ON THE RHINE
REST GENTLY AFTER THESE LONG YEARS, YE DEAD
REST GENTLY, OH YE DEAD OF PRESENT TIME
REST NOT, YE VETERANS OF THE FINAL BLOW
Robert A. DONALDSON,
Pont du Rhin à Neuf-Brisach,
Out of the mud and waste and desolation of the Champagne we came, upon the signing of the armistice, to take the road toward Alsace. The Germans were retiring, and the war-worn poilus who had made the Fatherland's dream of world dominion impossible, were now to "guard the stream divine. "
On a chill bright day of November we took the road in convoy down thru Chalons and on over the hills above the fair valley of the upper Marne. And what a convoy it was! Never did the old "voitures Ford" seem to run better --- and certainly never did they run faster! Thru Vitry-le-François, Saint-Dizier, and Domremy-la-Pucelle, the birth-place of Jean d'Arc, we went, and finally arrived part of us --- or straggled in --- (the rest of us) --- to Neufchâteau. Then on over the undulations of the lower Vosges, to Darnay, where we waited during several cold days while the division was organized for the march. Then convoy again to Remiremont, set like a ruby in the emerald valley of the upper Moselle; and long grades. toward the crest of the Vosges, the watershed separating the Rhine from the streams flowing down into France. The red tiled roofs of villages dot the valley below. The crest is reached at the Col de Bussang. The tunnel under the mountain marks the frontier.
What a view as we emerged on the other side! We ate here in country conquered by the French in the early days of the war. Before us, down the steep grade, plunges the valley of the Thur. In the range of mountains across the valley is the famous Hartmannswillerkopf, captured and held by the French after terrible struggle. Down the long mountain grades we go to the floor of the valley itself. A stop is made at Wesserling, one of the beautiful little resort towns. Then on down the valley thru St. Amarin, and along the Thur into Thann, with its noted church decorated with so many strange medieval figures and inscriptions. Altho close behind the lines, Thann has not been shelled much --- in fact scarcely at all since the first year of the war. The land out where ran the lines themselves is more or less ruined, but not in measure at all comparable to the battlefields of northern France and Flanders.
After passing Thann, we are out of the mountains. Before us stretches the low fertile valley of the upper Rhine. Passing thru Cernay, or Sennheim as the Germans called it, we arrive at Soultz, the first populated town we have reached in the part of Alsace held by the Germans. The town is decorated with Alsatian and Allied flags. Here and there is an American flag-home made. The stripes vary in any direction, and the stars in number, but the sentiment is there. At the entrance of the town are triumphal arches announcing in large letters, "Soyez les Bienvenus."
The people run out into streets and stare curiously. We are besieged by children, and have the curious sensation of hearing the whole of the conversation about us being carried on in German. "Amerikaner! Amerikaner!" they cry. The children are most of them wearing old Boche fatigue caps, and other cast-off articles of German military clothing.
We are cantoned in a factory, and as soon as we are settled we "step out" to look the town over. The gabled and high roofed houses, the German signs, the German articles in the stores, the "strasses" and the "Kirchplatz" all go toward making unforgetable our first day in "Alsace Reconquise." We buy "Kaiser Gold" cigarettes, price chocolate at eight francs a cake, and order up our first meal in "starving Germany" --- thereupon deciding that we would not mind starving in this manner.
From all appearances, the German soldiers in these Alsatian sectors were much better off than the French opposite them. The cantonments were good; there were electric lights ; coal and stoves were plentiful ; the "wirtshafts" are good, and all have automatic pianos, which demand but "einwig 10 pfennig," or gramaphones, where the best German, French and Italian music may be played.
And so we spend our first evening in Alsace consuming what is left of the supply of "Munchner Beer," or drinking Alsatian or Rhine wine, smoking German cigarettes, listening to music from German operas, and talking with Alsatians who speak French with as bad a German accent as we have English.
We listen to tales of the German revolution during the period after the armistice ; the taming of haughty officers ; the manipulations of the "Soldatenrat"; the march back toward the fatherland with the bands playing the Marseillaise, and the soldiers shouting "The war is gained for the German people!" The hate for Ludendorf and the Kaiser (because they didn't win!) and at the same time the contradictory respect still shown for old Hindenburg.
Rouffach, with its old castle and church and its picturesque stork's nest, where we installed ourselves in a "Wirtshaft" belonging to an old French veteran of the war of '70, was gloriously "pavoisé". Never were we better received. The entire buvette is ours. We have one room to use as a dining room, and the son of the family, who was in the German army, and has just returned from the Russian front, makes it his personal business to keep the stove well stoked up. On Thanks-giving day the old man and old lady offered us the big room of the café in which to hold our dinner. After the dinner, with its twenty-and-one courses, we regaled ourselves by gramaphone music. ---"O Tannenbaum".
The next day we left for Neuf-Brisach, near the Rhine, on the Colmar-Fribourg road. It is an old French fortification dating from 1708. The town is completely surrounded by a triple moat, and all manner of ancient buttresses and walls, and deep underground passages and rooms. Above the ancient stone work at the gates announcing the original date of building, the Germans had placed a sign "Deutsch, 1870", above which is now still another sign, "Français 1918." No sooner had we arrived than suddenly appeared in the sky above its, a number of German planes, flying very low, so low in fact that the iron crosses upon the wings were distinctly visible. It was a curious sensation. But a few days had passed since a similar scene would have caused us, with much inquietude, to seek shelter in the profoundest cave available. The planes performed their complete repertoire of acrobatic stunts, and then descended on the aviation field outside the town. They were planes being handed over by German aviators to the French under the terms of the armistice. Sic transit gloria mundi!
We installed ourselves in a German officers barracks ; with separate rooms and electric lights, huge german tile stoves --- including lots of coal --- a sight gratifying to the ambulance man's heart. The ambulance man can best exhibit his sang-froid when he has a good stove and lots of coal. Beds and spring mattresses from the nearby Kasern added to our comfort, while a few "voitures Ford" served to empty a former German officers' club of its equipment, including electric chandeliers, chairs, and a sectional bookcase, Numerous German lithographs, and pictures of Ludendorf and Hindenburg, German war loan posters, and the like served to decorate the walls --- not to speak of an original drawing representing something or other, "Die Klippe" --- found by the Great Nyetch, and claimed to be a fine example of Modern German Art!
We had one car a day on duty at the Pontoon bridge across the Rhine, opposite Alt-Brisach, a picturesque old town built on top of the steep bluff across the river --- in the province of Baden. In the first few, weeks after the armistice many hundreds of returning prisoners, French, English and Italian, crossed the Rhine at this point. Our business was to care for any of them that were sick. On the French side of the bridge there floated for the first time since 1870 the tricolor. A sign was also erected --- a reproduction of a similar one used ay the time of the French revolution in 1789--- "Ici commence le Pays de la Liberté " ---.a sign arousing indescribable emotion in the hearts of the returning Frenchmen ----many of them, with their dark blue coats and faded red trousers, prisoners since the early days of 1914. The returning English and Canadians used up an extremely choice lot of profanity on arriving on this side. The Frenchmen contented themselves with "O! les Cochons! Oh! Les Salauds! Salle Boche!" It was the Italians who owing probably as much to their terrible treatment as to their temperament, held the wildest demonstrations. A train bringing some of them back stopped on the middle of the railway bridge, and started to back up slightly. In a second every window in the train was broken and the Italians piled out pell-mell, and ran on foot to Alsatian soil. They were taking no chances on going back to the other side!
On the pontoon bridge were congregated a large number of Alsatians. They were in German uniform, having been in the German army, most of them on the Russian front. As the French Etat-Major had not. yet ruled on their cases, they were not allowed to pass during a period of ten days. They were of all sorts: Men who had been in the infantry, men from the artillery, men from anti-air craft batteries, men from. German submarines --- which they themselves had but recently turned ever to the English at Harwich. During the period of waiting they were fed each day at an American Red Cross Canteen established at the bridge head.
