Thursday, October 09, 2008

The arrival of the Americans

While I was preparing this card for auction this morning I was taken on an interesting journey through the history of U.S. WW1 uniforms. I wanted to check up on two of the hats, I wondered it they were Canadian, but no, they were worn by American soldiers. I discovered that the winter uniforms were made of wool. Very good for the winter but when it was wet they became very heavy and uncomfortable.

The Americans arrived in June 1917 and this photo was taken on July 4th at Les Invalides in Paris, which is the army museum where you can also see the tomb of Napoléon Bonaparte. Of all the people passing by do you think that anyone might possibly recognise one of these soldiers? I hope they all arrived back home safely.


Piscean Rubble said...

Wow. Its sad to think there are very few, if any, veterans left from WW I. It was such a world shaping event. Great picture - makes me a little teary though.

Titania Starlight said...

I would have thought they were Canadian also. Imagine wearing wool. I would be scratching all the day long. I can't even stand a tag on my clothing!

I truly enjoy your postcards. They are always so interesting.

Anji said...

Piscean: I'm not sure that we have any veterans left here in France. All those young men, if only they knew what awaited them....

Titania: I couldn't have worn wool either.
I get sidetracked too easily because of them. I love the journeys of discovery they send me on.

soulMerlin said...

I can't bear wool against my skin. now i feel selfish - i couldn't cope with what those guys went through (and i'm not talking about wool)


Anji said...

Henry: I can't wear wool and I have shrunk endless pullovers over the years. I saw a Norwegien film once and the soldier arriving home stripped off before he went into his house, his clothes were so infested. We just can't imagine how it must have been.

alan said...

My Dad's Dad was there with the Signal Corps, assigned as a telegrapher since he had just graduated telegraphy school for the railroad before he enlisted.

He did make it home, though he paid dearly for having been "gassed". He had 5 heart attacks through the years as a result of it, along with asthma and other problems. The 5th was fatal; I was 9 and he was 66, two weeks short of 67.

I believe our last WW1 vet died a few weeks ago, though I may be wrong. Last year at Armistace Day the BBC played interviews with their remaining vets; they had a handful left as I recall.

A horrific struggle for all involved and the effects of which were felt for generations!


Anji said...

Alan: Our last veteran in France died last year. He spent his last few years visiting schools. I seem to remember him saying something about war killing Dads. How true.