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Dispatch Newletter

The WWI Centennial Dispatch is a weekly newsletter that touches the highlights of WWI centennial and the Commission's activities. It is a short and easy way to keep tabs on key happenings. We invite you to subscribe to future issues and to explore the archive of previous issues.

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December 25, 2018

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A Doughboy’s Christmas, Germany 1918

George and Johann

In December of 1918, the 353rd Infantry, 89th Division, was assigned to the area of Prüm, Germany, as their final area of occupation, after a long march of two hundred forty kilometers through snow and cold, beginning on November 24th, from Stenay, France, through Belgium and Luxembourg into Germany. Billets for the officers and enlisted men of the regiment were found in local German civilian homes, and a certain amount of resentment from the local population was anticipated by the U.S. forces. But on December 25, 1918, George A. Carlson, a young American soldier from Denver, Colorado, found that the violence and suffering that the war had brought to the tiny village of Philippsheim had not extinguished the Christmas spirit there. Nearly a century later, George's grandson visited Germany to follow his grandfather's footsteps in the war. Click here to read about the amazing encounter that took place in Philippsheim, an unlikely gift from a Christmas observance that took place 100 years ago.


About the WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar & how it helps build the National WWI Memorial

Coin

The U.S. Mint's collectible 2018 World War I Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar is only officially available for two more days after Christmas: The coin goes off-sale at the Mint on December 27, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.  Buying this collectible coin helps the United States World War I Centennial Commission to build the new National WWI Memorial in Washington DC. Here is how it works. Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time. As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price of these coins is a surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community. Click here to read more about how your purchase of this historic commemorative coin will help build the long-overdue national memorial for our WWI Veterans in the nation's capitol.


"We owe a considerable debt to the veterans of the Great War."

Olympia color guard

The World War I-era Battle Cruiser USS Olympia (actually built in the 19th Century) played a significant role in WWI, providing naval support, helping with convoy duty, and bringing the Unknown Soldier home from France. The ship continues in her duties, as she uniquely tells the American World War I story in her role as a museum ship in the City of Philadelphia. Last month, Olympia played host to a special Armistice Centennial ceremony that included participation in our Bells of Peace effort. We had a chance to hear about it from Denise Krepp, who is part of the Cruiser Olympia’s staff.


Westford crafters create poppies for World War I remembrance

Westford poppies

The Westford (MA) Museum knew they wanted to honor the past with their annual contribution to the local Festival of Trees, so they chose a colorful and solemn expression of remembrance, 100 handcrafted poppies. The poppies were crocheted and knitted by 15 crafters, Westford residents and volunteers known to the museum. Westford Museum’s newest director Linda Greene said having the poppy Christmas tree featured at during the Westford Regency’s festival was not only a way to embrace the holiday season, but pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Click here to read more about this innovative yet traditional approach to remembering the service of American in WWI.


Kluge Center Symposium Marks the Centennial of the Paris Peace Conference

Versailles painting snip

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress will host a panel discussion to mark the 100th anniversary of the Paris Peace Conference, “The United States and the World: Legacies of the Paris Peace Conference.” The symposium will be held at 3 p.m. in room LJ-119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. This discussion will explore the legacies of a pivotal period in world history, including themes of Wilsonianism, the ideological origins of the United Nations, the projection of American power and a new international order. Click here to read more about this upcoming event, and how you can secure your free tickets.


"It was incredibly gratifying for all of us involved."

Mark Simone

Mark Simone is a successful young post-production specialist in Hollywood. He was the lead for his company, Stereo D, in their work with the Peter Jackson WWI documentary, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD. Mark's job was to bring the film alive in 3-Dimensional imaging. Mark's company, Stereo D is an award-winning, recognized leader in high-quality conversions of 2D theatrical content into stereoscopic 3D imagery, working with major award-winning motion picture studios and filmmakers to bring their vision of 3D storytelling to the screen. We got a chance to talk to Mark about the film, and his experience working on it.


Movie Poster

Only one date left in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on  December 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

2018 holiday music special

Episode 102:
2018 Holiday Music Special:

This is our 2018 Holiday music special. We have compiled a collection of WWI era holiday music. It includes popular Holiday music of the time including some German, French, British and Italian pieces and even a modern day rendition of I’ll be home for Christmas courtesy of the contemporary WWI musicians, Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan.

