all
night we stood in a
muddy trench, with
water almost up to
our knees, expecting
hell to break loose at
any moment. John Keller,
who stood next to me
was shot in the
face, while Homer Hood,
got a machine gun
bullet thru his helmet.
The Germans kept up a
steady fire & were
always sending up
signal lights. At day
break we were relieved
in order to go on a
salvage party. This was
another ticklish job as
we were out in the
open all day under
shell fire. Two or our

observation balloons were
shot down today but the
5 men in them leapt to
safety, using their parachutes.

Oct. 2 - 18.

The Division has been
withdrawn from the line
but I was left behind
with a burial party. I
aws many horrible sights,
arms - legs - heads -
& chunks of flesh laying
all over the battlefield.
We buried only bodies
that were in bad shape,
for instance - a headless
man. Those that werent
badly shot up, we
placed in piles, & later they
were taken to a cemetery
in the rear. We were
under fire all day as
usual, but none of us
were wounded. Today
I nearly pulled a

German bayonet that
was wired to a mine,
O - La, La. Goodbye A.W. if
I had pulled it. Eats are
dam scarce around here
& today I was so hungry
that I searched among
the dead until I found
a can of sardines which
tasted mighty good. I also
drank a dead man's water
as there was none other
around. Going into the line
we took no blankets with
us but I salvaged a German
overcoat which afforded a
little warmth when I lay
in my muddy wet dug-out
at night. I stood at the
entrance of my dugout about
7.15 tonight when suddenly
a shell screamed by my
head & broke in the bank
of the road about 8 ft. away.
I thought that Oberg was
killed but both of us

were fortunately unhurt. Pieces
from the shell crashed all
around us. Another shell
landed in a nearby dug-out
& killed Jack Broschay & Gier,
wounding a few other boys.

Oct. 3 - 18.

The Hindenburg line is a
marvel. Trenches are about
14 feet deep with cement
walls & all dugouts are
at least 60 ft. deep. Some
are equipped with electric
lights, wooden floors, rugs,
pianos etc. all this stuff
was taken out of French
houses by the Germans. The
dead number into the
thousands on this battlefield.

Oct. 4 - 18.

Tincourt, France.

It is a relief to be away
from the hell of war again.
I bathed today in a creek
& the water was like ice.

but I sure needed a bath
mighty bad.

Oct, 5 - 18.

I have a vicious cold & feel
very sick today. Sleeping on
the bare ground these
cold nights is certainly a
bad experience. We were
notified today that we go
in the reserve trenches
soon & I wonder if I can
live thru another rain
of shells. It is very evident
that I was slightly gassed
as my mouth is blistered
& I am vomiting green.

Oct. 6 - 18.

The doctor orders me to
remain quiet today as
exercise often kills a
soldier who has been

Oct. 8 - 18.

Still sick but in no danger.

At 7.30 p.m. we were ordered
to advance toward the front.
Being very weak I couldn't
carry a pack, & as we hiked
all night, I was in bad
shape & actually tottered along.

Oct. 9 - 18.

Fell better today. Slept a
little in an open field.

Oct. 10 - 18.

Braincourt, France.
Under fire again. I lay in
my pup tent which I pitched
close to a small bank when
suddenly a bunch of shells
descended on us & tore things
up badly. I was re-reading
one of dads old letters at
the time & I guess this
saved my life because a
piece of shrapnel passed
thru my tent & just
nicked my elbow. Marching
to this place we passed
thru many villages just
evacuated by the Germans.

Their signs hung up every-
where & all French streets
were named after famous
German leaders. A dead
woman lays in a bed about
100 yds. from me. She was
shot thru the stomach & I
suppose the Germans did it.

Oct. 11 - 18.

The call to arms blew at
6.30 this a.m. We had hard-
tack & black coffee for
breakfast & then pushed
forward. A mine exploded
a few hundred yds. ahead
of us & as we were under
observation I suppose the
enemy thought we were on
the spot at the time. But
fortunately we had halted
in the village looking
for suitable billets. I
hope the day of long marches,
blistered & death at
every corner will soon be
nothing but a memory.

