1919-6-12 – London, England

Stationery: folding “With the Colors,” “Soldier’s Letter” in the stamp corner, addressed to Mrs. Olive Cummins, Freeport, Ohio, U.S.A, in bottom left hand corner at an angle: C. M. Cummins, 75 Bethune Road, London, Eng.

London, England. 6/12/19

My dearest Olive,

Just another line or two. You will be disappointed if I do not write to you often. I did think of visiting the British Museum again this afternoon—but just saw a movie ad fell that it is most too late now. I have been getting mail from you the first of every wekk. Guess the ships do not come in but once a week.

I wrote a letter to the government about some land in Mont. yesterday. Am just feeling about to get what information I can about different places.—not that I am going to take advantage of them immediately at all.

Thot something of going to Stratford-on Avon today, but rain yesterday, and it may be fixing to do the same thing today. We have not had a good rain now for about 3 weeks. the crops need a good rain.

I which that I were home. I would try and make arrangements for a house for us to live in, in Norway. We may have to board for a few weeks, but I would rather be settled at once, if possible. If we could only get a few furnished rooms for awhile, that would be very good. I asked Geo. in my letter about a place to flop. Think that it is most time that I am hearing from him but suppose that we will write later. I did not send any word to Galveston—that was the Indiana place, wasn’t it? Had a notion to cable them that I would not take less than $1700 but decided not to do so. In regard to your fruit proposition, spect that it will cost as much to have it shipped as it would cost on the spot. What about it? Well I am at the end of this page.

Yours lovingly, Clyde

Did I tell you that we have orders to leave here July 1. That is we are ordered to be ready to leave. We may have to go by way of France thru Brest.

1919-6-11 – London, England

Stationery: folding “With the Colors,” “Soldier’s Letter” in the stamp corner, addressed to Mrs. Olive Cummins, Freeport, Ohio, U.S.A, in bottom left hand corner at an angle: C. Cummins, 75 Bethune Road, London, Eng.

London, England 6/11/19

My dearest Olive,

Just a line to you before I depart for home. You know that I have not been writing to you so much lately, but it is not because my heart is not in the right place. I have written some very long letters interesting? and uninteresting—and perhaps I do write about as much as you at that.—Slam [?] no. 1.

Yesterday evening had a comp ticket to “The Luck of the Navy.” I was not particularly stuck on it. I expect that if the English knew I left before this conclusion, it would be a long time before I get another complimentary ticket.

Now this afternoon, I went to Harrow-on-the-Hill—a public shool [sic] for the training of the elite of England. Was favorably impressed with the staff, buildings, etc. It is something after the style of Eton and Rugby. Have been thru Rugby two or three times but never stopped to see the school.

They are having quite a wrangle in the Senate now, and what with the widespread strikes! What is the word coming to [?] anyway? Shall we have the peace before July 1? I doubt it. I am afraid that if they continue putting it off that the Big Four might get into a wrangle and then what? Enuf of the world. I do not mean that I have enuf but I mean that I am going to quit discussing such now.

Had tea with the head master to-day—a Ph.D. and an Oxford man. He seemed to be quite democratic and congenial and treated us royally. As the Englishman would say! I had a ripping good time.

I like to write on this paper, so I use it in preference to the other even though is it not trimmed.

Will close.

Yours Lovingly,


1919-6-10 – London, England

Stationery: folding “With the Colors,” “Soldier’s Letter” in the stamp corner, addressed to Mrs. Olive Cummins, Freeport, Ohio, U.S.A, in bottom left hand corner at an angle: CM Cummins, 75 B. Road, London, Eng.

London, Eng. 6/10/19

My dear Olive:

Tomorrow I will be able to put on another wound [?] stripe for overseas service, altho I do not care so much about it.

Just wrote a letter to Unc. David [there is a David, brother of Buchanan] thanking him for his services, etc. Have a class this afternoon and must attend. I am getting more ourside the class than in. Did I tell you that my glasses are quite an aid to my eyes.