(photo: "Saluting Santa" Magazine cover created by Joseph Christian Leyendecker published on December 7, 1918 for Saturday Evening Post)


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Mediated Memory, Myth, and Legend: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and the Great War in Modern Thought

By Anna Rindfleisch

Mediated memory is a term that means representations of the past that are transmitted through modern media and affect the construction of personal and/or collective memory.

This week, at WWrite, English Research Historian and social media expert, Anna Rindfleisch, discusses this concept in the context of WWI through an analysis of a British Sainsbury's advertisement featuring the 1914 Christmas Truce.

In her post, she explains that the massive outpouring of social media postings and institutional centenary events over the past four years suggest that the 100-year-old trauma attached to the iconic image of the Front Soldier has been transmitted down generations and shaped our contemporary understanding of the Great War.

Read this inventive post about the Christmas Truce, revisited, at WWrite this week!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Commemorative Hat

Commemorative Hat

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA hat. The poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago. The Navy hat with white Doughboy embroidery is a 100% cotton, structured with contrasting pancake visor, sweatband and taping, and pre-curved bill. The velcro closure features U.S. flag emblem. A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. Order your Doughboy Commemorative hat here.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.  Proceeds from the Official WWI Centennial Merchandise help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library


Pritzker Book Sale 2018

John William McGrain, Sr.

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

John William McGrain, Sr.

Submitted by:John W. McGrain, Jr. {son}

My father worked as a civilian employee of the Quartermaster Corps forwarding supplies to the front. They took over the Candler Building in Baltimore and also shipped material through Fort Holabird.

The Candler Building belonged to the Coca Cola Company founded by Asa Candler. They called it the "Battle of Coca-Cola."

That building still stands as far as I know on Market space near the inner harbor. I still have a badge my father wore.

Read John William McGrain, Sr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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December 18, 2018

Personalized Display

Limited Edition Coin Display will honor
your relative's World War I military service

You have only nine days left to purchase the limited edition US Mint World War I Commemorative Coin from the U.S. Mint. You can also buy the coin in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor. This will make a wonderful collectible Christmas gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you have already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available here. Supplies are limited. Proceeds from the sale of the coin and display stand go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.


"They Shall Not Grow Old" Special U.S. National Archives video posted on YouTube

NARA logo

The premiere screening of the Peter Jackson WWI film "They Shall Not Grow Old" in the United States took place last week at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, DC, on Monday, Dec. 10th. The screening was hosted by the British Council, the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. As part of the event, a remarkable after-screening panel-discussion took place. That panel discussion has been made available by the U.S. National Archives. Click here to read more, and to watch the video of the insightful panel discussion.


"All they would ask is that we should never forget what they gave."

Peter Stassen

You may remember meeting Peter Stassen in another article earlier this year.  SGT MAJ Peter Stassen is a retired member of the Belgian Army, who lives near the American Cemetery in Flanders Field. Some time ago, he and his family volunteered to adopt the grave of one of the soldiers buried there, SGT Willis Burnworth, from Bremen, Ohio. That simple act of kindness has turned into an incredible adventure for SGT MAJ Stassen and his family. They have done deep research into unit histories, genealogy, they have looked into the stories of people who served and died with SGT Burnworth. They have recruited others to help with the volunteer program, etc. A great culmination of their effort came this autumn, when SGT MAJ Stassen and his wife traveled to the United States to participate in commemoration events for SGT Burnworth in his hometown. We had the opportunity to meet with SGT MAJ Stassen at the Commission office during his travel, and to talk to him about this remarkable journey.


Muskogee, Oklahoma Doughboy statue is restored, rededicated for WWI Centennial

Muskogee, OK Doughboy statue

A Doughboy statue in Muskogee, Oklahoma originally brought to memorialize the service of the Five Civilized Tribes during World War I has been restored and re-dedicated. Located at the Montgomery VA Medical Center, the restoration included adding a small monument extending that memorialization to all veterans who have served in all wars. The restoration of the Memorial was welcomed by area residents and veterans, who gathered at the re-dedication ceremony for the statue. "We have to make sure our children and their children understand what this statue means," said State Representative Chuck Hoskins at the ceremony.  Click here to read more about the restoration process for the sculpture, and the support of local individuals and organizations for the project.


