April 2003 was a month of great accomplishment for the World War I Community. In San Francisco, the Great War Society honored its fallen founder, Flip Carroll, by presenting its 12th Annual Seminar as Flip had planned it. The speakers on the French Army were both interesting and accessible. Frank Jordan's banquet presentation on Legionnaire and poet Alan Seeger was fascinating. Bob Denison worked with TGWS member Jean Pierre Mouraux on a superb presentation of Jean Pierre's poster collection . . . In Ypres, Belgium the WFA-USA conducted a terrifically successful, innovative combination seminar and Salient Tour. Earning praise from the participants were Pete Guthrie for organizing the event; Jacky Platteeuw for the presentations; and Teddy and Tony Noyes for the battlefield tours . . . And at month's end, 74 year old budding author Margaret Haas successfully completed a reconnaissance of her father Sgt. Albert Haas's [309th Inf. 78th Div. AEF] Great War service. With her father's diaries and maps in hand and with the help of her accomplished guide [your editor], Maggie was able to photograph the location of her dad's first venture into no-mans-land near Hazebrouck, the site of his closest call in a forested ravine near Thiacourt and the hill on which he was shot behind St. Juvin in the Argonne forest. Her trip highlight, however, was sleeping in the same farm house in which her father had been billetted while recuperating from his wounds in the village of Genay, France 85 years earlier . . . I was also able to see first hand that a major improvement effort is being completed at the American Memorial at Blanc Mont in the Champagne including the addition of a visitors center . . . Correspondent Christina Holstein reports: In Louvain, Belgium, there is a small but very well documented new exhibition in the University library called 'Leuven in Flames'. It covers the destruction of the town in 1914 and the rebuilding of the university library after the war with American funding. The library is at the Ladeuzeplein, entrance is free. She also shares: There is an exhibition of paintings by the French war artist, Mathurin Méheut, 1882-1958, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras, until 2 June 2003 . . . Thanks to TGWS Members Donna Cunningham and Edwin Simmons who represented their organization at the recent San Diego ANZAC Day Commemoration and the annual luncheon of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress respectively.
Early Days: Ypres Salient
This "Against the Grain" poem about poppies was contributed by Carolee Nisbet, Public Affairs Officer at Fort Dix. It's more doggeral than polished verse, but it undeniably has power.
by J. Eugene Chrisman
Not for me, buddy!
Buds o' Hell I'd call 'em,
Plain red hell -- they --
They remind me --
And folks plant 'em around
Gardens -- huh!
Says one old dame to me,
"Don't they bring back,'' says she,
"The poppied fields of Flanders?''
"Poppied fields of -- '' ain't that a heluva --
But who wants 'em brung back -- huh?
If she'd seen poppies
Like I've seen 'em -- millions -- acres --
Scattered through the wheat fields,
Red -- and gettin' redder -- mostly poppies --
Slim -- my buddy, old scout,
Slept under the same handkerchief,
Me 'n Slim, clean through from the word go!
I'm liable to forget, ain't I --
Day we kicked off west o'Chateau-Thierry
Down the valley --
Poppies -- say,
You couldn't rest for poppies.
Then the Jerries cut loose
Machine-gun fire -- regular sickle.
Poppy leaves -- bits o'red
Flickin' and flutterin' in the wind,
Mowed 'em, buddy -- and us -- I'll tell the world!
Got old Slim -- got him right!
Down in the poppies he goes -- kickin' -- clawin'!
Don't talk poppies to me --
Skunk cabbage first -- compree?
If you'd seen old Slim --
Boy, he died wallerin' in poppies!
Memorable May Dates:
- 05/01/15 Gorlice-Tornow Offensive;
- 05/07/15 RMS Lusitania Sunk;
- 05/09/15 Battle of Artois Begins;
- 05/09/18 Rumanians Sign Peace;
- 05/10/16 AH Straffexpedition in Trentino;
- 05/19/17 11th Battle of Isonzo;
- 05/23/15 Italy Enters the War;
- 05/27/18 3rd Ludendorff Offensive [Aisne];
- 05/28/17 US Passes Conscription Law;
- 05/28/18 First AEF Action at Catigny
- 05/31/16 Battle of Jutland Begins
From 1899-1913 trade had expanded at an unprecedented rate
of around 5 per cent per annum. Almost all parts of the global
economy and especially the Third World participated in and gained
from an extraordinary upswing that was not to be repeated before
the long boom of 1948-73. Patrick O'Brien, Dept. of Economics, Univ. of London
VETERAN OF THE MONTH
Cpl. Joseph Francis "Buster" Keaton
159th Infantry, 40th Div.
Actor, Director and Comic Genius
|Click on Image for More Information|
Shortly after the end of Seminar 2003, the Society lost valued member Roger Jones, 48, of Richmond California to heart failure. Roger was the man who printed our journal Relevance and was an expert in pulp fiction, films [both silents and talkies] and aircraft modelling. Read this tribute from his friend and Relevance chief editor Michael Huebner. (link)
GREAT WAR 2003 EVENT CALENDAR
WFA Tennessee–Kentucky Chapter|
Saturday June 14, 2003
The Indiana War Memorial
431 North Meridian Street
The League of World War I Aviation Historians|
September 10-11, 2003;
US Air Force Museum|
Great War Dawn Patrol Fly-In
September 12-14, 2003;
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio;
WFA-USA 2003 National Seminar|
US Marine Corps University,
September 19-21, 2003
WFA-USA Florida-Gulf Chapter Fall
November 8, 2003;
Central Florida Community College, Ocala
First Century of Flight|
Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Columbia, South Carolina
WWI Aircraft Featured
5-9 November, 2003;
(email for info.)
Zelandia's Great War|
Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Auckland, New Zealand
Seminar 7-10 Nov, 2003
Burial of New Zealand's Unknown Soldier Nov 11, 2003;
(email for info.)
British War Poster
"It is nothing. It is nothing."
Last Words of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914)
Lt. Pershing and His Sioux Scouts