Water in this country is
mighty scarce. I go for days
at a time without a wash &
weeks without a bath. The
Germans poison most of the
wells in their retreat & also
blow up all bridges, rail-
roads etc. Every village we
march thru is usually in
ruins. Dead men, especially
Germans, lay everywhere, but
we do not bury them as
they are often mined. I forgot
to say that in the battle at
Hindenburg line one of our
boys saw his brother lay
ing dead in a shell hole &
he went stark mad at the
moment. A detachment of
German prisoners was
marching to the rear &
when he saw them he
opened fire with a machine
gun - killing them all.
The Boche sniper who was in
Bullecourt received a wound
& was captured by our boys.
While being taken to the
rear on a stretcher, an
Aussie inquired who the
German was, & when told, he
killed him. The Scheldt.
canal ran under Bullecourt
& the Germans had barges
in the tunnel all loaded
with property taken out of
French houses. My division
is classed as shock or
sacrifice troops. When a
strong point is to be taken
at a dear price in lives, we
do the job. Hell ain't it?
The French people who we
liberated from German captivity
hail us with cheers & tears.
Viva La America, the cry.

Oct. 12 - 18.

Hiding in the woods today &
from where I stand I can
see German balloons just

beyond the ridge. Being under
hostile observation, we all feel
that we may be fired on ay any
moment, so have split up in
small groups. We were told
that we were only going in
reserve, but now orders are that
we take over the front line
& go "over the top". I feel a
little downhearted because one
never knows how lucky he
will be when in the thick
of another battle. I have been
picked to take the first gun
in action. A letter just came
from my mother. I wonder
how she would feel if she
knew I was preparing to go
into battle - to kill &
perhaps be killed.
Later. - We advanced night
after dark. As we stood on the
edge of of the woods forming
our ranks, the Germans put
a box barrage over on us
& killed about 15 of our boys.
The colonels horse was also
killed. A German spy in a
nearby town signaled our
positions to his artillery. The
Australians captured the spy,
also his orderly, & shot both.
I am under cover in an old
filthy horse stable, just a few
yards behind the front line.
The air is full of gas & many
dead men, women & children
lay around here. An old man
is dying just a few feet from
me. About midnight I was
awakened, or rather startled by
rifle fire just outside of my
barn. Drum was with me
& we both jumped to our
feet thinking that Fritz had
come over. It was strange
to stand in the dark, facing
the door, ready to shoot
down the first man who
entered, but lucky for us
the firing was merely to

give the alarm because a
deluge of deadly gas just came
over. When the fumes reached
us we donned our masks &
were safe. Later - Fritz put
over a heavy bombardment
with his big guns & my
barn was blown up. I got
a nice shower of bricks but
wasn't hurt. Four fellows in
my company who were in the
next shack were killed, blown
to pieces. More of us will
go from time to time, & I wonder
if I will be aomng the
unlucky. Still - death is
a mighty big relief from all
this hell. A mans nerves
are taunt every minute &
with gas, shells, bullets etc.
life is damned unpleasant.

Oct. 15 - 18.

This a.m. I went "over the top"
with the first wave. Germans
surrendered by the crowd, &
I robbed one big bloke at

the point of my gun. Another
who refused to stop running
away from me when I
commanded him to halt, I
shot thru the buttocks. Eight
Germans who manned a
machine gun were killed by
3 shots from our 1 pounder,
fired by myself. Martin was
shot thru the head & as he
lay on the ground, the Huns
riddled his body with bullets.
Dick Smith was also killed
right next me. A German
sniper ahead of us got him
but Patsy outflanked the Boche
& killed him with the bayonet.
We forded some river & everyone
of us got wet. The enemy
was on the opposite bank.
Callens cried because we got
mixed in some gas & his
mask was wet & useless.
It was hell alright to be
in gas without protection
but Callens lived somehow.