The population of Neuf-Brisach is, or was largely pure German, owing to its having been a fortified town. Was, because we had the pleasure (or regret because some good Wirtshafts were closed!) of seeing a good part of the well-to-do German population sent "over the river" with an allowance of fifty kilos of baggage, and two thousand francs in cash. It was at the "Rheinbrüche" also that we saw the termination of the exportation of the hated German functionaires of Colmar --- of which "Oncle Hansi" wrote and illustrated such a delightful article for Le Matin of December 31, 1918. Alsace is determined to throw off the yoke of German commercial dominion, and she has started early.
We also, during all this period, had the delightful experience of watching the French army attempt, under orders, to appear military ---for the edification of the Civil population! Needless to say, it was not a grand success. Then one by one the old Frenchmen, members of the division began to leave --- réformé. We replaced "Rubbish", our kitchen helper from the G.B.D. by an Alsatian who had served on a German submarine. Time brings indeed unexpected changes!
So has gone our second winter of the war---spent in "L'Alsace Reconquise". Our first was spent in the Champagne, with the war still going on, without prospect of immediate end. From the Champagne, in the Mourmelon sector, we left at the time of the great German attack on Amiens. And to the Champagne we had, returned, in the old Mourmelon sector again, on the day when the armistice was signed. But how different the winter this time!
"Guerre finitch!" And we were keeping, with the incomparable poilus, our "Watch on the Rhine!"
R. A. D.
Lieutenant Kenneth A. Bailey, 102nd Field Artillery, was killed in action on October ninth in the Argonne. He joined the Field Service in the early part of July 1917, went to the front with Section 70 in that month and enlisted in the United States Army Ambulance with the French Army in September. In November with most of the personnel of old 70 he was transferred to Section 18, afterward known as Section 636, and remained with that section until his appointment to the Saumur Artillery School in April 1918, from which he graduated with honors and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Field Artillery. He was sent to the front in time to take part in the victorious fighting at Château-Thierry. He was twenty-three years of age, a student at Stephens Institute of Technology, a member of the Theta Xi Fraternity, and his home was in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
"Bill" Bailey, as we always called him, had the happy faculty of making friends of all with whom he came in contact. We knew him as one who could be depended upon to do his part and more, whether work or a frolic was on hand, and we remember the long evenings when he would cheer the barracks with his large stock of Scotch songs. His many splendid qualities followed him during his short career in. the artillery, and he was known as one of the most efficient and popular junior officers in the regiment. His many friends grieve at the untimely closing of a most promising life.
Upon these rolling Lorraine fields
Yet these safe peaceful fields have known
Here flowed the eddying battle tide,
Again the autumn sun shines down
Robert A. DONALDSON.
O gentle France, to you we owe the most,
You did not cry or murmur neath the load,
High did you hold prized Freedom's torch,
Robert A. DONALDSON.
By the army to which he belongs the Ambulance man would probably be called a "buddy" without an "outfit", though he would certainly refuse to recognize himself under this title. He was to be found scattered all along the late front, from Switzerland to the sea---in fact wherever there was a pinard barrel, some poilus who could "spick a leetle Englitch", and a G. B. D.
With the French army he is willing enough to be an American, but get him near the American army, with its democratic regime, and he immediately disclaims all relationship. He is "detached with the French Army", and, "under orders from his French division". To prove it he will floor a few Colonels with a permis rouge, and knock out the M. P. service with his Carte d'identité, (which will be returned when the bearer is with duty from the French army removed). The Ambulance man detests all attempts at militarism --- Prussian or American. He consistently refuses to understand the army parlance. "Chow" is unknown ---for he has "chow" without a "mess line", and with French chef, a kitchen trailer, and tables. "K.P." has never been instituted --- it might interfere with "corvée" duty. If the C. O. is asked for, nobody knows who he is. The term S.O.L. is, however, well known to our brave conducteurs.
If the Ambulance mai is in a good humor most of the time, he is the one to blame for it, because he is the sworn enemy of all cheer-up organizations. He prefers the "Foyer du Soldat", with a two cent cup of water chocolate, an "Illustration", and some poilus tending to their own business, to the Y.M.C.A. (enlisted men), with its ample supplies and ample prices, its childish games, rough-house noise, and "Cheery-O" spirit. Give the "outfits" the Y.; the "sections" will take the Foyer.
The Ambulance man's most deep-rooted belief is that comfort is not incompatible with service. He will brook no attempt to curtail articles which he considers conducive to his comfort. If trunks were forbidden, he appeared on the scene with a new duffle bag; and if this was taken away from him, he turned up on the next moving day with a surprising number of small boxes and musettes. Army rules might change the container for him, but the quantity of his baggage remained the same. It is feared that the return voyage will floor him ; but we still have hopes
He may be best observed for this trait on moving day ; there you may see his folding iron bed, his blanket roll, with its ten blankets and bottles rolled up in it, his portable mattress, his musettes, duffle bags, souvenirs, mandolin, books, and the section roulette wheel, or similar article ; he will be seen stowing away in the interior of the "petit voiture Ford" the eight section stoves, camouflaged by an old overcoat or two, and the stovepipes, uncamouflaged by the hometown "Bugle"; he or his duplicate, will be seen taking the section's electric chandeliers, and oil student lamps, or the section's sectional bookcase, or the stools and tables which used to belong to the cantonment he is leaving ; a few canvas beach chairs, picked up no one knows where, and the section's golf clubs finish up the procession. After that, if there is any room left, the essence boxes, bureau junk, shop, and the rest of the prescribed section equipment are thrown in. During the ensuing convoy he will gladly repair any number of blow-outs and broken rear springs, reassured by the continual thought that he is so laboring in the good cause of his comfort.
The Ambulance man knows the poilu's faults, but he also knows his multitude of virtues, and refuses to have him run down, or called a "frawg" by doughboys who won the war by their own single effort. The Ambulance man knows that the credit for the victory goes to the combined armies and the genius of a French strategist, and that is usually enough. But when some chesty individual proclaims that we done it all, and the "poyloo" never was no good anyhow, you are likely to hear him correcting the person in question and stating the evident truth that the poilu is the finest soldier of the war. Attempts to depreciate the abilities of the French armies only draw from him the maxim that "fools rush in where poilus fear to tread."
But if the ambulance man has a specialty in which he is second to none, it is the lining out of buvettes, cafés and "snackeries". Give him half an hour in a town, and he will give you complete data on its gustatory and spiritous resources. There are but few towns of mention, from Belgium to the sea, that are not thoroughly cataloged in this regard in his mind. The closing hours never bother him at all. To an Ambulance man no buvette is considered fermé, despite any notices to that effect. As a matter of fact he is rarely to be found within one during open hours he much prefers the privateness of mid-afternoon, or the quietness of the hours after nine.
The Ambulance man is death on prohibitions --- of any sort--- but particularly of beer and wine. It disquiets him to think that the Statue of Liberty, which he left holding high the torch of freedom, now extends toward him, a member of the magnificent army of Liberty, a "Liquor Verboten" decree.
It is hard to get the ambulance man enthused or excited. He takes life easily, unsentimentally, and, mixed with his endless good nature, rather cynically. It is about as hard to impress him as it is to depress or suppress him.
The Ambulance man's hobby is Freedom, --- with a French accent, --- and the large part of his time is taken up in trying to prevent meddlesome persons from interfering with the exercising of said hobby: Whether you like him or not, he doesn't care. All that he asks is that you don't try to impress him with what you've done in the war, and that, if you don't like his ideas, opinions, or habits, that you let him alone!
I CHANGED MY MIND
I enlisted as a private
I recently made up my, mind
I thought instead of leaving
They say a change in sentiment's
ON FINDING MY CIVILIAN CLOTHES IN MY
Ah, faded garments of so long ago
"EACH MAN MAY CARRY 75 LBS. OF BAGGAGE"
ALL ODD JOBS MUST BE DONE BY LUNCH
July : Fine day in Paris today. Am in a fine humor as there were lots of U. S. privates on the boulevards and I got a fine chance to exercise my authority. Picked up two today who missed their train. They were given five years hard labor. Today we have taken Chateau-Thierry. Good for us! We'll throw the Germans out of 7 France even, if the Frawgs can't do it.
Later in July: We are continually progressing against the Heinies. The French are helping us slightly in some of the more unimportant places. The Big Bertha has quit firing. Am much relieved, as we were in continual danger during its barrage ---exposed as we were on the streets.