I am tickled to death to think that we are near our home. Somewhat deferred—but.—Saw one of my old roomies—Mr. Johnson—my Chicago mate. He was in ordnance dept here in London, but tells me that he leaves today. We had quite a time thinking of ye old times.

There is no use writing me letters which will arrive after June 30th since after that time I will be on my way. It take your letter 12 to 14 days to come. I may telegraph you when I land, but do not look for it. I am likely to walk in on you in the middle of the night. Will close.



1919-4-26 – London, England

Stationery: “with the colors” (Flag in red and blue on left, “Army and Navy Young Men’s Christian Association “With the Colors” in the middle, and YMCA logo in red and blue on right)

London, England., 4/26/19.

My dearest Olive,

Well I had my first direct letter from the States yesterday. It was written Apr. 12, and took thirteen days to come. That is very good time. I have never gotten the one that was sent to the British University Hdqrs. I suppose it will be forwarded to me in time. I took from the letter that you wrote in Logansport that you had sent money also in a previous letter. Oh! well why talk about it? It will find me in a day or two.

I meant for you to send the order by the Reg. U.S. Postal money order, since it would have been much cheaper. We have an Army P.O. here. What did the international ones cost you? I had an idea that they were very dear. I thank you for your trouble. Think that I will need no more. Got 12£ from the Gov. this morning.

I am glad that you saw something about getting a place for me. Not much use in my trying this far away, just now. You can keep me posted from time to time. However you go ahead and get you a school and when I return we will at least be safe for some sort of an income. I can take your place and you can darn my socks.

I saw a play “Going Up” last night. A sort of an airplane plot. I was not so very well satisfied with it.

Mr. Ludders and I have met. You rember [sic] about our meeting at Waverly. If I have to take an examination I am sore afraid that I will have to do a little reviewing. Are the papers examined by the State or County Supt.?

I think that I should at least get the $150000  per year. Go and talk with the gent—that sort of a school would suit me very well. Do they have much athletics?

I may be home for two or three weeks vacation anyway before school begins.

This is rather an odd day. One minute it rains and another the sun is shining. I wore my raincoat and am prepared for any sort of weather. I have had a cold for a couple of days, but I think that I will feel O.K. in a few days.

I suppose that about now you are having you H.S. commencement and are feeling entirely free. You did not tell me where you were going when school closes.

Do not know that I will do to-morrow.

Yours lovingly,


1919-4-16 – London, England

Stationery: ON ACTIVE SERVICE         YMCA logo on left, inverted triangle on left [as much of his memoir]

London England     4/16/1919

My dearest Olive,

I did not write you yesterday. Wrote one letter to Cecil Bedell. I want to by all means keep in touch with them if I can. You know that I have had one letter from them, but none lately. One of the boys has received word direct from New Jersey since he knew that he was assigned to London Univ, so I suppose I will hear from you within a day or two now.

 I drawed my pay the other day and was also reimbursed for my room and soon I will be getting my ration money, which will be over fifty dollars. Think that I will have that within a day or two now. Had I known that things would come my way as soon, I would not have sent for any money. Think that I will not need any of it. You see I am to get 300 a day for my expenses and I do not need all that for board and room. Expenses are not high here, since I stay around the Y so much. You know that the Y is operating two or three big hotels here now, besides a number of very valuable huts. I loaf mostly about Eagle Hut, since it is so convenient for me. King’s College, as you already know, is immediately across the road from the hut. Our hut here is really a hotel because it has all the aspects of one.

eagle hut

I went to the house of Parliament this morning, hoping to gain entrance to the house of commons, where George was to report on the Peace Conference this afternoon. Having received no encouragement., I crossed the street and entered Westminster where I had attended the memorial service for the American soldiers about a week ago. [there are memorial cards apparently from this service in our documents] I meandered about there under the leadership of a “Y” man for about an hour and a half, and saw the remembrances of English History from Edward III to the present time. Saw the Longfellow bust which Irving speaks about in his sketch. You know he says something about the Poets corner in his description of Westminster Abbey. I will go back there again sometime and take a directory book with me and then I can get more out of it. One can easily spend a half day there.

