gas masks pilots in dress uniforms The pilots Mule Rearing doughboys with mules African American Soldiers 1 African American Officers Riveters

100 Years Ago

 

Merry Christmas from Rex Passion and Company B, 103rd Engineers

 

Soldiers around table for Christmas Dinner, 1917

 

 

"The dinner was served at noon, the mess hall being decorated with pine boughs and holly and the four cooks sporting new white uniforms…To prove they were real fellows thesergeants acted as waiters and did very well considering their lack of experience."

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

On July 4, 1917 Edward Shenton started drawing in one of his canvas-bound sketchbooks. He had joined Company B, 103rd Engineers some months earlier in Philadelphia and this was his first day of training camp. Over the next two years, he would sketch what he saw almost every day. Once he returned home he put his wartime drawings away and went on with his career as a major illustrator of books and magazines. His sketchbooks were forgotten for more than ninety years when they were found in the attic by his son. The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War is Ed Shenton's story, illustrated with 150 of his own drawings.

The day-by-day documenting of an individual soldiers life with images is unique and a very valuable resource. I will be publishing Ed's drawings from one hundred years ago frequently. In October of 1917 he was training at Camp Hancock in Georgia; learning to build trenches and bridges, and to fight with rifle and bayonet, drawing everything he saw. From time to time I will include some images from July and August, when he was at Camp Meade and earlier drawings from Camp Hancock. I hope you will enjoy walking side by side with an American Doughboy.

 

2.12 grenade.sm

Undated.

Along with learning how to build trenches, the engineers also had to learn how to fight as infantry. Camp Hancock was where they learned the craft of war.

You can view an excerpt of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

"Six inches of steel for a Hun, Long Thrust"  Soldier thrusting bayonet into dummy

 

undated

"Six inches of steel for a Hun. Long Thrust!"

A good deal of their training at Camp Hancock was using the bayonet. The Germans were afraid of it and the soldiers were taught to use it with great aggression. Even the cooks and stable personnel were trained in the use of the bayonet.

 www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

Soldiers sitting around two tables for Thanksgiving Dinner, Camp Hancock, Georgia 1917

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Company B, 103rd Engineers, Camp Hancock, Georgia, 1917

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

Soldiers cutting firewood with a two-man saw while an officer looks on

 

 

"Fire Wood" undated

The winter of 1917-1918 was unusually cold in Georgia and the men had to cut firewood to keep warm. They were equipped with a Sibley stove, specially designed for use in their pyramid tents, but they were still chilled at night. They may have looked forward to the warmth of vigorous exercise during the daytime.

www.thelostsketchbooks.com

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

Rear view of three doughboys sitting with their rifles, waiting to go on guard duty

 

undated

Guard Relief No. 3. Undoubtedly Ed Shenton stook guard duty on many nights at Camp Meade and this was one of several of his sketches of men waiting to go on guard duty. The tent ropes add an interestsing detail.

www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

World War One soldier firing his rifle

 

undated, "Shooting Silhouettes on the 200 yd."

Shooting was an important part of the engineers training at Camp Hancock and Ed did many drawings of soldiers at the range. He was also a marksman, winning an award as best in the company. Note the detail in the gun's sight.

You can view an excerpt from Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

Two officers stand overlooking soldiers digging a practice World War One Trench

 

Friday, October 19, 1917, "The 'Pick and Shovel Gang' digging practice trenches in the wilds of Georgia"

"The trenches covered an area about one mile square and were built by the engineers and infantry in accordance with the latest information from the battle area."

You can view an excerpt from Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

World War One Soldiers in t-shirts and suspenders washing clothes at a bench, pyramid tends in the background.

 

Wednesday, October 17, 1917, "Clean up day. The 'Wash House Squad' at Work."

Strangely it seemed that Wednesday was wash day. You can see the tents of the "company street" in the background.

You can view an excerpt or purchase a copy of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago in Camp Hancock

 

simple line drawing of two boxers sparring

 

Undated "Boxing in the Grove"

"Young men naturally wanted to know who was the strongest or toughest and pugilism was an acceptable way to do so." This a brief sketch that was not developed further.

You can view an excerpt or purchase a copy of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com or www.komatikpress.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

Doughboy in trench coat looking at two mules and wagon stuck in the mud

 

Undated "Stuck Mule Team"

Whatever happened at Camp Hancock, Ed Shenton seemed to be there with his sketchbook.

You can view an excerpt or purchase a copy of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

17.12 off guard.sm

 

 

October 8, 1917.

"Off Guard"

The men of Company B, 103rd Engineers worked a lot harder at Camp Hancock than they did at Camp Meade. They were training six days a week instead of five. "From reveille to retreat, work was continuous...Bayonet drill...developed many a sore muscle."

You can view an excerpt of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

17.9 bayo1sm

Undated.

"Lieut Eddie Butler instructing in baynote drill."

You can view an excerpt of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at Camp Hancock

 

17.4.sm

Sept 30, 1917.

"Kid" Finley is Corporal W. R. Finley and he was the leader of the 15th Squad. He fought with the 103rd Engineers and survived the war.

You can view an excerpt of Ed Shenton's story, The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in The Great War, at www.thelostsketchbooks.com

 

 

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