Still Later: Today. I have been three months in France in the danger zone. Have bought myself the little red and green ribbon, and pinned it on. It means that I have had three months dangerous service.
Evening: Went to the Folies Bergère tonight on a pass the Capt. gave me --- he said he didn't want to use it. Swell show. Picked up four men on suspicion, and one for wearing the French Croix de Guerre, and had no order from Pershing to show for it --- tried to pawn a French paper off on me --- Fat chance! The Capt. was well pleased, and says that I have done so well that he will give me another pass soon.
September: Good haul today. They were thrown in the jug and given hard labor while their cases were investigated. Later were released as they were found to be O. K. Thought I had another, but just as I was going to jump him be accosted me and asked me the way to Rue Saint Anne. He had a leave paper, written in French, and said he wanted to get it stamped. I directed him there. Spoke to him about his boots and Burberry coat, but he said he was forced to wear them as regulation, as he is detached with the French.
Encore. --- Have installed the blue card system at the depots. Jump everyone now at sight, and life is becoming increasingly pleasant. Most of these birds don't seem to realize that a private in our army of liberty is too low to be allowed to see the curbstones of Paris. Why they insist on coming here I don't see especially when the Y. M. C. A. has installed such fine rural permission centers for them, where they will be entertained in a fashion suitable to their mentality.
October: Got a private good today. By mistake thought he was an officer, and saluted him. He returned my salute. Then I saw he was a private. I stopped him and asked him why he saluted me in return. He certainly knew that 1 had saluted him 'because I thought' he was an officer. He replied that he had saluted me in return because he thought I was a soldier. I arrested him for his arrogance, and he was given a good term in prison.
Later: Am now wearing my new service ribbon, a green and white one, signifying more than six months service in No Man's Land --- which is what we M. P.'s call Paris. The service ribbon is green and white and looks quite nice. Arrested a man from a hospital today, for wearing one, when he had no service stripes at all on his sleeve. He claimed the French had given it to him for bravery. He couldn't fox me, tho. Hauled him in.
November: Well, the war is fini. We done it up quick after we got started. The frawgs seem to think they had a lot to do with it, judging from the wild celebration they had here in Paris. They forget that they tried for four years to do it, and then had to hand the job over to us.
More Late: Today I put on the little red white and blue ribbon which signifies that we won the second battle of the Marne. The French are very jealous. Told a frawg what it was for today and he told me I was wrong: that it was a French ribbon signifying honorable dismissal from the French army. Slammed him in the jaw for his arrogance.
December: . P. M. rule has gone in for privates, and we are getting good hauls. Also having swell parties with officers up to all hours of the night. Then we drag them home in taxies.
December still: Was very insulted today. We rounded up some doughboys returning from permission who were trying to see Paris while passing between stations. Herded them into camions, and took them from one station to the other, with the curtains drawn so they couldn't see anything. When we got them to the train and loaded into the third class carriages, they began shouting, "Who won the war?" and everyone would answer "The M. P's! ", or "Who went over the top without a thought for their wives and sweethearts?" "The M. P's'! ". They kept it up for fifteen minutes. Would have done something about it only they had us outnumbered about five to one. If the doughboys want a war with us we'll get all the 300,000 M. P.'s together and take them on. We'll show them up. Haven't we been thru shot and shell during the air raids here?
December yet: Today we rounded up all Americans in Paris and got them in one place, where we made a fine militaristic impression for President Wilson, who has come over to start the League of Nations to Enforce Peace.
Janv. 1: Fine day. Walked the boulevards all day, wearing for the first time my little all red which the M.P's are entitled to for winning the battle of Paris. We deserve it, too, for even during the worst of the Bertha barrage and the air raids we had no thought of fear, and heeded not danger. Father writes that I will be a great hero to all of the men working with him in the Tannery. Well, I don't want to boast, or anything like that, but the world knows what we done to win the war!
Biographical Note: The most portentious event in Simp's life occurred in the spring of 1917, when he took to reading the newspapers and suddenly discovered that there was a horrible war going on in Europe. Our hero immediately became greatly interested, and being of a reckless disposition, decided to get into it, on the side of France --- for he had hazy recollections of a person called Lafayette, and recalled some pictures of French chickens and open air drinking places. So Simp came to France as a Conducteur, and before long went out to do battle with the Boche. He was in an attack which was a success. The Huns, spying Simp's brave American face in the battle array, withdrew to a safe distance, where they enjoyed themselves by throwing 77's at ambulances.
About this time the commander of the American forces decided it would be fine to have the Field Service join the army, so he sent a couple of good orators to see the section and "sign 'em up." Poor unsuspecting Simp! He fell with the rest of the section save eight young shavers who decided that they would go back to High School, or go to Paris and become officers.
But the good days were gone. Poor Simp will never forget the day they gave him a pair of pants, a shirt, a red sock, and told him to salute all officers, even his own chef!; not to drink strong liquors, to take morning exercises, etc. ; in return for which he would receive 33 beans a month with the rank of private. One sous-chef went to Meaux, and when he came back he called the chef "Lieutenant," and himself Sergeant 1/c. The other sous-chef stuck around and helped the Chef master his new Buster Brown boots.
At last the demon ambition got the best of Simp. The words of the recruiting agent, "Any time you want a change, put in an application and it will go right thru military channels " rang in his ears. So Simp applied to be an aviator. He made up a bunch of good stories about himself, and sent the thing along. At the end of four months the Lieut. O. K'd it and sent it along to Paris, where they sent it back refused, owing to Simp's value as a courageous ambulance driver. Not discouraged at all, Simp put one in about on the average of every week, trying everything, from the home guard to the tanks ; but one by one they were refused until poor Simp just gave up the ship, and took to drink and amused himself by telling his comrades how the army should be run.
Long since Simp has grown accustomed to his fate, and not being bothered by ambition, he plods thru the weary days perfectly content to spend his time watching the stove and smoking his pipe. He sits by the fire by the hour, thinking and smoking, sometimes just smoking. But if you catch him conversationally inclined he will give lengthy discourses on what to do when turned out of the army, how to live without working, and how to make liquor out of sawdust. He has also become a philosopher, as the following words of wisdom which have fallen from his lips will show.)
Simple soldier. --- French term for private in the army. The French language is so expressive.
Officer. --- Always known by the gold or silver on his shoulders, lucky bird; A man with dignity to uphold, and the salary to uphold her with. The "thinking machines" of the army.
Lieutenant. --- Officer that must be saluted on all occasions. Some run sections, and some don't; generally a young man with a future and a small moustache.
Sergeant 1/c. --- A bird that should be a general but isn't. 1st class because he is over the other sergeants, and knows it.
Sergeant. --- Bird that prys simple soldier out of his chair to do a job of work.
Corporal. --- Between the devil and the deep sea. A diplomatic job (usually mismanaged) as liaison between the men and the bureau. When not working amuses himself by reading "Manual of Arms," Frank Simonds, or "How To Manage Men."
Private 1/c. --- A gent that gets three beans more than a buck, and tells the buck about it on all occasions.
Private--- The mass of the army. Considered by most people as animals with weak brains and strong backs.
Barracks. --- Something with a roof; good enough to sleep in, hold bull sessions and crap games.
Inspection. --- A farce in three acts: Cleaning up; lining up; and standing up.
Section Dog. --- Envied by privates; fed by the cooks; kicked by the officers and petted by everyone else.
Cooks. --- The men that keep the wheels moving; popular all the time, especially on holidays and when one is late to meals.
Mechanic. --- The bird that tells you how to fix 'em while you wait.
Parc. --- Joint where they fix up cars that are beyond hope. Guaranteed to cure or kill ; always issuing orders, but never parts.
Allentown. --- Somewhere in America where ambulance drivers train ; adjacent to Tobyhanner.
A. W O. L. What a fellow is when he steals to town for a time.
S. O. L. --- What a fellow is when caught A. W. O. L.
Armistice. --- The time between when the fighting stops and we get home. A period of taxicab service, rumors, and trying to speak German.
Demobilization. --- Mythical time we are all waiting for. All future events will date from the day we are demobilized.
Civil Life. --- Arcadia, Heaven ---or something about as good.