"The monument is a lasting cultural testament to the early pioneers of military aviation"

WWI Aviation Memorial

After two years of intensive effort, the League of World War I Aviation Historians dedicated a monument to World War I Airmen at the Memorial Park of the National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) near Dayton, Ohio on 21 September 2018. The League initiated the project in 2016 after noting there was no monument at the Park to the U.S. Airmen who served at the Front during the Great War. Robert Kasprzak of the League has written a thoughtful retrospective of the two-year project, the challenges met and overcome, and the dedication ceremony which brought the League's effort to fruition.


"I'm very proud of what we produced."

Mike Hanlon

Historian Mike Hanlon has been a WW1CC volunteer since the Commission's earliest days. He has been a frequent contributor to the weekly Sync Call and Podcast, and social media postings. A noted Battlefield Tour Guide, Mike led dozens of tour groups and official staff rides through the major sites in France, Belgium, Italy, and Germany during the Centennial period. He is also a formidable publisher, with a number of web sites and magazines focused on World War I. Mike has been interviewed previously in these pages (see here and here). Now, with the Centennial of the Armistice passed, he takes a look back the five-year World War I Centennial commemorative period, and reflects on the activities therein. Click here to read Mike's thoughtful retrospective on the Centennial Commemoration.


The Khaki Road of Yesterday: Lessons
from my grandfather's World War I book

John B Kane

Gus Zimmerman's grandfather, John B. Kane, an architect who lived in the Philadelphia area, died when Gus was twelve years old, having never discussed his time in the service during WW1 with Gus or his mother, Sashie. But when Sashie was an adult, she discovered a book he wrote to her when she was ten years old. The "little story" was typed on fragile onion skin paper, written as though he were telling his young daughter stories about his military service. Now Gus, his wife LaWanda, and Sashie have brought the faded typed text into the twenty-first century in a book titled The Khaki Road of Yesterday. Click here to read more about the unexpected volume, and the lessons John learned in WWI that still resonate today.


Jackson poster ad

Only one date left in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on December 17 and December 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo new

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

peace conference

Episode #101
Highlights: The Aftermath Part II

Part II of a special 2-part series examining the immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing.

Preview of coming attractions - Host | @00:35

Gold Star Mothers - Candy Martin  | @02:45

American Battle Monuments Commission - Mike Knapp | @10:35

Three Key impacts of WWI - Sir Hew Strachan | @18:00

The Cost of a Seat at the Table - Mike Shuster | @24:55

The effect of WWI on tUS policy - Professor Michael Carew | @28:55


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

1918. The Peace Christmas.

By Connie Ruzich

During the last two years of the WWI Centennial, Connie Ruzich and her blog Behind Their Lines, which shares lesser-known poetry of the First World War, have generously teamed up with WWrite with timely posts.

Ruzich excels at drawing the past and present together by linking current events with pivotal moments from 1914-1918. Her archival work into the lost poetic voices of WWI has served as an incredible resource, providing discussion and research on international lost voices, poems written by those on the home front, and poetry that has been neglected in modern anthologies. In 2020, Ruzich will go from digital to print as she publishes her anthology, International Poetry of World War I: An Anthology of Lost Voices, with Bloomsbury Academic Press.

This week, we have come together once more and WWrite has the pleasure of featuring her important post on a VAD nurse on duty in France, who writes of "Christmas, 1918", the "Peace Christmas". Read this powerful post that discusses the soldiers remaining on overseas duty and the devastated countryside "feeling for her frozen heart."


Doughboy MIA for week of Dec. 17

Samuel Roach

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Private Samuel Roach. Born February 12th, 1886, in Bradford, Ohio, Private Roach was an employee of the E.C. Atkins Saw Works in Indianapolis when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 16th, 1917. Sent to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky for muster, he took his training at Washington D.C., where he was assigned to Company D, 6th Engineer Regiment, 3rd Division. He left for overseas on December 6th, 1917, and was killed in action on March 29th, 1918 near Villers Bretonneux. He is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France. Interestingly, he was initially reported to the state of Indiana as having been returned and interred at Arlington national Cemetery.

Would you like to help us delve further into what happened to Samuel Roach? Why not donate 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Navy Blue ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA ¼ zipper fleece sweatshirt. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼  zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available Small and Medium. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


George Ormond, Sr.

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org 

George Ormond, Sr.