I think that I told you that I had gone to the Ambassador’s office a couple of days to get tickets to parliament to day, but some members of the embassy were going to use them.

Between times I am trying to write a few experiences of my life since I left Camp Sherman to the present time—just for my own enjoyment in later days more that than anything else.

So far I have written about 80 pages long hand on my journey to Bain de Bretagne. Now I must write of my experiences there. It will be interesting for you to read when I return. I enjoy doing it. I have used that diary book you presented me before leaving and know very much what I did those days, and by associating the dates with places I can recall many little thing which we were doing.

I wanted to go to a play this P.M. but the people of England, outwardly are far more religious than we and unfortunately many of the play houses are closed. The Shakespearian dramas begin soon now.

I may take a notion to go to Ireland during last two or three days of vacation and if I do so, I will miss quite a number of things in London. This is certainly an interesting span. Moreso than Paris.

My telling you all this will maybe make you fell homesick for entertainment too. I am only fortunate these few months that is all and I am certainly glad that I got to come. All of the boys are enjoying themselves here.

Ha! I must go and have a venereal inspection to-morrow. Army rules require that every month. that will spoil the most of my morning.

This is enough for this time. Don’t you think? I will be hearing some now how you took my coming to England.

Yours affectionately,


[end of document]

Following the U.S. entry into World War One in April 1917 and subsequent shipment of American soldiers to France for active duty, servicemen’s centres were established throughout the world but most notably in Europe.  This had been initiated a week earlier with the publication of a General Order (#26-II-1) by U.S. Commander-in-Chief General John Pershing.

Published on 28 August 1917 it affirmed that the Y.M.C.A. would “provide for the amusement and recreation of the troops by means of its usual programme of social, physical, educational and religious services”.

Perhaps the most famous of the servicemen’s centres was the so-called Eagle Hut opened in London on 3 September 1917.  Operated by the Y.M.C.A. the centre, staffed by some 800 voluntary personnel, offered overnight accommodation and food for American servicemen passing through London.

The centre additionally helped with arrangements for London sightseeing tours and entertainment.  Turnover was heavy: in February 1919 alone 134,566 meals were served.  The Eagle Hut remained open beyond the armistice, finally closing its doors on 25 August 1919.

Many other such centres were operated worldwide, each funded through a combination of public government and private subscriptions.

1919-3-29 – London, England

Plain 4-fold stationery

75 Bethune Road, Stoke Newington N. London England    3/29/19

My dearest Olive:

I realize that I have not written you as promptly as I might the last few days, but certainly you knew by now that I was in England—“Merrie” England. away from sunny France.

I have no class Saturdays. this morning took a walk with Mr. Snyder to get the answer from his cablegram sent a week ago and to be sure we succeeded. He is buying a new military uniform with his money. Guess I will do with what the government gives me now since I hope not to be in the uniform long.

None of the boys are home this evening, which leaves ne all to my lonesome. I just finished reading a part of Leslie’s. I am reading English magazines too. I am pretty much an Englishman all around now. I suppose you can hardly understand my English when I return.

I visited St. Paul’s Cathedral yesterday. Do not like the architecture of it so much as Notre Dame, or the Cathedral in Cologne. Of course the style of architecture is entirely different. One Roman and the other Gothic. Also saw where Lover Goldsmith was buried. You would be surprised to see “Old Curiosity Shop” the place where Dickins made famous. I is only a very small, two story concern preserved on the corner of a street.

I also visited to tower of London. Many things of interest there. the King’s and Queen’s jewels. Saw the largest diamond in the world, old armor, executioner’s block, where Anne of Boelyn and another of Henry VII’s wives was beheaded. Saw the small dungeon like cell where Sir Walter Raleigh was kept for several years, until he was beheaded.