(A number of national periodicals have lately printed for the edification of the folks at home a list of the new characteristics with which the American doughboy will return, as a result of the ennobling and beneficial influences of the war and army life. The Bulletin, not being concerned with the doughboy, has been at some pains to investigate this matter with regard to the members of our own service, and we find that the facts are the same --- with reservations.)
Physically fit. --- For nothing. The healthy, active, outdoor life that he has led sitting in abris, barracks and buvettes will have completely changed his system and made of him a man you will scarcely be able to recognize, or keep in trousers.
Courteous and polite. --- On rare occasions, if indeed, at all.
Capable. --- Of anything. The variety of tasks required from him in the army will have taught him to turn his hand to anything ---and to lift it at nothing. He will be expert at everything from peeling potatoes to heaving coal --- and at shirking it.
Humble. --- He will know that no work is degrading for a soldier -- who is already down as far as he can go.
Cheerful. --- When he is sufficiently inebriated ; but at all other times he will crab.
Self-Sacrificing. --- Army discipline will have, taught him that he himself is nothing compared to the gratification of any sort of desire he may have.
Of regular habits. --- Bad ones. Routine will have taught him the necessity of regularity, and he will drink, smoke, swear and indulge in all excesses without interruption.
Obedient. --- When forced to be. Otherwise he will take the greatest delight in rebellion, if he can get away with it.
Honest. --- When somebody is looking, but at other times he will take anything he can lay his hands on.
Modest and Unassuming. --- And he will take every chance he gets to tell you his own virtues, and what he has done, and will depreciate the good qualities of everybody else.
Brave and courageous --- As long as there is no necessity for giving any tangible proof of it.
Neat and orderly. --- As little as possible, for his real preference is now for filth and slovenliness.
A quick thinker. --- So swift, in fact, that you will seldom find him doing it.
Ambitious. --- To keep himself in absolute inactive, unfruitful physical comfort.
Truthful. --- Perhaps, but not so as you could notice it.
TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW
"Why were you a private
You'll some day bite on marriage,
R. A. D.
The following are extracts from a letter received from Burnet Wohlford, of Section 18, who was injured in an auto accident in Alsace shortly after the armistice, and has since been invalided home:
"I have now been in Bordeaux about a week, and as things look now the inestimable Wienie will have ample time to chew through two Alsatian pipe stems before I cross the gang plank. I am at present at a loss for good reading matter, though Snappy Stories abound in any quantity, being furnished by our folks at home for the edification of our soldier boys in France.
Honestly I cannot emphasize your luck in not being here with the concomitant K.P's, mess line, slum and other horrors of war.
I have learned many interesting things in the last month here in the American hospital. The French, it seems, are an ignorant, semi-barbarous people, singularly lacking in good breeding and all the requisites of a modern state. Moreover it appears that they are inferior fighters, quite cowardly, and have never done anything serious toward the actual winning of the war. America, however, is the opposite, a land of fruits and flowers, wonderful women, educated, enterprising men, and about a hundred years ahead of decadent France. I am very anxious to visit this wonderful place.
I never realized what a fight that Argonne forest was. Every hill they took the French had previously tried to take and failed, with ghastly losses and then pronounced impossible. As for the American troops, every division that went in --- and they were all shock troops, --- were literally smashed to pieces. And the Germans put their best troops against them, too.
This going back is a painful process. All sorts of inspections, confinement to barracks for days at a time for fear you will be absent when some kind of an inspection is coming off, and all sorts of junk. They form us into casual companies of 150 hommes and first march us to the Q. M. for equipment. Then they give us an extra pair of underwear, socks, three blankets, a slicker, a complete mess kit, etc. ad finitum. The next day there is equipment inspection, and you lay everything out proper with knife and fork and spoon laid neatly on the bed and the rest of the outfit in a friendly group. It's a long hard trail to beat before they let you enter the kingdom of New York.
By the way, I saw a guy with a French Médaille Militaire ribbon. He said all troops over here a year were entitled to them."
As ever, PINK.
Mr. Beatit plans to return to France shortly with the V.M.C.A.
Henry Hungry Snoring, Ambulance driver, U.S.A.A.S.
Ferdinand Proudly Goldbar, 2nd Lt., Base Camp.
R. Drowsy Doolittle, Sgt. 1st Class, with a section.
Martin Slowly Shuffle, Mail Clerk, B.C.M.
Gonrad Grouchy Stalling, Mechanic, Pare Q.
The first class rapide, Nice to Paris, with its burden of civilian travelers and the usual sprinkling of French and other officers, slowly gathered momentum as an American soldier, clad in smart over-coat and highly-polished top boots, appeared suddenly in the passage-way for all the world as if he had been drawn from the floor with the magician's wand. His actions denoted considerable haste and uneasiness, but after a searching glance up and down the corridor and station platform he appeared reassured and settled himself comfortably next to a dignified French Colonel. And as the train had left Nice far behind he expressed his contentment in a prodigious sigh and even hazarded a slight smile in the direction of an American officer in the opposite corner, who booted and spurred, scowled slightly as became his rank and dignity.
Now there entered the compartment, with much ceremony and many flourishes, a very portly and withal busy conductor who, glancing fussily at every scrap of the assortment of tickets and papers offered for his inspection, came at last to a deliberate stop in front of the American ---he of the extreme self-possession. Immediately thereupon ensued a pronounced silence while the dapper young soldier fished into many a pocket and finally, a trifle reluctantly perhaps, brought to light a battered and ill-used pink permission paper of imposing size. This he handed over without a word and then very calmly let his gaze wander out through the window and over the sun-flecked expanse of blue Mediterranean where it seemed lost in contemplation of that ever-moving scene.
Meanwhile the occupants of the compartment looked on, the French Colonel seemed interested and the American Lieutenant frowned more deeply. The portly conductor, suspicious through experience scanned with exceeding care the pink leaflet, ever and anon pausing to glance over the, top of his steel-rimmed spectacles at the conducteur Américan, who oblivious to all else continued deeply interested in the passing scenery and wore withal an expression of most baffling innocence. The information contained in the pink ticket seemed to irritate the portly conductor for his brow continued to grow darker and the long ends of his drooping moustache grew fairly rigid. At last he could contain himself no longer and with many gesticulations, supported by a choice command of French, he left no doubt in the minds of those who heard him that the rapide was only a first class train, and many another pertinent observation as to "privates", "third class coaches", etc. And then with an air of finality he pointed with one long bony finger at the notation troisième classe, as he held the paper before the immediate subject of his harrangue.
Now our soldier, no doubt grieved in being so rudely disturbed in his nautical meditations, looked up with the air of one who has suffered much and is slightly bored and said, very distinctly and with perfect accent, "Je ne comprends pas". These words seemed to have a magic effect on the portly one. It appeared that he was about to speak but thinking better of that he closed his jaws with a snap, made one pitiful gesture of help --- and fled.
But the strange part of this little story lies in the fact that had you looked closely you must have seen a merry twinkle light up the grave eyes of the French Colonel and a smile hover at the corners of his firm mouth, seeing which the youthful soldier apologetically murmured something about "Système D"--- and the American lieutenant scowled more darkly.
Walter E. BRUNS.
The following are advised to send word of their whereabouts at once to the Field Service, as the following letters or telegrams await them
Eugene Slatherit. --- Telegram from father saying that he refuses to send the money you asked for.
Petercus Stricken. --- Letter from Wm. Kale asking you to pay him the 38 francs you owe him.
James F. Libere. --- Letter from father saying that U. S. officials have just called and asked about your having been A. W. O. L. for three months. They want you to write your where abouts and tell them what is meant by A. W. O. L.
Harry Line. --- Letters from five girls congratulating you upon your bravery in winning the Croix de Guerre.
Cuthbert Sauvetage. --- (Lorraine detachment) Telegram from your father congratulating you on having won the battle of Château-Thierry.
Ofus Awl. --- Letters from friends telling you that it won't make any difference even if you weren't an officer. They are perfectly willing to overlook it.
Men of the old Field Service are advised to write in to the Cinema at once, asking what to do with their baggage, as privates in the army will only be allowed to take home 75 pounds (on their backs.)
A. Portay Vocar, Ancient Voluntaire: Always distinguished himself on every occasion to the supreme admiration of his comrades. Especially on the night of December 31st when he was foremost in evacuating an advanced cave very much encumbered. Scarcely able to walk, returned several times for more, risking all costs, and though repeatedly requested to leave, continued his efforts until the evacuation was completed. An example of devotion and capacity. Cork de guerre, three star.
