Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Call to Members: Commemorating the End of the Great War

 

WW1 Centennial (@WW1CC) | TwitterPlease forgive this very belated call from a fellow Ricochet member. I intend to write, marking the centennial of the Armistice of 11/11/1918. However, I am well aware that most of the burden of that terrible war, on the Allied side, was borne, in the meat grinder of the Western Front, by citizens of the British Empire, and the French Third Republic. We are barely aware of the Russians, the Italians, and even Japan.

So, fellow Ricochetti, I invite, I encourage your postings this weekend. Have you a family story? Photographs of a visit to a battlefield? Images from the home front, or the aftermath? Will you attend ceremonies, as a matter of annual observance or as a special centennial event?

Peter Jackson, of the Lord of the Rings movie fame, has produced an apparent masterpiece, They Shall Not Grow Old, taking actual footage, colorizing and adding the voices of the men who lived it. Is anyone attending a screening?

I see that Canada has a plan for bells to ring 100 times at sunset on 11 November. Additionally, around the world, bells will toll at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, marking the end of hostilities. Might there be good audio-video of that?

I propose we mark posts with the tag “WWI Centennial” for easy reference.

There are 52 comments.

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  1. Annefy Member

    A few years back I read of a treasure trove of WWI pics that had found their way to a British museum. Their genus was remarkable, apparently they’d been collected by a garbage man in Scotland. He’d merely saved what was being thrown away.

    My grandfather, Sam Flanagan, has no stories to his name. Other than he married my grandmother, fought in France. Came home, they had four children and he then died of pneumonia when the youngest was only months old

    I flipped through the pictures that are now in the museum and am somewhat convinced I found him. I’d know that smirk anywhere. My dad had it. And so does my son Sam (who was born on his birthday)

    • #1
    • November 10, 2018, at 1:21 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What a great idea.

    The last member of my family killed in a war was Thomas Herbert Mapson, Private, Third Battalion, Worcester Regiment, mostly likely at the Battle of Lys, just east of Ypres, on April 10, 1918. By that time, Britain was conscripting 40-year olds with young families, so he left his wife and young daughter, sailed off to do his bit, and never returned home, thus altering the course of two women’s lives forever. My brother, on a motorcycle tour of WWI battlefields and cemeteries, some years ago with his co-workers, found his grave marker:

    The UK Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects records that, at the time of his death, Thomas had four pounds, nineteen shillings and tuppence to his name, and that on April 10, 1919, his widow and child were awarded the generous wartime gratuity of four pounds ten shillings.

    Prior to his death, Thomas worked as a pawnbroker in the English Midlands. He and his wife Jenny took in lodgers to make ends meet, one of whom was the gloriously-named “Mr Wigley” (no idea if he was or not).

    Thomas’s daughter, who was born three months before the Titanic sank, was my Auntie Betty (actually, my some-degree-of-cousin, some-number-of-degrees-removed. She died in 2015 at the age of 102. She had a story too, and I told it here.

    • #2
    • November 10, 2018, at 3:37 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. ctlaw Coolidge

    A great uncle close in age to my maternal grandmother survived losing an eye and most of his lungs to gas. He lived until his nineties and was reasonably sharp.

    The family immigrated a few years before the war and was drafted into the Army.

    • #3
    • November 10, 2018, at 4:57 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Steve C. Member

    My paternal grandfather did what any red blooded adventure seeking American 16 year old would do. He lied about his age and joined the Army. His entire term of service was spent at Fort Dix. He considered himself lucky. Having avoided both the trenches and the Spanish Flu.

    I’ve always considered it remarkable, he was born into a world powered by horses. He lived to see an American walk on the moon.

    • #4
    • November 10, 2018, at 5:10 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  5. John H. Inactive
    John H. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    11/11/1911? Can’t help with that. But not long ago I did visit the area where my father’s father fought long, and lost. No pictures, regrettably. The Isonzo valley really is beautiful.

