Snail Races

...where even the winners are slow and slimy. It's all a matter of degrees, really. Reality based since 1692.

My Photo
Location: Upper Canada

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

Recently I found, in a box of my father's genealogy research, a notebook, typed around 1971, apparently by or for my grandfather, Clarence Dewey (Ted) Loveland.

The notebook is eleven pages long. It records letters and visits from 1971, and we know that Ted died 1n 1972, so this was done in the last years, even months, of his life. It is a retrospective account that begins with his childhood residences, and only becomes detailed following his enlistment in the Army in Sep. 1917, at the age of 19 years. It ends abruptly as he describes his employment at various occupations following his return from the war. I can easily imagine that it was the result of a single session at the typewriter, an effort at a memoir to which, perhaps, he lacked the strength to return.

Today, 11 November, is a good day to remember his story of his service in the Great War.

Enlisted in the Army in Sept. 1918(sic, actually 1917), when 19 years old.

Soldiered in Camp Dodge with the old 1st Iowa Inf. for two or three months and the First Iowa was changed to the 133red U.S. Inf. and sent to Camp Cody, New Mexico. Soldiered there as a private, Bugler, and Signalman, til May, 1919 (1918). Was then transferred to Over Seas Service, going via Camp Merrit for a few weeks then to Boston and on boar the U.S.S. Runic, an old English cattle boat. From Boston we sailed to Halifax, N.S., where we met the convoy. Landed in South Hampton, England June 1st.

After Spending the night in an English rest camp we entrained for Liverpool, then taking a channel boat for Brest, France. After a few days in Brest, was sent to St. aignon an American replacement camp in So. France.

There I was assigned to the 102nd Inf. of the 26th Div. This division was composed of men from the New England States and was the first complete American division to land in France and the first complete American division to enter the front lines as a division.

I joined the division during the Chateau Thierry Drive, the first big battle of the war for the American Army.

After the division was relieved, about the last of july, I, with many others of the division, was taken sick from smoking gassed tobacco and eating gassed foood.
Spent two or three weeks in Base Hospital 42 at Nevers, then rejoined the division just in time for the St. Mihiel drive. Got through this battle very easily but while holding the line after the drive was wounded in the finger by a machine gun bullet. It was not very serious so stayed with the company. I received this wound while on a raiding party into MArchville, a town that the Germans were holding near our front lines. This happened about the last of September.

We next moved to the city of Verdun where we stayed for a few days and next took up a position in support of the 29th division just a few miles north of Verdun.

I was a regimental runner for about three weeks in the Argonne Forest and was in and thru most of the front lines in this sector during that time.

About the last of October while guiding the first battalion of the 102nd Inf. to a front line position, I ran into heavy shelling and machine gun fire. The major gave the signal and everybody ducked into whatever shelter or shellhole they could find. I picked a hole that a gas shell had just exploded in and when I tried to back out was hit in the right leg by a machine gun bullet so I had to get back in the hole again.

The machine gun wound wasn't very serious but in the excitement didn't get a gas mask on quick enough and got a lot of gas. After they stopped shelling and the battalion was in position went to the first aid station and got tagged for the hospital. I was too sick to go back for a day or two but reached Base Hospital 24 about the 5th of Nov.

When I returned to the company I was just in time for Christmas Dinner.

Was in several camps and went on several trips through France, Switzerland, and Germany before sailing from Brest in March.

We left Brest on the U.S.S. Aggermendon(sic), an old German ship one of the largest in the world at that time.

Landed in Boston and went to Camp Devons for a few weeks, then was sent to Camp Dodge where I was discharged in April, 1919.

Growing up, I didn't know anything about him, nor did my father. The genealogy bug that bit Dad brought us this information when I was well over thirty and Dad was pushing sixty, 15 years after Grandpa Ted died.

Writing that last sentence was the first time the phrase, "Grandpa Ted" ever entered my mind. Surprising, the emotion, especially today, in just thinking those words.

Thanks, Grandpa Ted.


Post a Comment

<< Home