Percival B. Hardteck, a marvel of endurance, in the most trying conditions. Serving on duty at a remote poste for three days and nights, consumed with utter sang froid and abandon three boîtes of singe and a tin of sardines. Cited to the order of the R. V. F.
Christopher Carvel Cleanly, a model of good-nature. After enduring overwhelming losses at the village blanchisserie, heroically washed his own garments. Returned with his undershirt riddled with éclats.
Ferdinand Stopover, Volunteered for permission under new army arrangement in spite of the earnest entreaties of his comrades. Remained for six days in government leave area, and later reported among the missing. Doubtlessly buried with military honors.
Arthur S. Meeker, Cited for gallantry. For several hours under a severe bombardment by feminine Red Cross Atrocity Lecturer conducted himself with exemplary composure and extreme politesse.
The Subdued-Sub-Editor of the Section offers a'prize of fifty (50) francs to anyone who is energetic enough to write anything at all on the subject of " Peace" or a kindred subject.
If any member of the service has ever, by any chance, been in danger, he is requested to write it in immediately to the Field Service History, as we are anxious to make the volume as unique as possible.
The changed nature of the duties of our service since the signing of the Armistice, has necessitated a slight alteration in the daily performance as prescribed by headquarters, and for the benefit of its readers the Bulletin now issues this schedule which may, or may not be of use to section commanders.
|8:30.||Breakfast (Since the cessation of hostilities, war bread should be strictly taboo, and toast or other cereal supplied to the men).|
|9 .00 10:30.||Setting exercises. (A special corvée should be hired from the G. B. D. to keep the barracks at the proper temperature during this interval).|
|10:30 11:30.||Details. (One man should be sent to town each morning to bring back the newspaper, and pay last night's damages at the buvettes out of the Company fund ; Others should be sent out to find brancardiers, poilus or Alsatian unemployed, who will carry water, peel potatoes, clean up the barracks and do the odd jobs around the section (All such odd jobs are expected to be done before lunch).|
|11:30.||Lunch. (Great care should be taken to have an attractive luncheon, as meals are a great factor in maintaining the morale).|
|12:30.||Siesta. (Section commanders should see that the men do not over-exert themselves after eating).|
|2:00- 5:00.||Free period. (Men may read, write, walk (if they feel equal to it) or go to the village and fraternize with the Huns.|
|5:00.||Dinner. (This should always be something extra special, as, if it is unappetizing, the men will be asking permission to, go to town for supper. The meal should be held early to allow the maximum time at the buvettes in the evening, as many of the better class close early.)|
|6: 00-11: 00.||Buvetting. (This should be done systematically. Let the men use their own judgment ; it is better for commanders not to seek to influence the men in this matter.)|
|11:00-4:00.||Free Period. (Men may occupy this period as they see fit.)|
Section commanders are asked to see that there are no deviations from this schedule except by a two-thirds majority vote of the men.
1. In addition to the daily routine, two cars will be on duty per week.
2. If there are more than two calls, new drivers must be placed on call, and no driver must take more than one call per month. Sections are entitled to more members, and any number of casuals will, be sent up from Base Camp, where they are just as much nuisance as in the field.
3. Officers carrying more than eight trunks must not be taxied, unless being demobilized.
4. Section commanders are ordered to tour the country within 400 kilometers of camp.
5. If section commanders can think of anything else that there is for this service to do, they are ordered to do it. If we're not careful some day they'll be sending us home.
One year ; again my thoughts go wandering back
Landing, and the sight of France ; the green,
Bordeaux ; cathedral spires that touched the sky,
Paris ; voices, faces strange, strange ways
Then onward to the war zone, to a town
Then came the endless waiting, when we yearned
Then on the Aisne there came our days of stress,
Then came the winter's dreariness and cold
At last came promise of the greening spring,
Now once again has come the same old round :
R. A. DONALDSON (old 70 and 18)
William CARY SANGER, Jr.
In the Lyric Poem Contest of the "Stars and Stripes" the first prize was won by Hardwicke Nevin S.S.U. 623 (Old 32), for the following Poem:
O may I laugh! O may I weep!
I roamed knee-deep in flower-bloom,
O sing me a song of dreams ---
O sing me a song of sunny lands,
And, as the winds go moaning by,
And, like a wave into this grave..
God! Must I always lie this way
Sergeant HARDWICKE NEVIN,
The Bulletin has received word of the death in action of Charles Bacon, Dartmouth '19, who sailed with the Dartmouth unit on June 2nd, 1917. He was a member of T.M.U. 484, but was refused by the U.S. Officers when he appeared for enlistment in the Mallet Reserve. Later, just as he had made arrangements to sail for home, he managed to enlist in Field Artillery of the American Expeditionary Forces, and was a private in the 103rd Field Artillery, Battery C, of the famous 26th Division, when he was killed in action on October 24th, 1918. He would have been 23 the following month, November 6th. He is buried at Samogneux, about six miles nearly north of Verdun in an American cemetery. He and six comrades were killed instantly on the night of the 24th, when their gun was hit by a shell. Several others were wounded at the same time. The date of his enlistment was December 5th, 1917. His home was in Waltham, Massachusetts. .
during the first months of 1916. Meantime McClay as section chef had been replaced by Roger Balbiani and a French Lieutenant, Robert de Kersauson de Pennendreff. When Balbiani entered the French Aviation he was replaced by Salisbury who in turn was replaced by Herbert P. Townsend. The latter remained section chef during the whole of 1916 while the section participated in the first battle of the Somme and later in July in the Verdun German Offensive around Souville, Tavanne and Fleury. After a brief rest the section again moved to Verdun this time working the Caserne Marceau posts. For this work it was awarded a Citation order of the Regiment and a second Citation Order of the Corps d'Armée. From Verdun S.S.U. 1. shifted to the Argonne working the Four de Paris and la Chalade posts throughout the fall of 1916. In January 1917 it was sent to Dombasle and handled the wounded from Esnes and 304 Hill. About this time H. P. Townsend went back to America and his place was filled by McGlansy for a short period, the latter being succeeded as chef by Benjamin R. Woodworth in April 1917. From Dombasle after a brief repos the section shifted to the west of Reims working the Route 44 posts around Brimont. Later it moved to the East of Reims. Woodworth was killed in June and was succeeded by W. Yorke Stevenson. Meantime the section received its third Citation order of the Corps d'Armée. The end of July found the section for the third time at Verdun where it participated in the French attacks before Bras Haudraumont and Douaumont working 45 days without rest and receiving its 4th Citation this time Ordre d'Armée. After a prolonged repos near Neufchateau where the section was taken over by the American army and Chef Stevenson made its lieutenant, his section moved to the Toul sector working the Seishprey, Beaumont, Flirey and Limey posts and later took on the Bois de Pretre posts as far as Pont-à-Mousson. Meantime Lt de Kersauson had been replaced as liaison officer by Lt James F. Reymond.
In February Lt Stevenson was sent to the Meaux school and Lt Frederick Duhring took his place for about six weeks. After the return of Lt Stevenson the section took part in the much advertised fight at Seschprey carrying both French and American wounded. On the fifth of June orders came to shift as rapidly as possible to Meaux with the division which was sent to stop the German drive on Compiegne. The 300 kilometers were negotiated in about 18 hours and after a brief rest at Meaux June 7th found the section well up at the front. June 9th the boches attacked heavily but after retreating about 3 kilometers the 69th counter attacked in front of Ferme Port, Ferme Loge and Monchy-Humiere and not only retook the ground lost but drove the enemy back several kilometers. A few days after when its division went to the support of the Americans in the Allied counter offensive the Section worked Saint-Pierre-Aigle, Missy-aux-Bois, Saconin, Berzy-le-Sec, etc. For 52 days the 69th Division kept up pressure on the Soissons salient and finally captured the City crossed the Aisne and took Crouy and the plains above. Here in September, Lieut. Reymond left and Lieut. Stevenson remained in sole charge. The Section later received its 5th Citation, Ordre de l'Armée for the above work and shifted back near Pont-à-Mousson where it was when the armistice was signed. It entered Lorraine, November 17th and moved slowly forward, with Mangin's Tenth Army until the Rhine was reached at Mayence. On the 6th of March orders came for demobilization and the section left for Ferrières where it now is. Meantime application has been made for the fourragere to which it has the right owing to the two Army Citations in addition to the other three already received.