    • #5
    • November 10, 2018, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    No stories to tell from my family. We visited Tyne Cot cemetery in 2015, photo below. We saw grave after grave inscribed with the basic statement, “A Soldier of the Great War Known Only to God.”

    We later visited the WWI Museum in Ypres. I had to leave after about 30 minutes: the sadness was unbearable.

    • #6
    • November 10, 2018, at 6:17 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  7. OldPhil Coolidge

    My Great-Uncle James Kelly, one of 11 children, was killed in action 8/7/1918. He’s buried at the Oise Aisne military cemetery in France. His mother (my Great-Grandmother) went on a Gold Star Mothers trip to France in the early 1920s to visit his grave.

    James_Kelly_WWI

    James_Kelly_grave

    • #7
    • November 10, 2018, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  8. Hugh Member

    My grandfather won the King George Cross as a young lieutenant who stuck to his machine gun after the trenches were overrun, was wounded, and held that patch of ground until he was relieved some time later. He died of the wound (shot through the liver) many years later in 1945. 

    Grandma was the driver for Lloyd George at the start of the Great War. She wound up driving an ambulance in France later on. (WAAC i think)

     

    • #8
    • November 10, 2018, at 6:41 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Clifford A. Brown: marking the centennial of the Armistice of 11/11/191118.

    Oops?

    • #9
    • November 10, 2018, at 6:53 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. tigerlily Member

    Both of my grandfathers served in the US Army during World War I and both went to France as part of the A. E. F.

    I don’t have any stories regarding their service, but I do have a couple of stories about my grandfather on my Mom’s side post-war. First, he had a box of war souvenirs tucked away in a small nook of a room which I used to play with when we visited. I can’t recall exactly what was in the box except for one item – a German “pickle” helmet (something like the photo below). I always wondered how he came to have this helmet since the Germans had replaced them a year or more before the US entered the war.

     

     

    Second, in the service, he had cut the hair of the men in his unit and he still had those 1917-era barbering tools. He was proud of his barbering skills and when they visited (and I was young), he would insist on cutting my hair with those clippers which was a miserable experience as they would yank and pull rather than cut the hair.

     

    • #10
    • November 10, 2018, at 7:15 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hugh (View Comment):

    My grandfather won the King George Cross as a young lieutenant who stuck to his machine gun after the trenches were overrun, was wounded, and held that patch of ground until he was relieved some time later. He died of the wound (shot through the liver) many years later in 1945.

    Wow. God Bless him.

    Grandma was the driver for Lloyd George at the start of the Great War. She wound up driving an ambulance in France later on. (WAAC i think)

    “Lloyd George knew my father; Father knew Lloyd George.” Not really, although if anyone’s father had known Lloyd George, it would have been mine. And your comment reminds me how many women were pressed into service in roles they wouldn’t otherwise have been, in both the first and second World Wars.

     

     

    • #11
    • November 10, 2018, at 8:38 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well my Grandfather who I never met Stanley, he died in Poland around 1945. He found himself as part of the Kaiser’s army. I’ll try and find photo we have of him – he’s sporting a big handle-bar mustache in his uniform.

    My Dad told the story of his Grandmother spanking the tar out of him and his cousin. They’d been putting rounds they recovered from the abandoned Eastern trenches in a bonfire. Boys – they’re the same everywhere in space & time.

    • #12
    • November 10, 2018, at 8:39 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  13. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: marking the centennial of the Armistice of 11/11/191118.

    Oops?

    Thanks. I just fixed this. Didn’t notice it, as I was thinking, “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

    Surely @cliffordbrown was, too, hmm . . . :)

     

    • #13
    • November 10, 2018, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Kay of MT Member

    For some reason, don’t know why, my closest family members are not interested in history. I have been across these United States several times and to archives, tracking family. I have nearly 6,000 people in my computer base, and many hundreds of stories. When I start with family genealogy, they change the subject . Several days ago, Kaylett stated she couldn’t remember all I was telling her, and suggested I draw a chart so she could see where each member stood in relation to the other members. So I printed her out her family tree of 15 generations. It came to 27 pages. I have more generations but 15 was hard for her to grasp.

