November 2002

TRENCH REPORT... Let me know what you think of the new format for the newsletter. The reasons for changing to a web based publication rather than delivery via email are multifold and technical. I hope, however, you are pleased with the results and added capabilities . . . The Curse of Captain Eddie? Baseball fans out there have heard of the Curse of the Bambino -- the hex hanging over the Boston Red Sox since 1919 when they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. They have not won a World's Championship since. Some of you also know that the Great War Society approached the San Francisco Giants baseball club earlier this year offering to help replace the Capt. Eddie Grant Memorial -- which had disappeared from the Polo Grounds on the Giant's last day in New York -- at the Giant's new stadium. Capt. Eddie [77th Division, AEF] was the best known major leaguer killed during the Great War, perishing in an effort to relieve the famous Lost Battalion. After the war, the Giants installed a center field monument to him that became a focal point for celebrating patriotic holidays. The current managing general partner, however, declined replacing it on the basis that those were the New York Giants, not the San Francisco Giants. His polite, but blunt, refusal caused me to be ambivalent about my hometown team's 2002 successes right up to the seventh inning of the sixth game of the recent World Series when it all fell apart for them. Since then I cannot not help wondering if there might be a Curse of Capt. Eddie Grant on the Giants. Consider: they have not won a World Series since Eddie's monument disappeared; 45 years and counting . . . Carl Barna in Denver, Colorado writes that he is trying to start a WFA-USA Chapter in his area. He welcomes TGWS, Over the Front and Free Agent WWI buffs to the fold. Contact him at: 303-463-1504 or . . . WANTED! An LCD-type Projector is needed for the Great War Society's Operation Outreach and to faciliate presentations at our seminars and chapter meetings. If you know of one that is for sale at a wonderful price, possibly from a former billionaire fallen on hard times, please contact us. Contributions also welcome.


Lt. Ernst Jünger
73rd Fusiliers, German Army

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New at the Websites of the Great War Society and Our Friends

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Doughboy Center

La Grande Guerra

Friend and regular contributor Len Shurtleff has uncovered a contemporary war poet. Here is a sample [more to follow]:

by Jan Theuninck

late at night
a mist
fills the valley.
without knowing
it suffocates
like a dark power.
on the fields
our dead bodies
and under the grass
a brown soil.

When he's not out discovering new war poets, Len writes Len's Bookshelf, the most up-to-date summary of what's new in World War I publishing. (link)

This Month's
Special Feature

The Lost Battalion

From the Recent A&E Feature Film
The Lost Battalion

Eddie Cantor Sings
OH! How I Hate To Get Up in the Morning!

Windows Media Player Required

Who Sent Us This Photo?

The second doughboy from the right was identified as Tom Roden, but I don't have a record of the contributor or any additionaly information about Tom and his mates. Email Response

Daniel Kelliher, 104, a veteran of the 101st Infantry of the 26th Yankee Division and also one of the country's oldest retired firefighters passed away recently at the Tampa, Florida Veterans Hospital. The Malden, Massachusetts native was one of the recent recipients of the Legion of Honor from the French government . . . William Parkes, 106 the last surviving member of Britain's South Wales Borderers who saw battle during World War I, died in Napa, California on October 7th. The slightly built Parkes specialized in what he called "reconnoitering". "Us little guys could hide much better than the tall guys," he told a reporter recently. In 1920 he immigrated to the US, discovered the San Francisco Bay Area and decided never to leave . . . The World War I Reenactment community lost a beloved member recently. Bryan H. "Goose" Gosling, 1934-2002, a founding trustee, first vice president and PR chairman of the NY State Military Heritage Institute, a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and a member of the Saint Andrew's Society of Schenectady. The veteran of the 4th Armored Division and the National Guard, the 27th Division reenactor received a certificate of appreciation and personal letter from New York State. (link) . . . German composer Norbert Schultze, whose song Lili Marleen struck a chord with World War II soldiers fighting on fronts from Europe to Asia, has died at age 91. The song was based on a First World War poem.

I asked Lost Battalion researcher, Eddie Grant champion and Trip Wire subscriber Don Kington to share his favorite Lost Battalion quote for this month's issue. Here is Don's surprising response:

The most famous quote, of course, was the one that Whittlesey never made: "Go to hell." As everyone knows he said nothing like this during the demand for surrender, but sent out a detail to remove the white panels that spotted his location for aircraft . . . After he returned, there was a small piece in the NY Times covering the speeches he was making (usually reluctantly) all over the city. It reported that a man in the audience stood up and asked him if he really told the Germans to "Go to hell." According to the reporter his reply was something like "You bet I did." Maybe even he believed it by that time!


The Great War Society
November Chapter Meetings

All Chapters will celebrate Veterans Day Monday, November 11, 2002 at
San Francisco's Golden Gate Park Events begin at the Gold Star Mothers Memorial Fulton and 11th Avenues.
For More Information: (link)
WFA-USA New England New York Chapter Annual Conference

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, November 9, 2002
Details: (link)
WFA-USA 2003 Ypres Salient
Tour and Seminar

Tuesday 8 April - 16 April 2003
A Few Seats are left!
Details at: (link)
Great War Society Seminar 2003

The French Army, 1914-1918
April 11-13, 2003;
San Francisco, California;
Cathedral Hill Hotel
Details: (link)
WFA-USA 2003 National Seminar

Quantico, Virginia,
US Marine Corps University,
September 19-21, 2003
Details: (link)
Send additions/corrections:
Email Response

In the Great War, in December, 1914, Mohandas Gandhi who acted similarly in the Boer War, raised an Indian Ambulance Corps in England, and would have served in it but for his broken health. He eventually sailed to Indian because of his pleurisy.

The following individuals are hereby thanked for their contributions to this issue of the Trip Wire: Sue Neeson, Len Shurtleff, Don Kington, John Cotter, Roger Jones, Carl Barna, Ross Vick, Bob Denison and Eric Stott. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.

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