I read some English history this P.M. to refreshen my memory while in the right atmosphere. I want to go out to Stratford some of these days to see William’s stamping grounds. After next week I will have a vacation of two weeks. I am learning so much in a thousand ways about people and things, more that than my studies. I suppose that after we get down into regular work next term the University work will be more interesting.

I think of you very often Olive and wish that I could see you and talk with you. It seems ages since I have heard from you.

Lots of love,


1918-6-24 to 6-30 Liverpool to Bain de Bretagne

[left Liverpool 6-24, train 6-25, Bordon 6-26, leave Le Havre 6-29, Bain-de-Bretagne 6-30]



Liverpool about which I had heard so much! Could it be possible that our dreams could finally have been realized. At last on European Soil. Could I have believed one who would have told me that I would be in Europe at this time. Nothing but the call of war could have done it. Now the pages of English History and all that surrounded in my memory began to flit through my mind. Later however when I had occasion to visit the Islands for as many as four months I had a greater occasion to recall and learn, as well many novel happenings of interest in the beautiful Islands.

The reception of the inhabitants of the city was very pleasing.


After we had said adieu to the Leicestershire , we were ordered to use of emergency rations which we had carried with us from Camp Mills. The people stood about seeing what sort of people we were. I discover that many English people still think that the majority of the Americans are Indians and equal in kind to the Hottentots of South Africa. Perhaps many were watching us through curiosity to learn what sort of people we were. After eating our lunch we marched through the city, cheered with the best ovation. The inhabitants were very glad to see us, especially those who had sons and husbands in the war.

I thot we never would arrive at the depot. We were all very tired after our sea journey. However the shouts and cheers


and welcome of the Liverpool inhabitants tended to drive all these languid feelings to the rear, and make us feel gayer. The people would shout from the windows as we passed. Pedestrians on the streets would half and take notice of us, and of course we being soldiers were particularly anxious for everybody to see us. The boys would always take note of every pretty girl seen.

Each step brot us nearer the station. As we entered a British Band played for us. When we arrived there the trains were already waiting for us. Thanks to the splendid arrangements made beforehand. Before we aboarded the train we were each given a slip of paper containing the welcome of King George to Americans troops. We appreciated



A few weeks after this an American paper came to my notice which told of King George reviewing the troops of the 324th Field Artillery. Fully an half column was devoted to this report in the American paper. King George was not there, but he welcomed us, just the same.

We left Liverpool the afternoon of June 24th. Our train was not crowded and I can say that our entire journey through England to Camp Bordon was a pleasant one. Arriving in June as we did the whole country was awakening from its dormant state of winter. The days were long and I watched the country scenery until nine o’clock infact as long as


it remained light. The cattle were pasturing in the field. The sheep likewise were feeding on the grass. Occasionally we would see lovers making love by the railro near the railroad. The hills were beautiful. The chalk cliff

As we entered southern England the chalk cliffs began to appear. Occasionally a sharp, shrill whistle of the Engine would signal that we would quickly dash into a tunnel, and there are many tunnels on this southern journey.

Here and there would be a lowly thatched cottage. Row after row of brick houses of the same structure could be seen. These continuous chain of similar swellings approached monotony of vision sometimes, but the surrounding views of landscape tended to lessen this little discrepancy of


beauty. Each square foot of land seemed to have been touched by the hoe of the farmer. I thot to my self and wondered if America would sometime be so hard pressed to land that she would gave to utilize all the steep hillsides, and certainly that time, will speedily come. All this land along my trip had been touched by the hand of man—not that ruggedness of nature which we have in some parts of America.

We all enjoyed this trip. One would remark to the other: “That scene is beautiful.” Now and then someone would allude to our future in France or wherever we were going. No body know. “Tut, tut!” said I “Let us enjoy the present and not think of what the next few months has in store for us.