    My father was adopted in 1913 so have nothing for him or his family. He did have an adoptive uncle in WWI, who refused to talk about it. My mother’s father was born in 1857 and far too old for WWI. Lots of family in Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812, Spanish American War. Scottish ancestor James Stewart tossed out of Scotland in 1745, involved with the Regulators in NC in 1771 and sentenced to hang, but received a reprieve. He died in may 1775 NC. However in 1776 two of his sons were in Rev. War. Our Jewish ancestors ordered out of Spain 1492 and Russia 1885.

    My favorite story is about Raphell Creed born about 1601 in Gloucester Co. England. He was the ship’s carpenter on (The Brindled Cow I think) bringing people to the colonies. His father, Edward Creed left a will leaving him 10 shillings and a prayer that he lead a better life. 

    • #14
    • November 10, 2018, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  15. RightAngles Member

    My grandfather (mom’s father), Ernest Cyrus McMaster of the 331st Field Artillery. After the war, he played in the Houston Symphony and John Philip Sousa’s Band. He had that head of hair until the day he died.

    Dad said that when he’d take Mom home from dates, Mac would always be sitting on the front porch with a rifle across his lap.

    • #15
    • November 10, 2018, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  16. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One thing I won’t be able to do tomorrow is call my Dad and wish him a good “Veterans’ Day” and thank him for what he did in 1943-1945. He was in the 104th Infantry Division (AKA, the Timberwolves) in WWII; he died last March at the age of 93.

    • #16
    • November 10, 2018, at 9:33 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  17. Paul Happe Contributor

    My grandfather was born in 1896 and served in the horse cavalry in WWI. He was sent home after falling victim to a German gas attack. He once told me the story of what happened next. He was sent to a hospital in western Iowa or possibly Omaha to recuperate. As he got better, they told him to walk around the grounds of the hospital for exercise. Adjacent to those grounds was a schoolhouse. He got the attention of a pretty schoolteacher, and asked her to go on a date when he was released from the hospital. Initially she declined because her father wouldn’t approve of her seeing a soldier. Somehow they worked it out, because that schoolteacher became my grandmother. They had eight children that survived birth. My father was the fourth, with three older brothers.

    One of my father’s favorite stories was about how his father was the greatest horseman he had ever seen, due to his cavalry training. In the central United States during the 1930’s there were still bands of wild horses roaming free. To supplement his income, grandpa would buy some wild horses, tame them, then sell them to farmers for a profit. One of Dad’s older brothers, then in his early teens, fancied himself a horseman too, but didn’t have the training of grandpa. When, without grandpa’s permission, the youngster tried to mount the horse, it kicked him in the face and broke his jaw. While grandma tended to my uncle, grandpa jumped on the horse and, in the words of my dad, “rode the hell out of him.” Dad said that afterward, that horse was the gentlest horse the family had ever owned. Dad is 89 years old now, and I need to get some of his stories documented.

    • #17
    • November 10, 2018, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  18. Hugh Member

    She (View Comment):

    Hugh (View Comment):

    My grandfather won the King George Cross as a young lieutenant who stuck to his machine gun after the trenches were overrun, was wounded, and held that patch of ground until he was relieved some time later. He died of the wound (shot through the liver) many years later in 1945.

    Wow. God Bless him.

    Grandma was the driver for Lloyd George at the start of the Great War. She wound up driving an ambulance in France later on. (WAAC i think)

    “Lloyd George knew my father; Father knew Lloyd George.” Not really, although if anyone’s father had known Lloyd George, it would have been mine. And your comment reminds me how many women were pressed into service in roles they wouldn’t otherwise have been, in both the first and second World Wars.