Submitted by: Valerie Ormond {granddaughter}

George Ormond Sr. was born around 1899. George Ormond served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Lessons from a Humble Warrior

by Valerie Ormond

George Ormond’s pale blue eyes watered until the day he died. But he never complained about the Great War. Word was that mustard gas got him, but in those days, people didn’t talk much about injuries, follow-on treatment, or post-traumatic stress. My grandfather died when I was 21, about the same age he was when returning from the war. I wish I’d had adult conversations with him about his experiences, but it’s obviously too late. He likely didn’t realize how interested people might be in a blue-collar kid from Brooklyn’s renditions of his encounters on the front lines.

One of my earliest memories of my grandfather taught me a valuable lesson. I was five-years-old, in my front yard, and he watched me kill a bug.

“Why did you do that?” he asked.

“Because it was going to bite me,” I answered.

“But it wasn’t bothering you.”

And I realized he was right. I felt so ashamed, but I learned from his short training session. This war-hardened man taught me in a few sentences to be sensitive to each life.

Read George Ormond, Sr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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December 11, 2018

December 27 deadline

Time is running out to purchase the US Mint World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar

On December 27th, the U.S. Mint will close sales for their new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. But before they do -- Have you seen the great new resources that the U.S. Mint has provided, to help tell the story of the coins, and of their background? The Mint's program webpage here has some great new features to check out. Click here to find out more about the Mint's resources and opportunities for Christmas giving of the WWI Commemcorative coin.

Coin Display

You can also  purchase the limited edition US Mint WWI Commemorative Coin in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor. This will make a great collectible Christmas gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you have already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at here. Supplies are limited.

However you purchase your 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar, proceeds from the sale go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.


"It was really about authenticity"

Brent Burge

Rarely in our lifetime will we see a tribute to the veterans of World War I that is as unique, or as vivid, as the new documentary film, "They Shall Not Grow Old", directed by noted filmmaker Peter Jackson. The film project, which is an official  WW1CC commemorative partner, utilizes original 100-year old combat imagery that has been treated with 21st Century digital technology in restoration, colorization, visual-effects, editing -- and sound. The original footage was silent, so all aspects of sound were addressed in the film's overall sound design. The results are extraordinary, and have been heralded as a true milestone in filmmaking by critics. The film's sound achievements came from the remarkable talents of Brent Burge (left), the film's Supervising Sound Editor. A legend in the world of sound editing for film, Burge was interviewed recently for the WWI Centennial Commission Podcast. Click here to read a detailed transcript of the Burge interview, and find out the extraordinary process to bring authentic sound to silent film from WWI.


Great Uncle Willie gets his Purple Heart 100 years after his death in World War I

William James Williams, Jr.

In his soon-to-be-released documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” based on actual World War I film footage, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson explained that his grandfather had actually fought in the war. He offered this explanation for why he had taken on the project. “I think it’s great if we can just pause for a moment and think about them for a bit because they are part of our family, part of us. We still carry their DNA … let’s pause in our modern lives for a second and think about what they went through,” he told Britain’s Forces TV. It’s a quote Poway CPA Robert Knight invokes to explain why he requested a Purple Heart award ceremony for his great uncle William James Williams, Jr. (left), 100 years after he died during a German U-boat attack in World War I on the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa. Click here to read more about how the ceremony for Great uncle Willie came about..


"Many of the issues that surfaced because of the war have never gone away"

Steven Trout

Dr. Steven Trout (left) is a professor at the University of South Alabama, where, he leads a unique organization -- the Center for War and Memory. The Center is an interdisciplinary team of scholars committed to advancing the study of war remembrance in all its forms -- including public memorials, civic rituals, works of literature and film, television programs, and web sites. The Center hosts speakers and conferences, offers online scholarly materials, and serves as a resource on all matters related to war commemoration. World War I Centennial Commission intern Lee Febos was able to talk to Professor Trout about the Center, his work there, and his thoughts on World War I in America. Click here to read the entire thoughtful and wide-ranging interview about how "remembrance is itself a kind of battlefield with warring forces and winners and losers."


Google Doodle pays tribute to Edith Cavell, heroic World War I nurse

Edith Cavell doodle snip

A British nurse who risked -- and ultimately lost -- her life to help British and French soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium in World War I was remembered with a Google Doodle on December 4. A pioneer of modern nursing, Cavell was in Belgium in 1914 when war broke out. She immediately returned to Brussels, where she pledged to treat casualties of all nationalities -- regardless of their allegiance. She simultaneously became involved with an underground group that sheltered French and British soldiers. Together, they helped around 200 men to escape occupied Belgium. But disaster struck in August 1915 when Cavell was caught, arrested, and charged with treason. She confessed to a German military court and was executed on October 12, 1915, despite an international outcry. Click here to read more about Clavell and her legacy.