Later, Callens lost a leg. Men
were dropping all around me,
& several bullets tore holes
thru my slicker. I ripped my
arm on some German barbed
wire. When the enemy retreated
we took posession of his
dug outs & captured great
quantities of supplies & clothing.
I ate German food, drank
German rum, & used German
blankets for covering.
A machine gun nest was
raising hell with our boys
so the 1 pounder was ordered
out again. We dashed from
shell hole to shell hole, trying
to get a good position for
firing, & when we lay in one
hole, a shell landed right
on the edge of it & lifted all
of us several feet in the
air. I thought all the boys
with me were killed, but
fortunately none were wounded
By this time the Australians
put up a smoke screen &
under this cover charged the
German machine gun nest
& wiped out every man.

Oct. 15 - 18.

Am now resting comfortably
in a hospital in Dury
France - just outside of
Amiens. I was gassed in
my right eye, & same is
totally blind. I knew when
I left the front line that
some road was under fire
but I didn't know which
road it was. As luck would
have it I chose the danger
road & two rifle bullets
zipped close to my head
before I got under cover.
Its great here in the hospital.
My nurse is an English girl
& because I'm an American
she treats me fine. It is
hoped that my sight will
be saved but an operation

is necessary. The eye is swollen
& discharges matter. Men of all
nationalities are here, even
wounded Germans.

Oct. 17 - 18.

An eye specialist has taken
charge of me & this a.m. my
eye was operated on. Three
incisions were made & the
ordeal was very painful, no
anesthetic was administered.
My nurse who stood by, kept
muttering poor boy - poor boy -
& the specialist said - "Sorry to
hunt you old chap, but its really
necessary. God! But its nice to
be away from the hell of war!
Here everything blooms with
life, but at the front, not even
a tree or the sheaves of of grass
are green with the throb
of existence. Everything is withered
& lifeless in that hole of
hell & misery.

Oct. 19 - 18.

Last night I sneaked out of
the hospital & had a great
time. I befriended two
English nurses who were
being annoyed by a nutty
old Frenchman. My eye is
still doubtful & discharges a
lot of puss.

Oct. 20 - 18.

A very wild & wooly day.
Sneaked out again & spent about
300 Francs. Met an American
girl & it sure was good to
talk to her.

Oct. 21 - 18.

Eye is improving & when the
doctor removed the bandage & looked
at it today, he said I would
recover my sight.

Nov. 1 - 18.

Back again with my company
in Foilloy France. Am sleeping
on a cement floor in a
shell torn house,

When it rains we are nearly
swamped. I find a lot more
faces missing in our ranks &
these boys were killed the
day after I left the line for
the hospital. On my way
back I had to cross 3
bridges that were mined.
Blood poison has developed
in my left arm owing to
the barbed wire gash I got
at the front.

Nov. 6 - 18.

Arm was cut yesterday by
the doctor. No anesthetic was
given me again, but the
doctor offered me a cigarette
& the smoke, braced me up

Nov. 8 - 18.

Today Stoner blew off part
of his left hand while
fishing with bombs.

Nov. 11 - 18.

The war ended at 11. a.m. today
& now I fell confident that
I'll return home again We
certainly have led a mighty
hard life & Im thankful thats
its all over with.
The following is a list
of the battles & engagements
I fought.
Dickebysch Sector, Belgium
Aug. 21st to Aug. 30 - 18.
Vierstratt Ridge, Belgium,
Aug. 31st to Sept. 2nd 18.
East Poperinghe Line, Belgium,
July 9th to Aug. 20 - 18.
Hindenburg Line, France,
Sept. 29th & 30th.
LaSalle River (St. Souplet) Oct 17,
Jenede Mere Ridge (Arbie
Guermon) Oct. 18 - 18,
St. Maurice River (Cattilon)
Oct. 19 & 20 - 18.

Left Corbie France Nov. 25 &
entrained for Savigne Leveque.
No dinner Thanksgiving day
Xmas I went A.W.O.L. for 4
days & had a wild time in
Le Man's France. Sent a
waiter crashing thru a big
plate glass window, licked
two M.P.'s, was finally
arrested but broke out of
jail tootasweet. Also told
Lieut. S. what I thought of

Jan. 26 - 18.

Mother always said I'd get
ahead in the world & this
morning her prediction
came true. I woke up
with an awful head.
We had quite a banquet
last night. Killed two
rabbits, stole a sack of
boiled potatoes & then had
a French woman prepare
them for us. So far
this month I have won

over $100.00 gambling.