     

    There are a couple of apocryphal family stories as well: That Grandma and Grandpa met in France after he was wounded. I have never been able to get confirmation of that one. Also that one time as a Driver in London she had to take Winston Churchill somewhere and he was “fresh” with her. That second one is a lot more believable.

     

    • #18
    • November 10, 2018, at 12:25 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  19. Steve C. Member

    Hugh (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Hugh (View Comment):

    My grandfather won the King George Cross as a young lieutenant who stuck to his machine gun after the trenches were overrun, was wounded, and held that patch of ground until he was relieved some time later. He died of the wound (shot through the liver) many years later in 1945.

    Wow. God Bless him.

    Grandma was the driver for Lloyd George at the start of the Great War. She wound up driving an ambulance in France later on. (WAAC i think)

    “Lloyd George knew my father; Father knew Lloyd George.” Not really, although if anyone’s father had known Lloyd George, it would have been mine. And your comment reminds me how many women were pressed into service in roles they wouldn’t otherwise have been, in both the first and second World Wars.

     

    There are a couple of apocryphal family stories as well: That Grandma and Grandpa met in France after he was wounded. I have never been able to get confirmation of that one. Also that one time as a Driver in London she had to take Winston Churchill somewhere and he was “fresh” with her. That second one is a lot more believable.

    Churchill was famously shy around women he did not know. Mean or sharp, that would be very credible. 

    • #19
    • November 10, 2018, at 1:12 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    A great uncle close in age to my maternal grandmother survived losing an eye and most of his lungs to gas. He lived until his nineties and was reasonably sharp.

    The family immigrated a few years before the war and was drafted into the Army.

    On top of the machine guns and the regular artillery shells, poison gas was a new horror of that war. Winford Owens wrote of it in “Dulce et Decorum Est:”

    […] All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
     
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
     
    In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
    Your great uncle was especially blessed with a strong constitution, as such lung damage, if survived, would tend to shorten life.
    • #20
    • November 10, 2018, at 1:26 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Both of my grandfathers served in the US Army during World War I and both went to France as part of the A. E. F.

    I don’t have any stories regarding their service, but I do have a couple of stories about my grandfather on my Mom’s side post-war. First, he had a box of war souvenirs tucked away in a small nook of a room which I used to play with when we visited. I can’t recall exactly what was in the box except for one item – a German “pickle” helmet (something like the photo below). I always wondered how he came to have this helmet since the Germans had replaced them a year or more before the US entered the war.

     

     

    Second, in the service, he had cut the hair of the men in his unit and he still had those 1917-era barbering tools. He was proud of his barbering skills and when they visited (and I was young), he would insist on cutting my hair with those clippers which was a miserable experience as they would yank and pull rather than cut the hair.

     

    The fellow who can cut hair matters to his mates. In the field, without access to running water, with all potable water limited, keeping your hair cut is part of basic creature comfort and health.

    • #21
    • November 10, 2018, at 1:33 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Hugh (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Hugh (View Comment):

    My grandfather won the King George Cross as a young lieutenant who stuck to his machine gun after the trenches were overrun, was wounded, and held that patch of ground until he was relieved some time later. He died of the wound (shot through the liver) many years later in 1945.

    Wow. God Bless him.

    Grandma was the driver for Lloyd George at the start of the Great War. She wound up driving an ambulance in France later on. (WAAC i think)

    “Lloyd George knew my father; Father knew Lloyd George.” Not really, although if anyone’s father had known Lloyd George, it would have been mine. And your comment reminds me how many women were pressed into service in roles they wouldn’t otherwise have been, in both the first and second World Wars.

     

    There are a couple of apocryphal family stories as well: That Grandma and Grandpa met in France after he was wounded. I have never been able to get confirmation of that one. Also that one time as a Driver in London she had to take Winston Churchill somewhere and he was “fresh” with her. That second one is a lot more believable.