When Section One was adopted by the American Army it was thought best to camouflage it by christening it 625, this being the highest form of strategy ; it fooled the Boche completely. During its career the section has lost three members by death and one severely wounded. In addition 6 men were slightly wounded and 6 badly gassed. Its members have received one Legion of Honor, one Medaille Militaire, 70 Croix de Guerre and three Commendatory Letters from General Pershing.
As old Section 1 (now 625) was waiting at the ambulance base camp pending orders for embarkation on March 19th, the following telegram was received: Fourragère couleurs Croix de Guerre a été accordée à la S.S.U. six cent vingt-cinq par ordre cent-cinquante.
That evening at retreat the section was lined up behind the color guard and the other fifteen sections, that were in camp at the time, were lined up opposite. Major Hunter pinned the fourragère on the section flag and the other sections passed before it and saluted the flag. The section left two days later, March 21st, with nine other sections for Brest where they will await transportation to America.
Section 8 left for the front from Neuilly on the 25th of May 1916. Its first action was seen in Champagne, but after a few days the section moved on to the great battle of Verdun (June) where it was first cited. For several months it served in the region of Les Eparges. Then came a long repos in Moselle and then during the winter of 1916-17 it went all the way to the Somme. From there it went back to the Meuse and then to Sainte-Menehould and the Argonne in the spring of 1917, and then again to Verdun in April of that year. Passing from there to Champagne until August 1917, then once again to Sainte-Menehould. Here the section was taken over by the U. S. A. A. S. in September 1917.
The Germans' Drive in the spring of 1918 brought the section to the Montdidier sector where they went through several attacks until the French forced the enemy at Roye. The section followed the drive till Saint-Quentin and Guise where it found itself at the signature of the armistice.
The Section has received five citations, three to the order of the regiment and two to the order of the Division, and twenty-seven individual citations.
In 1916 Austin B Mason commanded the section, in 1917 A. Dudley Dodge, and in 1918-9 Appleton T. Miles. Lieutenant Bollaert, the French officer attached to the section for two years was killed by a shell near Roye in September 1918.
As S.S.U. 630 (old 12) arrived in Paris last week to turn their cars for the last time those of us who remember "good old section douze days " go back two years to February 7, 1917.
S.S.U. 12 left the Park at Rue Raynouard bound for Bar-le-Duc on this cold but well remembered day. Longeville was the first stop of any length. Vadelaincourt and Jubécourt were both well explored by "green Americans" before 12 was properly baptised. Dombasle was the base from which the section worked Esnes and the Bois d'Avocourt, two famous runs for such a young section. Esnes will be remembered by "old 12" men as long as they live for it was not only their first glimpse of what war might be but was also the scene of their first action. Sainte-Menehould knows "12" well and Suippes also, although Chalons saw more of them at this time. After Esnes things went quietly with "12" until after several moves Vaux Varennes was reached. A chateau located in a small valley surrounded with the highest, most impassable hills known in France. S.S.U. 12 was transmuted at this point into Section 630, which however has been as well thought of as "12" was in the olden days.
Section 14 was organized at Leland Stanford Junior University by J. H. Eastman, a Stanford student. It was the first section to arrive in France organized as a unit. Backed by a California society, the "Friends of France", the unit left San-Francisco on February 4th, 1917 and arrived in Paris on February. 23rd, 1917, being the first section to occupy the Field Service quarters at 5, rue Lekain.
After the necessary training in the "Battle of Paris", the section was given a formal dinner of farewell at 21, rue Raynouard in the presence of ambassador Sharp, and M. Jules Cambon of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and left for the front on March 19th under the leadership of Allan H. Muhr (American) and Lieut. Emil Baudouy (French. Deceased Oct. 1918.) The section first saw the front in the Verdun secteur attached to the 55th D. I.
The section followed the division to the Saint-Mihiel secteur and later to the Champagne (region of the Monts), where on June 28-1917, a call having been sent out for volunteers to join another Stanford unit for duty with the Army of the. Orient, eleven of the men responded and joined Field Service Section 10 in the Balkans.
On July 4th, 1917, the section received its first citation as well as two individual citations. When en repos, a few weeks after, the section lost the 55th D. I. and was subsequently sent to do evacuation work at Sainte-Menehould. On August 14th, 1917, their term of enlistment being up, all but two of the original members left the section and later went into other branches of the army.
The section moved to Villers Marmery (Champagne) on the 18th of Sept. where it was attached to the 8th D. I. The next day the section received a visit from Capt. "What's his name" who shot them a line of patriotic flapdoodle which was so stirring that only five out of twenty-four were able to resist the temptation to join the army. A short time later the section received the new number 632 and on Nov. 26 Allan Muhr was replaced by Lieut. J. B. Fletcher (later known as Uncle Jeff).
On Thanksgiving day the Section went en repos near Chalons-sur-Marne, where the section as a unit, and one individual, were cited for work done near Villers Marmery.
January again found the section in the Champagne and on June 1, 1918, three men having been cited for work done there and Lieut. Fletcher relieved by Lieut. Elliott Lee, the section followed its division to the Marne. The division went into the lines in the vicinity of Dormans on June 9th 1918 and on July 4th 1918, moved over to Chatillon and Vandiere, taking part in the Second Battle of the Marne. The section here had two of its men taken prisoners, three wounded, and eleven cited.
The section again saw service in the Champagne from Aug. 14 until Sept. 26 '18 when the Allied advance commenced. The section advanced with the French division continuously on the general line : Celles, Tagnon, Rethel, Launnois, Mézières, Charleville, until the signing of the armistice. For work during this advance thirteen men were cited.
On March 6th 1919 the section was relieved, by section 618, and is now on its way to America.
E. B. G.
Here's the last contribution from a poor contributor, Section 14 (632). Perhaps our former reticence is accounted for by the fact that everything that a section could experience from couchés to celebrations was regularly and fully reported by Sec. 17, who's motto seems to have, been, "All the news that's fit to print and then some." Or perhaps it was because L. W. 's opinions on Aix, booze and other live topics always suited us to a "T ".
At any rate let us hasten to assure you that our silence was decidedly not due to a lack of appreciation for the A. F. S., The Bulletin, or the rejuvenated Rue Raynouard. If it were possible we would be even more profuse in our compliments and gratitude to you than the rest of the "old boys".
Fourteen came out in March 1917, and in March 1918, we're starting back. The Armistice found our poste cars in Mezieres-Charleville where we have stagnated ever since. The Adieu. ceremonies were held Mar. 4, when the section flag was presented to the French. General Tetart received it in behalf of the 8th, Division and said it was to be given a place of honor along with a printed history of the section's work, beside the other regimental standards in the divisional depot at Le Mans. We're enclosing the order of the day, a copy of which each one of us received. We might also add that the General furnished the drinks.
Our one remaining ambition is to reach the states before the bars close to see if something can't be done. To the A. F. S. sections who are unfortunate enough to still be here to read this, we wish moving orders shortly and to all --- "We'll see you in the New York Club Rooms."
M. Mc et A. T.
S.S.U. 637, Old. 14.
At Charleville, March 9, 1919.
On the occasion when the S.S.U. 632 is leaving the Eighth Division to return to the United States, the General Commanding the Division expresses to Lt. Lee, who has commanded it with so much distinction and to all the personnel placed under his orders, his profound thanks for the incomparable devotion with which the Section Sanitaire has accomplished the task confided to it.
Responding to the unanimous sentiment of your great country, and even before it had officially entered the struggle, you voluntarily bore to the cause of Liberty and Civilization the aid of your ardent youth. At the beginning of 1917 you landed on the soil of France.
You arrived at the Eighth Division with a past already glorious. Your bravery had proved itself on the battlefields of Verdun and of Champagne and a handsome citation at the order of the 55th Division had been the worthy recompense.