That we generally did.

About three o’clock a.m. June 25, someone shouted “Jump off.” With this command all awakened, slung our packs on our back, ready for another hike to somewhere. We seemed to have landed at the end of things, but with a little time to make ready the officer who had come to meet us, marched us through the entrance to Camp Borden. This camp is about 25 miles N.E. of Southampton. We seemed to have gone there to await transportation across the channel.

Camp Bordon?

Bordon--large scale


We passed some very nice barracks, hoping that some spacious rooms were awaiting us with comfortable cots. A few minutes saw us out of sight of these barracks in an open field


My pal said “Guess we’re going to have to pitch our pup tents tonight.” And I agreed with him. However as we proceeded farther we saw the squad tents ahead. It was getting daylight by now.

Having been assigned to our tents, as many as could possibly sleep in them, we had an early breakfast which had been prepared by English soldiers—principally those who had seen the realities of was and had been disable through wounds and natural causes. We had some good ham at this place. In fact during all the time spent here we had plenty to eat.

Each of us availed ourselves of cleaning up here. There were shower baths and we truly needed a bath after travelling so much by train. Of course


we had bathing facilities on the ship, but the water was salty which made the use of soap next to impossible, so the baths there were not satisfactory.

This was a lonesome place. A small town lay near the camp, which gave one all the more a lonesome feeling. The Y.M.C.A. afforded us a place to drop a line to those we had left behind over the sea.

We had but a short time to remain in this camp. The noon of June 26th found us on the march for our train to Southampton. We were not sad to leave this camp. It was so situated that everything about seemed dead or dying. We were in the Southern metropolis in a short time.

And now for the boat

Manx Maid_2122


ride over the Channel. We remained in the city until eight p.m. that evening. The boat was small. We thought we were crowed [sic] on our journey across the Atlantic, but that had nothing on the travel over the Channel.

Everyone aimed to sleep but I’ll venture to say but few made a success of their attempt. I never saw such a pile of humanity as there was about midnight on the floor. I awoke and cast my eyes about, and with a little scrambling I [unreadable] to raise my head enough to look over the tired bunch of Ohians. Sardines were never canned closer.

Occasionally I would awake and someone would be on top of me. The one on top could rest fairly comfortable. I had thot something of remaining on deck and sleeping, but the air was


too cold, and it was either go below or become very cold, so I chose the former.

A sea plane circled about and followed us for some distance from Southampton. We keep up our zigzag mode of travelling, but at that we were sighting land the morning of June 27. Now we were out of all danger of submarines. Not a man in all our group had been lost thus far.

Now we were ready to visit Le Havre. Here we experienced our first insight into French life. Now we were about to utilize what French we already knew. You know we had school in Americans camps, and there many had studied French. At least most all knew how to say Bon jour, Mademsoiselle, and


that was enough for some of them. They would usually volunteer to say the remainder.

As we marched along the street the Kiddies would come from the allies and ask us with some mixed languages, “Avec vous, biscuit? Avec vous penny”? The hawkers on the street would follow us and try to sell oranges and chocolate. They had learned from previous Americans troops that we dearly loved our chocolate. The prices were steep, but we wanted such eats and we purchased them.

We marched and marched. Passed though the city. The streets were so narrow in places that when we marched in squad formation they would be full. Up a long hill we went, passing through the residential section of the city, until we came to


opening to a temporary military camp. There we were introduced to our first military

Here again we had the pu squad tents, and about eight to ten men were placed in each of these. Circular boards Here I had the best bath ever, One of those kind where they close you in a very hot rom until you perspire and produce your own bath through your own sweat. After taking the sweat bath we were admitted to the cold shower and we certainly felt clean when we went though such a thorough cleaning process.