     

    Your story points out that not all casualties die during the war, that old wounds may shorten a veteran’s life. The story of your grandmother shows the necessary shift, in the world of mass industrial armies to including women in support roles, relieving a man to take a rifle to the front lines. The new technology of typewriters was dominated by women, who became far more efficient clerks than their male counterparts, who were thus moved forward. I suspect, however, that the fellow who could type ended up being the battalion clerk, slightly safer than sitting in the front line trench.

    • #22
    • November 10, 2018, at 1:40 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Judge Mental Member

    My maternal grandfather, Rufus Cox from Carroll County, MS, was an artillery corporal in France (promoted to sergeant after the armistice). His unit was largely wiped out by a gas attack in the Argonne Forest. The survivors got a unit citation, and his discharge was signed by Blackjack Pershing.

    • #23
    • November 10, 2018, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  24. Richard O'Shea Coolidge

    My grandfather and his best friend enlisted when we declared war on Germany. The army sent both of them down to the Mexican border. It seems in those days there was a problem with the border between Mexico and the US. His picture from 1918 is my avatar. Here are some others.

    My brother and I recently found out he was part of the last cavalry horse charge in US history.

     

    • #24
    • November 10, 2018, at 2:05 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    My paternal grandfather did what any red blooded adventure seeking American 16 year old would do. He lied about his age and joined the Army. His entire term of service was spent at Fort Dix. He considered himself lucky. Having avoided both the trenches and the Spanish Flu.

    I’ve always considered it remarkable, he was born into a world powered by horses. He lived to see an American walk on the moon.

    Your paternal grandfather was like many of his generation, lying to get into, rather than out of, military service. We were reminded that some still did so, even after World War II, when President Trump presented the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Major John Canley, for action in Vietnam.

    Canley, who spent 28 years in the service, left El Dorado, Arkansas, at the age of 15 to join the Marines. [He used his brother’s documents to enlist two years below the youngest recruiting age!]

    On Memorial Day, I always play a recording of a dirge by an unlikely band, commemorating the Battle of the Somme, with lyrics in part:

    We all volunteered
    And we wrote down our names
    And we added two years to our ages
    Eager for life and ahead of the game
    Ready for history’s pages

    Your grandfather was indeed at great risk of the Spanish Flu, which took more American lives than did German shells and bullets.

    It has been calculated that the 13 weeks between September and December 1918 constituted the most intense period, taking the greatest number of lives. At least 195,000 Americans died in October alone. In comparison, total American military casualties for the whole of World War I came in at just over 116,000. Once again, it was the crowded military encampments where the second wave initially gained a hold.

    The CDC notes this is the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu pandemic. To this day, the annual flu shot is a condition of membership in the active duty military and the drilling Reserve and Guard. Commanders at every level answer for their timely unit compliance.

    • #25
    • November 10, 2018, at 2:12 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Susan in Seattle (View Comment):

    One thing I won’t be able to do tomorrow is call my Dad and wish him a good “Veterans’ Day” and thank him for what he did in 1943-1945. He was in the 104th Infantry Division (AKA, the Timberwolves) in WWII; he died last March at the age of 93.

    I am sorry for your loss, and grateful he lived to such a great age. Tomorrow, there will be a small memorial service in Mesa, AZ, for the RAF cadets who died in pilot training for WWII. The last pilot, healthy enough to make the trans-Atlantic flight for the ceremony, was looking a bit slower last year, so we shall see this year. Last year, the mayor challenged those in attendance to take up the responsibility of carrying forward the memories, after there were no more living witnesses.

    All of the Great War veterans have been gone for some time now, making the challenge of carrying their memories forward, thorough the crowded field of subsequent war memories, all the more challenging.