You have remained at the high level of your splendid beginning. Comrades of the good and bad days, you did not recoil before any difficulty, you braved all dangers to assure rapidly the most daring evacuations. A new citation at the Order of the 8th Division for the second time consecrates your worth and the importance of your services.
During the difficult days of March 1918, at the Second Battle of the Marne, and finally during this brilliant pursuit which in November brought the crumbling of the adversary, you did not cease to give yourselves with the most complete spirit of sacrifice.
Your memory will remain imperishable with the 8th Division. You have been able to draw tighter, if there were still need, the ties of friendship which unite the French poilus and their valiant American brothers in arms.
Thanks to all, our best wishes accompany you and will follow you to your beloved country.
Commanding the Eighth Division.
With more than a tinge of regret those of us whose lot it will be to remain in France for some little time read the announcement that after April 15, old "21" will be no more. And it will always be pleasant in after years to look back through the softening mists of memory on the days spent within its hospitable walls during the few weeks that preceded its closing.
They were indeed days for reminiscence. It was perhaps the only place in France where an ambulancier or camionneur could feel perfectly at home in a foreign land: for once inside "21" they were for all the world transplanted back home among their own folks. And not among the least of the satisfactions of visiting it was the fact that there distinctions of rank, which the American army enforced with a punctility that reached the point of falling over backward, were forgotten. It was no mean privilege for those who joined the army and remained in the ranks to feel that because of common traditions of old Field Service days, one could say "Bill" and "Jack" to an old friend at "21" regardless of how he was dressed or regardless of how he would have addressed him had he encountered him anywhere else. And Democracy in which most Field Service men lost faith after they joined the army happily did not suffer at "21". There were no separate messes in the dining room and I venture to say that American army discipline was not weakened by that fact.
The closing weeks were an opportune time for meeting friends of other days. Ambulance men met friends of other sections to recall perhaps that their last meeting had been one. night at the front at such and such a place before the armistice; camion men who went with ambulance sections to Italy and then became aspirants in French artillery saw those who remained in the service and fought over the days at Jouaignes when they were all toiling through the dust on the Chemin des Dames. It seemed that almost all old Field Service men somehow or other got to Paris either to spend three days leave or else to wait for a boat to go home.
It will always be pleasant to remember such afternoons passed lounging about in the salon fighting over old pinard bouts or more redoubtable battles, waiting for five o'clock when tea was to be served, browsing through a book that was always within reach on a table, discussing anything from politics to religion before the cosy fireplace, flouting the exaggerated stories of how our compatriots won the war after the French and English lost it, waiting for the arrival of funds from some source or other or wondering whether M. Sleeper. would stand for another hardluck story. It was a pleasant life and it made a returning aspirant linger a few days longer with perfect content when he learned that his sailing date had been postponed. At "21" radicals could talk with perfect frankness and simple soldats of the American army could give vents to their feelings and youthful reformers could castigate modern society and feel sure that the walls had no ears.
And when the ambulance show came to town how the gatherings in the evening were increased! For a sumptuous feed that was served at midnight was sufficient attraction to keep all the old "hangers round" out of bed until midnight and long after to wait for it.
Everyone speaks with regret of the passing of 21, rue Raynouard and all that is associated with it and all receive warmly the news that an association of old Field service men with a club will be founded in New-York. Priority and length of service in France, better understanding of the French and numerous other things have, after all has been said and done, created an esprit de corps and a closeness of comradeship among those who volunteered in the American Field Service which exists among no other body of Americans in France. And of all those who came from America, it is probable, that from the high standard of personnel, the field service men will take back the best that is France in manners and thought and customs. Most of us now are glad that our service in the American army kept us with the French army, for more reasons than one, and will heartily concur with the lines of "Toujours la France" by Donaldson and Warren:
"Their manners, their ways of expressing themselves
Their courage which nothing can quench
The humanest lot that were ever begot
Thank God, we've been with the French! "
Editor Field Service Bulletin
Just a line to tell you that the Bulletin came just in time to prevent me from being bored to death today.
It's a long story but here goes. Two days ago while flying from Cologne to the coast with the army dispatches I met a baby snow storm with the result that I found myself a few minutes later in a ploughed field "Somewhere in Germany" with a wrecked aeroplane on my hands.
Now my knowledge of German is confined to what I have picked up on an occasional day in Cologne of late. Therefore I wasn't long in discovering that in good old British army slang I was "up against it ". However after prowling around the little village for an hour with all the doors and windows full of curious faces I finally obtained some food by the simple method of entering a shop, taking what I wanted and then producing all my worldly wealth let the proprietor take what he wanted.
Getting a billet for the night was more difficult, but I finally went to the Burgemeister of the village and there in the presence of his terrified family, who gathered to see the English aviator, I curled myself up on a sofa and feigned sleep, hoping to get it into the man's head that I wanted a bed. Not a chance! 'After an hour's furious conversation in which I used all the different languages that I knew even a word of, during which the terrified family fairly shook in their shoes at what they evidently considered the ravings of a madman, I found myself sharing a bed with a young German farm laborer who seemed to think his hour had come to die for the "Fatherland "!
Then, Dear Editor do you believe me when I tell you that your Bulletin was doubly welcome, and an hour ago when a lorry arrived from the squadron and the sergeant said "Two letters for you Sir" that none could have been more welcome than the Bulletin and a letter from Selden B Senter (formerly old S.S.U. 10) who was discharged with me from the American Navy and who subsequently tried to join every military organization going and at last went back to the land of "Old Glory" to volunteer, where they tried to arrest him for not having registration card.
So it seems there are worse things than being in Germany and not being able to speak German.
For the general information of any of old S.S.U. 17, I am leaving shortly for Poland as a member of the Polish Legion. "Sort of going north for the summer idea." Remembrances to all of old S.S.U. 17
Lieut. Ira S. WOODHOUSE,
57 Squadron, Royal Air Force. B. E. F., France.
Darling, I am coming back.
From an Exchange
The records 'of the Lafayette Escadrille show the following American Field Service men as having been members of that Escadrille either staying with the French Army or later being transferred to the U. S. Army:
|Allen, Sidney T.
Barclay, L. Norman, (killed).
Batchelor, Henry A.
Baylies, Frank L. (killed).
Benney, Philip P. (killed).
Bigelow, Stephen S.
Blake, Charles R.
Bluethenthal, Arthur (killed).
Brown, Stafford L. (killed).
Buffum, Thomas B.
Cassady, Thomas G.
Dock, George Jr.
Dowd, Meredith L. (killed).
Elliot, Chester A.
Eoff, Robert G.
Fairchild, Edwin Bradley.
Faith, Clarence H.
Ferguson, Fearchar J.
Fowler, Eric (killed).
Grey, Charles G.
Guy, David M.
Haviland, Willis B.
Heilbuth, John R.
Hobbs, Warren T. (killed).
Johnston, Archibald B.
Jones, Henry Sweet.
Judd, David E.
Kenyon, Hugo A.
|Kinsolving, Charles M.
Kirkwood, William F.
Kyle, George M.
Lee, Schuyler (killed).
Lee, Henry S.
Lewis, David Wilber.
MacMonagle, Douglas (killed)
McCall, G. Archibald.
McConnell, James R. (killed).
Miller, Walter B.
Nichols, Alan H. (killed).
Nordhoff, Charles B.
Oakes, Nathan Jr.
Paden, David S.
Palmer, Henry B. (killed).
Potter, Thomas W. De
Ronde C. H.
Rotharmel, Kenneth R.
Taber, Leslie R.
Wainwright, W. C. Jr.
Wass, William E.
Willis Harold, B.
Woodward, Houston (killed).
May we take this opportunity of expressing the appreciation of Section 72 for what you have done in keeping alive the ties which bound us to our Field Service companions. You have written about them and in your articles have nourished that old spirit of reserve and conservation which are always the marks of good taste.
We have been very negligent in carrying out our end of the proposition and with so many other sections equally as careless in such a vital matter, it is to be wondered that you had the courage to continue. Yet you did and every line was read with interest by the Field Service men of this section.
Now that many of us are contemplating discharge from the Army, either in France or at home as our learned and omnipotent friend, General Order, may dictate, it seems the moment to insert a little note in the Bulletin to let our friends, scattered in the various corners of the American Army, know just what has happened to us. We hope that your other readers will excuse the personal note and if it sounds to them like a want-ad, let them remember their own tankers or aviators who have dropped from view in the rough and tumble mix-up which we have just passed through.
