World War I Anniversary

Updated on August 1, 2017
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MsMillar has been a writer on HubPages for five plus years. She enjoys the freedom Hubpages allows for her to explore her creative side.

Corporal Frank L. Gormley Jr. 1917
Corporal Frank L. Gormley Jr. 1917 | Source

Grandfather Served in WWI

This is the anniversary of the first World War. Have you forgotten? One hundred years, it is hard for me to believe its been so long.

I can't forget that war. My grandfather served in the army during WWI. He has left behind a treasure trove of letters. Over one hundred letters to his parents, his only brother and his girl, Gladys.

I enjoy reading through the letters. I can get a sense of actually being there with him as he drives a supply truck in the Motor Train, as they called it. His truck brought all kinds of supplies to the men. If there was a need, his truck would fill it!

Loved Serving His Country

My grandfather, Frank Jr, truly loved serving his country. His letters reflect on his feelings on this subject. From the first weeks of his enlistment, until he returns home; He is happy to serve. In his letter dated May 1, 1918, page 2, third paragraph, Frank writes to his parents concerning his uniform "...I receive my uniform tomorrow and then for the real stuff." (see photo). The real stuff I would imagine is he feels he'll really be a soldier when he receives his uniform, thus he will be sent oversea's like a real soldier.

He enlisted when he turned eighteen and never looked back! In a letter dated May 2, 1918, page one, last paragraph, he writes "...I am darned glad I didn't wait until I was drafted because everybody (regulars) hate the drafters that come into camp..." for Frank, this is just another endorsement for his early enlistment.

WWI Letters

Click thumbnail to view full-size
May 1, 1918 Page 1May 1, 1918 Page 2May 3, 1918 Page 1May 3, 1918 Page 2
May 1, 1918 Page 1
May 1, 1918 Page 1 | Source
May 1, 1918 Page 2
May 1, 1918 Page 2 | Source
May 3, 1918 Page 1
May 3, 1918 Page 1 | Source
May 3, 1918 Page 2
May 3, 1918 Page 2 | Source

Transcription of Letter May 1, 1918

This letter is difficult to see in its original writing above.  This is a transcription, word for word, paragraph for paragraph.
This letter is difficult to see in its original writing above. This is a transcription, word for word, paragraph for paragraph. | Source

From Port Slocum to Cochem Germany

A
Port Slocum, NY:
Bomford Rd, New Rochelle, NY 10805, USA

get directions

B
Camp Johnston, Florida:
1001 Gray Ave, Carrabelle, FL 32322, USA

get directions

C
Saint Nazaire, France:
44600 Saint-Nazaire, France

get directions

D
Cochem Germany:
56812 Cochem, Germany

get directions

Slocum to Cochem

In Frank's letters you can follow him as he moves from camp to camp across the U.S., then across the Atlantic Ocean to France.

Each letter is dated, followed by his location. On a few occasions there is no location mentioned. Within the letter Frank reflects that he is not allowed to divulge their location at that point.

From Port Slocum, on May 1, 1918, down to S. Carolina, in July, then he's at sea until August 1, 1918. They land in France and make their way up to Cochem Germany.

I find it very interesting to read along, and immerse myself in his experience as a soldier.

Deteriorating Paper

Letter deteriorating
Letter deteriorating | Source

Old Documents to Laminated Documents

The documents, being one-hundred years old, are beginning to fall apart. The pamphlet's Frank sent home way back in 1918 have become dog-eared. The letters are deteriorating. To touch them with your bare hands they merely dissolve within your fingers. For me, the thought of losing all these letters, would be a tragedy! I've decided to do something about it before they dissolve completely.

To celebrate the centennial anniversary of WWI I will laminate all the letters, postcards and various documents my grandfather sent back during his time in WWI.

Laminating is a really easy process that preserves the item you choose to laminate. It is not a difficult process, but it would be best explained in a Hub of it's own. I will place a link to it when I complete a Hub on Laminating.

This is how I choose to celebrate WWI. How can you celebrate its centennial anniversary? Do something nice for a veteran maybe. Visit a veterans home, they always like visitors. Do something to honor and celebrate our hero's!


Coming Soon, A Complete Work

Every letter, post card, and document sent by Frank will be in a book soon. After the pages have all been protected by lamination it will be put into a book format.

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