    • #26
    • November 10, 2018, at 2:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  27. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Richard O'Shea (View Comment):

    My grandfather and his best friend enlisted when we declared war on Germany. The army sent both of them down to the Mexican border. It seems in those days there was a problem with the border between Mexico and the US. His picture from 1918 is my avatar. Here are some others.

    My brother and I recently found out he was part of the last cavalry horse charge in US history.

     

    Wonderful photographs.

    • #27
    • November 10, 2018, at 4:02 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Jeff Giambrone Coolidge

    My Grandfather, Lynnly C. Adams of Brandon, Mississippi, was 22 years old when he joined the Navy on October 15, 1917. After completing his training, he was assigned as a Fireman 3rd Class to the U.S.S. Seattle, an armored cruiser that did convoy escort duty between the United States and Europe. 

    While serving on the Seattle, my Grandfather was stricken in the Influenza epidemic of 1918, and ended up in a Navy hospital in Brest, France. According to the story that has been passed down in the family, he was put in a tent with a number of other men who were not expected to live. There was one nurse however that refused to give up on these men, and she took care of my Grandfather during his long recovery period. 

    My Grandfather was discharged from the Navy in 1919, went home to Mississippi, and married my Grandmother. They went on to have 9 children, one of whom was my mother. I never knew my Grandfather; he died in 1957 while being operated on in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. The surgery he was having was on his lungs; I don’t think he ever fully recovered from the 1918 flu. I was born 10 years after my Grandfather passed away, and researching his World War 1 service has been a way for me to learn about the man I never knew.

    • #28
    • November 10, 2018, at 4:13 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  29. RightAngles Member

    Jeff Giambrone (View Comment):

    My Grandfather, Lynnly C. Adams of Brandon, Mississippi, was 22 years old when he joined the Navy on October 15, 1917. After completing his training, he was assigned as a Fireman 3rd Class to the U.S.S. Seattle, an armored cruiser that did convoy escort duty between the United States and Europe.

    While serving on the Seattle, my Grandfather was stricken in the Influenza epidemic of 1918, and ended up in a Navy hospital in Brest, France. According to the story that has been passed down in the family, he was put in a tent with a number of other men who were not expected to live. There was one nurse however that refused to give up on these men, and she took care of my Grandfather during his long recovery period.

    My Grandfather was discharged from the Navy in 1919, went home to Mississippi, and married my Grandmother. They went on to have 9 children, one of whom was my mother. I never knew my Grandfather; he died in 1957 while being operated on in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. The surgery he was having was on his lungs; I don’t think he ever fully recovered from the 1918 flu. I was born 10 years after my Grandfather passed away, and researching his World War 1 service has been a way for me to learn about the man I never knew.

    I love these stories.

    • #29
    • November 10, 2018, at 4:16 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. tigerlily Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Jeff Giambrone (View Comment):

    My Grandfather, Lynnly C. Adams of Brandon, Mississippi, was 22 years old when he joined the Navy on October 15, 1917. After completing his training, he was assigned as a Fireman 3rd Class to the U.S.S. Seattle, an armored cruiser that did convoy escort duty between the United States and Europe.

    While serving on the Seattle, my Grandfather was stricken in the Influenza epidemic of 1918, and ended up in a Navy hospital in Brest, France. According to the story that has been passed down in the family, he was put in a tent with a number of other men who were not expected to live. There was one nurse however that refused to give up on these men, and she took care of my Grandfather during his long recovery period.

    My Grandfather was discharged from the Navy in 1919, went home to Mississippi, and married my Grandmother. They went on to have 9 children, one of whom was my mother. I never knew my Grandfather; he died in 1957 while being operated on in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. The surgery he was having was on his lungs; I don’t think he ever fully recovered from the 1918 flu. I was born 10 years after my Grandfather passed away, and researching his World War 1 service has been a way for me to learn about the man I never knew.

    I love these stories.

    Yeah, me too.

    • #30
    • November 10, 2018, at 4:38 PM PST
    • 5 likes

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