Entirely surrounding this camp was a barb wire fence about ten feet high. We all very much desired to visit the city o pass, but no permits were given. This was real prison life and we


were treated as such. Guards were placed about all the exits and they halted many of the men who tried to escape unnoticed. Many did escape through [the word ‘search’ is above the space here] passage ways through the fence. I suppose that some troops had preceded us that did not act becoming of gentlemen, and as very often occurs, especially in the army troops are judged according to their predecessors. Anyhow we were penned with little to amuse ourselves.

Women about this fence would try when the guards were not watching slip bottles of wine thru the fence to the boys. The wine was nothing more then watered apple cider, but the boys bit and paid as high as a dollar a bottle for the stuff. These women


were principally Belgian refugees who had come from the occupied territory to evade the outrages of the Germans.

As luck would have it we were not in this camp very long. We left Le Havre about noon June 29 for somewhere in France.

We were very much surprised to see the mode of conveyance they had waiting for us at the Le Havre depot. We immediately up arrival at the depot looked about for passenger coaches, but to our own sad disappointment we were ordered to aboard box cars, with 38 to 40 men to the car. French box cars are not much more than half as large as the ordinary cars in America. These cars


were marked in this manner—“40 hommes’

8 Chevans, which meant forty men or 8 horses. We lived similar to horses on that trip too. We did not have room to lie down. Some sat on boxes during the night, and those who tried to sleep, did so very uncomfortably. In fact we went to sleep in quarters. First one leg, then an arm etc. We were lying on top on one another and why shouldn’t we go to sleep in parts?

There was usually one square (or partly square) wheel on each box car, and bumpity bumpity we would jog along.

Again we did not know where we were going, and I have heard later that our commanders did not know.


I had a map and had carefully traced our route and by examining the box cars I saw that they were billed to Messac. You know they usually bill box cars to certain town and that destination is found on the bill.

We would see other troops on the way and inquire of them if they know for where we were bound. They could not inform. Those of us who could speak a little French would try and converse with French [there is a suffix on ‘French but I cannot make it out] along the route, but usually they could give us little satisfaction. We were a dissatisfied lot at the time.

Luckily again, we were not to remain for a long time on this train. We arrived at a small town by the name of Messac


in Old Brittany, and since our car was billed there we though that we had reach our destination, but no. We were to proceed to another town. I have heard later that we were travelling on another regiment’s order.

We arrived at Bain de Bretagne the evening of June 30. It was Sunday evening and the people of that village all turned out to welcome us. The ladies all had on their Sunday clothes and we thought we were coming to a very agreeable locality, and I can’t say that we didn’t.


5cmc5 [note Guer just to the west.]

1918-6-11 to 6-12 Over the Sea

date 6-11 to 12

On YMCA AEF stationery (the first CMC used this)

YMCA AEF stationery,jpg


“Over the Sea.”

            I had read many glowing articles in out current magazines about “On Board a Troop Ship” by some correspondent who occupied a stateroom. Oh, what dreams we had of a pleasant journey aboard., but oh, how they were shattered. We had hoped to aboard one of the larger ocean goers. We had visions of state rooms and berths. Visions of calm and peaceful ocean breeze, but never fear we changed our mind we changed our mode of thinking the minute we hit the gang plank for the Liecestershire. This was a british liner. [*]

Leicestershire troop ship



I wondered how we were all going to board that ship. Certainly they would not treat us as sardines in a can. The stream of American humanity continued to




We all had our places assigned to us the evening of June eleventh. The ordinary civilian would laugh to see how we were crowed in that ship. We slept, ate and loafed in the same twelve nine square feet. The only thing that can be said in favor of such a condition is that everything was handy. That is everything was within reach.

Our allotted space in that ship, for eating, sleeping and loafing was what the average size man has in a home cemetery.

Our beds were the common ordinary hammocks. We hung these over the ceiling just above the tables. Backward and forward they went with each sway of the ship. These hammocks hung


in such a crowded that with every wave of the ship there would be a corresponding bump against the fellow trying to sleep next to you.