Jan. 23 - 19.

I learned today that my old
pal Jimmie Scorce was killed
over here. God! It would take
every page in this book to
record all the names of my
friends who cashed in their
checks in France & Belgium.

Jan. 26 - 18.

Another big feast today. We
stole & killed two thin chickens
bought steak, cheese &
onions. I offered a woman
$6.00 to cook up the
works but she refused.
Its against the law to kill
or cook chickens in this country
so we had considerable
trouble in coraling a
woman who would

accomodate us. It was a
grand feast & we enjoyed it
immensely. We sure spent
a lot of money lately but a
fellow must do something
in this desolate burg or
die of stagnation.

[Having trouble reading
the name & address...]

Feb. 6 - 19.

Still in Savigne Leveque.
The foregoing names were
writtne in this book by
two Frenchman whom I
met in Le Mans last Sunday
when I went to that city
for the purpose of being
Again I feel the pangs
of deep sorrow because
of death. A letter today
from Mildred Guepp
intimated that my brother
Walter is very sad & I
infer that his young
wife has succumbed
to her recent illness.
Death swoops down
upon us swiftly, &
there sure is no avoiding

Feb. 15 - 19.

A.W.O.L. 60 days confinement,
pack drill but a dam
good time. Guess we go
home tootasuite & I'll
sure be glad to leave this
desolate burg.

Feb. 22 - 19.

Today Wagoner & MacKenzie
were sent to a labor unit.
Strange I didn't get it too
because I was even worse
than they in breaking

Feb. 23 - 19.

Left Savigne Leveque at
2 P.M. today & hiked to
Champagne where I am
now waiting to board
train for Brest. Teh 1st
lap of the journey home.

Feb. 24/19.

Brest, France. Nine months
ago today we landed here
but today not all of us
returned. We are the first
fighting division in the
A.E.F. to leabe France.

Feb 28 - 19.

Today I boarded the steam-
ship Muritania for America.
There are 10000 aboard
her, including crew,
civilians & troops.
Some boat.

March 3rd 19.

Today I am about in
the middle of the ocean.
Rather rough weather
& the boat is being
rocked & pitched con-
siderable. Many of the
boys are awfully
sick, but so far
have kept quite

Florence McGrath
9679 Lennox
213 E. 81st St.
Cumberland Hotel

W. R. Houston
Hdqr. Co. 309th H F At,
A.P.O. 770
78th Div.

Mrs H. Plant
'53 Franklin St

Miss Catherine Hanna
c/o Rosenbaum's Cafe
411 Halsey St.

E Webster
47 East 128 St.
NYC Byrant 7100

Drum - 532 Riley Ave. Buffalo
McDonnah, Max [???] Geneva
Ed. Shay, 549 So. Wilbur Ave. Syracuse
Aust. Schoelles, 69 Callodine Ave. Buffalo
Ray Schriner Washington St. Attica, N.Y.
Homestead claim in Canada
Rudolph Lundburg, 77 Howard St.
Jamestown, N.Y.
Frank Muench, 11 Love St. Rochester,
Joe Livingston, Medina, N.Y.
F. Hoyt, 1410 Wash. St.
Jamestown, N.Y.
Herb Wagner, 150 Norwalk St.
Buffalo, N.Y.
Fred Gylpe, 197 - 15th St.
Buffalo, N.Y.
Duncan 687 McKindle Pkway
Buffalo, N.Y.

When the shells are dropping near
I'm afraid I'm stopping here
In No Mans Land where you hear
that shell hole rag
Whiz Bang

G. L. Dowling
Box 362
Billmore, N.C.
#5 Brooks Ave.
C. S. Bradley
614 Webster Ave.
New Rochelle, N.Y.

I got my wind up honey while laying
way out in No Mans Land
And when the shells are coming fast,
I'm afriad I'm smelling gas
Each shell is coming near
Seems to have my name in letters large
& small
And when the shells are flying near
I'm afraid I'm stopping here

Machine gun bullets are whistling
around me,
The old tin hat seems mighy small
Inside I'd like to crawl
And hug the ground like porus plaster
My head feels heavy & my knees
I bite my tongue every time I speak