After five happy months at Suippes in the Champagne where even discomforts were forgotten in the warmth of the congenial companionship of good fellows, led by a prince of good fellows in William E. Westbrook our Field Service Chef and first American Lieutenant, we too embarked on a long series of convoys during which we managed to visit most all the fronts and get into bits of all the battles. Before we started on this period, the Field Service men began to open a lengthy barrage on the Army Headquarters. As a result, five men went to the tanks and the first rift appeared in our ranks. Then one by one the others dropped off until now we find ourselves with only twelve of the original forty.
Our experiences in the moving events of last summer presented nothing new. We had the same adventures as the other sections and we received the conventional citation for our work on the Marne as well as several Croix de Guerre.
But we want you to know about our present somewhat unique position. We are located in Mannheim across the Rhine and out of the occupied zone. Originally we were sent past the wicked looking machine guns on the Rhine Bridge and into territory where soap and chocolate replace cigarettes as currency of the realm, for the purpose of transporting sick and wounded returning Allied prisoners. And right well did Henry Ford's beasts of burden respond to this call. At one time one of the noble beasts steamed from the train with its charge maxima of five assis and a total of only one leg for the whole crew, quite inadequate as one must admit.
Then the flow of prisoners ceased and, except for an occasional trip, we are able to attend the opera and other attractions without fear of interruption. In fact we are beginning to wonder whether that mysterious oracle of wisdom, the D. S. A., has completely forgotten us or has simply picked out the best Rhine city and located a much abused section in close proximity to various strong and unmentionable liquors and then washed its hands of us. At any rate it is now rumored that the French government is going to pay us an extra eight marks for our services in Germany itself in distinction to services in the occupied zone. Could anything be more ridiculous! We who are now enjoying the freedom of life away from any army, are now to be paid for enjoying that privilege. Financial operations would be much facilitated if that extra eight marks could simply be transferred to the Rhine wine account.
Friends of the section will be glad to know that even in this heavy Hun atmosphere, our old friend Cookie still officiates over the Remorque, Bill Palen and Shirley find time from dance hall excursions to casually switch a rear axle or main bearing, Spencer still stokes his pipe in the bureau (pronounced with his inimitable French) and puffs between learned dissertations on Persian art, George Smith still takes the same Hellish delight in bumping fat Germans along the pavements and with almost the same zeal as he displayed when we broke springs in the Champagne, and the two Clark boys still help the other boys through this dark and dreary world. Of course our article would be incomplets without a mention of 3rd. Lieutenant Woolverton who now has a German audience whom he entertains in his accustomed style notwithstanding difficulties of language which are overcome with the assistance of liquids. It is rumored that Ted Steere has taken to the life of an aviator and has chosen the Belgian nationality but this may refer to his recent flights of imagination.
Our insignia, which represents the American cowboy chasing with a lasso the fleeing figure of the late Kaiser, has caused Mitchell who originated the idea, many a thrill as the Social Democrats hesitated to glare at it during a debate with the mighty Bolschevik.
Lou-lou, our faithful hound, still howls just as joyfully at the morning roll-call whistle and on account of his weight is the recipient of envious stares from the eyes of greedy and meatless Germans who picture him as coming out of a sausage grinder in the form of a long roll of ground meat. Twice he was stolen but always mysteriously appeared with several broken ropes dangling from his neck.
We look forward to a grand and jovial meeting in little old New-York!
Barron F. BLACK, S.S.U. 639 (old 72),
February 17, 1919.
Section 641, old "71", is now at Base Camp, awaiting sailing orders. The old section, composed mostly of Harvard under-graduates commanded by Roland R. Speers, took the field on the last day of July, 1917, with Fiat cars and was attached to the 158th Division. The section's first "Bit" was done in the devastated country around Saint-Quentin where the Division was entrenched adjacent to the British lines. Later in 1918, the old poste at Holnon became the point where the Boches landed their "Kolossal" March offensive.
The Section enlisted in the U. S. Army en masse on August 31, 1917, being the first section at the front taken over by the army. On November 1st, 1917, the 158th Division was sent to Italy and "71" made a memorable convoy into the parc at Noyon (nosing out "72" by a small margin) and turned in the Fiat cars, entraining the same day for the Bar-le-Duc parc to release the personnel of S.S.U. 29 which had decided en masse to sail for home.
Old 71, or rather new 29, learned the ways of Fords for the first time while serving the worst postes in the Verdun sector for the 120th D. I., and acquitted itself remarkably well under most unforeseen conditions. Following a long period at Verdun and in the Argonne with the 120 th D. I., the Section was attached to the 17th D. I. with which it served all through the terrible 1918 drives of the famous 10th Army of Mangin, which forced the German center back from Soissons to the Belgian Border by daily assaults. Following the armistice, the Section followed the Division in convoy for nearly six weeks up into occupied Germany and bade farewell to the field, and the many French comrades of the staunch, old 17th D. I. at Saarlouis, Germany on February 26, 1919, after nineteen months' service at the front.
641 is at present doing "Squads East" at Base Camp awaiting its opportunity to join in on the chorus of "Homeward Bound",
"An Revoir Field Service" --- "Vive la France!"
Lieut. Roland R. SPEERS.
The Field Service Headquarters would be very grateful if all former members who are returning to America would notify, 21, rue Raynouard at the same time giving their permanent home address.
The following old Field Service volunteers (S.S.U. 72 and 27) were cited in orders of the Regiment in Mannheim, Germany (in the neutral zone) on January 14, 1919:
Sgt. 1st cl. Arthur Belden.
Pvt. 1st cl. Coleman G. Clark.
Pvt. 1st cl. Harold R. Clark.
Robert Treat Knowles, formerly old S.S.U. 13, was commissioned 2nd Lieut. Field Artillery U.S.A., last autumn. His permanent address is 57 Upland Road, Brookline, Mass.
We note from Boston papers that Lieut. James Dudley Beane (old S.S.U. 9) of the U.S. Air Service who was killed in action, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General Pershing for extraordinary heroism in action near Bantheville, France, October 29, 1918.
Among the A. F. S. men to take advantage of the opportunity to attend Universities over here are Edward J. Phelps, Jr. (S.S.U. 18) at University of Lyon; Edwin G. Nash, H. S. Weller, Charles R. Chase and Waiter Emil Bruns (all formerly in old 18) at the University of Dijon; Wesley O. Ash (S.S.U. 12) at the University at Rennes; Ralph J. Kielty (old 31) at the University at Caen; and 2nd. Lieut. Walter B. Champlin (T.M.U. 526) and 2nd. Lieut. Irving G. Hall, Jr. (T.M. U. 133) are attending the University of Paris, Sorbonne.
1st. Lieut. Henry Z. Persons (T.M.U. 155) formerly with the Mallet Reserve, now with the Sixth American Army Headquarters has been spending three days leave in Paris.
The following former A.F.S. men are leaving this week, via La Touraine, for America : H. M. Hamilton (S.S.U. 69), John McCampbell (S.S.U. 69), L. H. Davidson (T.M.U. 184), Robert R. Rieser (S.S.U. 33), T. M. Walker, Jr. (T.M.U. 133), Harold R. Day (S.S.U. 69) and Parker K. Ellis (S.S.U. 9).
A limited number of sets of the American Field Service Bulletin can be had at a price of forty francs per set. Single numbers to complete sets will be furnished, when possible, at a price of fifty centimes each.
Copies of the Mallet Reserve Special Number of the Bulletin, in larger form with cartoons and pictures of the old Camion Service, are on sale in the Editorial office at two francs per copy.
A considerable amount of baggage still remains unclaimed in the cinema in the rue Raynouard. The owners should not fail, when passing through Paris to look after whatever of their property may be there in storage, and arrange either for its shipment to America or its disposition elsewhere.
We can not be responsible for baggage left in the cinema after April 15th.
ATTENTION IS CALLED TO THE FACT THAT, 21, RUE RAYNOUARD IS NO LONGER A FORWARDING ADDRESS FOR LETTERS OR PACKAGES AS IT WILL BE CLOSED ON THE 15TH OF APRIL.