I could never symphathize so much with Noah and his animals on this troop ship. There was but little air to be had in our quarters below. Only an opening through the mid ship gave us air in our den beneath. I can’t see how all those animals lived with Noah for so long with so little air.

True there were port holes in the side of our ship but we did not dare open them since the water would dash through with every waft of the wind or every heave of the steamer.


            Just before we left to aboard our ship red Cross representatives passed about cards which we were to properly fill out, and have sent direct home as soon as we landed safely overseas. I have often wondered how these Red Cross representatives knew that we were going to land safely. Perhaps they got it over the wires. These reposts were always sent to our people before we crossed the Channel.

As we streamed out of our American port the morning of June 12th all were as quiet as a mouse. Orders had been given to allow no one on deck while we were leaving the harbor. Not a


missing–end of manscript


* LEICESTERSHIRE (1) was built in 1909 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 8059grt, a length of 467ft 2in, a beam of 54ft 2in and a service speed of 15 knots. Launched on 3rd June 1909 and delivered on 11th September she made her maiden voyage from Birkenhead to Rangoon. In August 1914 she was requisitioned for trooping for the Indian Expeditionary Force and carried Indian and Burmese troops to the Persian Gulf before reverting to Bibby services in the following November. She was taken over under the Liner Requisition Scheme in March 1917 and served on the North Atlantic [my color] although two voyages were made for Bibby’s during that time. In 1918 she carried troops to North Russia to assist the White Russians before repatriating Australian soldiers. She was refurbished by her builders in 1919 during which time she was converted to oil burning. As with all conversions to oil the coal bunker forward of the funnel was converted into cargo space and derrick posts fitted to serve the hatch. In 1930 she was sold to the British National Exhibition Ship Co., renamed British Exhibitor, and refurbished for her new role by Cammell Laird & Co. of Birkenhead at a cost of £100,000. When the slump hit her owners went into voluntary liquidation in February 1932 and she was laid up at Southampton for a year. On 28th September 1933 she was purchased by the Cairo based Egyptian Company for Transport & Navigation and, as the Zam Zam, was deployed on their Egypt to Jeddah service. In May 1934 she was transferred to Societe Misr de Navigation of Alexandria without a change of name. Laid up at Suez in October 1939 she resumed service on the Alexandria – Cape Town – New York service in February 1941. On 21st March 1941 she left New York bound for Recife where she embarked 202 passengers and sailed on 9th April. At 0545 on 17th April, although a neutral, she was hit by 55 shells fired by the German raider Atlantis in ten minutes during which around 24 lives were lost. Seven hours later she was sunk with three bombs along the waterline. The survivors were taken aboard the Dresden which proceeded to St. Jean de Luz. It later transpired that the commander of the Atlantis, Bernhard Rogge, recognised her as a Bibby ship and decided that she was disguised as a troopship. (Photo: Bibby Line Group)


1918-6-3 To Liverpool


 To Liverpool, England

On the day of our departure, we had our barracks bags all piled in a heap each with the owners name sewed on the side. Our packs were ready to throw on our backs. Being ready for the final word to march and aboard the train it finally came. Our colonel came and gave us our final camp inspection and asked each of us if we were ready to go. Of course we all answered in the affirmative. It would have been too bad if, after 9 months training for many of us, we were not ready to go. If we were willing was an entirely different question. However we were all willing and ready.

We march in squad formation to the trains and there we found seats marked for each member of our company. I was in the Headquarters Company. The Sergeants


were to have a seat to himself and the remainder were to fill the seats as full as possible. Of course the officers had their private car.

Our train was a disappointment to us. For several days we had watched the troop trains leave the track and all had sleeping coaches for the men, but to our chagrin and disappointment we had nothing but day coaches—and three days journey! We thot we had been neglected and surely there must have been a mistake, but later in our army experience we decided that we were treated like Dukes on our Journey from camp to New York City.

As the train pulled [manuscript ends]