Jackson poster ad

Only two dates in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on December 17 and 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Historian Corner: Professor Joanna Bourk on WW1's Legacy of Pain and Fear

Joanna Bourk

In December 7th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 100, host Theo Mayer spoke with Professor Joanna Bourk (left) about the steep impact of military wounds, both mental and physical, on both the men and women who carried them, and the widespread and lingering effects of the psychological health of individuals and nations alike in the years following the war. and society at large. Click here to read a complete transcript of the interview,

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

In December 7th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 100, host Theo Mayer spoke with Dr. Glyn Prysor and Peter Francis of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a British organization dedicated to honoring the war dead of Great Britain and the Commonwealth nations from the First and Second World Wars. Click here to read a transcript of the interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Commonwealth headstones instead of crosses

Episode #100
Highlights: The Aftermath - Part I

Host: Theo Mayer
Part I of a special 2-part series examining the immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing.

  • Preview of coming attractions - Host | @00:25
  • The immediate aftermath - Mike Shuster | @04:15
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Dr. Glyn Prysor and Peter Francis | @07:50
  • War, wounds, pain and fear - Professor Joanna Burke | @18:00
  • Coming Home - Jonathan Casey | @26:40
  • Hello Girls the Musical - Cara Reichel and Peter Mills | @33:00
  • Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” - Brent Burge | @42:10

Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War

By Susan Werbe

Susan Werbe is back with another remarkable performance! WWICC featured Werbe for her 2014 The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth, a multi-media theatre piece. It has evolved now to include music as a way of introducing women’s writings. This week at WWRite,

Werbe talks about her latest piece, Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from The Great War, a song cycle based on women’s writings from both sides of the conflict and set to contemporary music. Read this moving post about the premiere performance in New York at WWrite!

 

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

The Army Biscuit

A remarkable WW1 attic find, the complaints of a war-time goat, and soldiers' dental health: read about the despised Army hard tack biscuit at Behind Their Lines.  


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Vest

Black Full Zip Fleece Vest

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your warm American pride with this Made in the USA full zip fleece vest. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “Doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago. Vest features: Black with white Doughboy embroidery. 100% spun polyester, 12.5 Oz. Premium anti-piling fleece. Vest has full zip front with two side seam pockets. Men's sizes available S – 2XL. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. 

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


Clyde C. Handley

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

Clyde C. Handley

 

Submitted by: Benjamin Woodard

Clyde C. Handley born around 1894, Clyde Handley served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Clyde C. Handley was born Mar 21, 1894, to Jefferson and Ella Handley. He lived and worked on a farm in the Culloden area. He was inducted into service on May 25, 1918. He trained at Camp Lee, Virginia, before being shipped overseas on Aug 6, 1918, on the MADAWASKA. He was transferred between several units but ended up as a Private in Company C, 131st Infantry Regiment, 33rd Division, American Expeditionary Force, US Army.

According to a Private in his company, “During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, in our action east of the Meuse, Company C was occupying a position on the bald hill about a kilometer north of the Bois de Plat-Chene. On October 11th at about 3:30 PM. I was returning with other stretcher bearers from the rear when, upon reaching a point in the ravine between Bois Plat-Chene and Bois de Chaume, the enemy began to shell the locality heavily and we entered a dug-out for protection. Before we emerged from the dug-out to continue, Pvt. Handley and Worden of our company passed along with a supply of water which they were carrying to the front."

Read Clyde C. Handley's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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December 4, 2018

President George H. W. Bush family had notable history of World War I service

Bush family

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is truly saddened by the loss of former President George H. W. Bush (top left). In addition to his many well-known accolades and achievements, he also served as an Honorary Commission Chair for our organization. His ties to WWI were strong. President Bush’s father, Prescott Bush (center left), served as a U.S. Army field artillery officer during the war. The war broke out while Prescott Bush was a college student at Yale University. Upon graduation, he accepted an officer's commission, and served as a field artillery captain with the Connecticut National Guard. President Bush’s grandfather, Samuel Bush (bottom left), also contributed to the war effort, as a senior government official working with wartime weapons contracts. In the spring of 1918, famous banker Bernard Baruch was asked to reorganize the War Industries Board as the U.S. prepared to enter World War I. He placed several prominent businessmen to key posts. Samuel Bush became chief of the Ordnance, Small Arms, and Ammunition Section, with national responsibility for government assistance to and relations with munitions companies.  Click here to read more about the Bush's family's World War I service to our nation. Also, click here to visit the Roll of Honor web site for more information on Prescott Bush.


