Excerpts from my Grandfather’s World War I
Part 7 – France – September 1 – 10, 1918
My Grandfather “caught hell from Capt. Moon.”
Training with gas masks on.
Long train ride and hike to the Front.
Railway in France used by the Army Engineers (photo from National Archives)
My Comments: The 111th Engineers have been working and training behind the lines since they arrived in France on July 30, 1918. This installment from the Log Book covers their final days of training and their travel to the front, from September 1 – 10, 1918.
Log Book* quotes:
“2nd – Working on two type B and 3 type A trenches. Privates Perkins, Eades & Chitwood were transferred to picket line. Pvt. Dale Flagg was sent to hospital at Bar-sur-Aube.
3rd – Checked equipment this morning at 10:30 A.M. Caught hell from Cpt. Moon for not taking the boys out to drill. More hell this afternoon on account of Sgt. Wolf not bringing up his detail on time. This must be my lucky day.
4th – Still working on trenches.
6th – Went to grenade pit at Spoy. Great sport – the boys sure hit the pit most every time.
7th – Finishing up our type B trench. Sgt. Wolf left for gas school.
8th – Lieut. Singleton returned this morning. The boys were sure glad to see him.
9th – Instruction in co-ordination map reading. Fired at range with gas masks on. Tore down targets preparing to leave. Received 3 new men today.
10th – Left Argancon at 8 A.M. Reached Bar-sur-Aube at 1 P.M. Entrained at 1:30 P.M. Arrived at Frouard 11:45 P.M.
[My Note: This 10 hour, 15 minute train ride was about 160 Km/100 miles.]
11th – The platoon unloaded the wagons to 4:30 A.M.
[My Note: This was a 23 hour day followed by about 2 hours of sleep and 9 hours of marching.]
Camped in grain elevators. Up at 7 A.M., on the march at 9 A.M., arrived at woods just beyond Griscourt at 6 P.M., where we pitched pup tents.”
[My Note: This 9 hour march was approximately 15 – 20 Km/9 – 12 miles.]
Next post will be — First work at the battle front
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*Quotes are from my grandfather Sergeant 1st Class Lou Sheckard’s World War I handwritten Log Book, describing his experience with the Army 111th Engineers from March 1, 1917 to June 15, 1919. To learn how I discovered this 100-year-old family treasure, click here.
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Peter Finkle bio: Husband, Father, Writer | Herbal Health Researcher | Co-Founder: Vets Vites dietary supplements