U.S. Mint's 2018 WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar only available to December 27

Don Everhart

We bring you this story as a repeat from March of this year. The U.S. Mint's 2018 World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar is a collectible coin that is only available for another three weeks. The coin makes a wonderful holiday present -- and it gives you the opportunity to directly participate in the creation of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. A $10.00 surcharge from every coin sale will go to our Centennial Commission to help build the Memorial.  The sculptor of the WWI Centennial Coin, Don Everhart (left) is a legend in the world of numismatic design and sculpting. Don began his professional career at The Franklin Mint, where he worked as a sculptor from 1975 to 1980. From 1980 to 2004, he worked as a freelance artist, designing figurines, plates, coins, and medals for Walt Disney, Tiffany, the Royal Norwegian Mint and the British Royal Mint. He joined the U.S. Mint in 2004. There, he created designs for numerous coins and medals; his work resides in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian Institute, The British museum, and The American Numismatic Society. He retired from the U.S. Mint last year as the Lead Sculptor -- and his last coin project was our WWI Centennial Silver Dollar. Our WWI coin was special to him, so we discussed it with him, in the context of his incredible career.


"I let him know how much I value our veterans and fallen heroes"

Matthew Haske

When 13-year-old Matthew Haske wrote a letter to President Donald Trump about his World War One commemorative trip to France, he never thought that he would be invited to attend the ceremony for the Armistice at Suresnes with his father. He “worked and saved all of his money for two years to make this trip to France” as Trump mentioned in his speech at the ceremony. U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Intern Wanxing Niu asked Matthew about his passion for World War I and his journey to France. Click here to read Matthew's responses to her questions, including what he thought about meeting the President.


Hello Girls documentary movie honored by PBS "To the Contrary" TV series

Hello Girlsmovie poster

The PBS "To the Contrary" television series announced the winners of their 2018 About Women and Girls film festival, and among the awardees was The Hello Girls documentary. The "To the Contrary" film festival highlights the rights and struggles of women, girls and diverse communities. Winners in the film festival will have their films broadcast nationally on PBS in the coming year. The TV series "To the Contrary" airs on PBS stations nationwide, on Canadian television and Voice of America internationally. Click here to learn more about the award given to The Hello Girls documentary.


100 years ago: Allies WWI victory is marred by riots in Newport News, VA

Newport News

When World War I ended in triumph a century ago on Nov. 11, 1918, the nation's second-largest wartime port staged a jubilant downtown parade — with 50 Langley Field planes flying overhead and long columns of uniformed men marching down Washington Avenue. But just hours after the cheering and flag-waving stopped, thousands of soldiers and sailors returned to ravage the commercial district of Newport News in a spectacular outbreak of vandalism, arson and looting spurred by pent-up anger over price gouging. So wild was the two-hour-long orgy of revenge that it took a clever decoying tactic and 300 military policemen with fixed bayonets to quell the marauders. Click here to read more about underlying the causes of the spectacular riots, which created "a combustible mix waiting for a spark. And that spark came with the end of the war.”


A new name for American Legion Post 9

American Legion Post 9 renaming ceremony

An American Legion post in southeastern Indiana is continuing the nationwide trend of posts highlighting the link between World War I and The American Legion’s formation, by renaming itself after a Hoosier hero of that war. In the rural part of the county, Maj. Samuel Woodfill was born in 1883. He enlisted in the Army in 1901, and served in the Philippine-American War and at the Mexican border before the start of World War I. On Oct. 12, 1918, in Cunel, France – during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive – Woodfill’s actions against a German machine-gun nest, which culminated in hand-to-hand fighting, resulted in his receipt of the Medal of Honor, making him the only Hoosier to earn one during the war. Click here to read more about Major Woodfill, and the American Legion post that now bears his proud name.


2 days in December to see this remarkable World War I film!

Jackson poster ad

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on December 17and 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it. For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com


Literature in WWI This Week

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Holding Onto the Silver Greyhounds' Tail

By Felicita Trueblood

In August 1918, Captain Wallace F. Hamilton was plucked from the Front to help lead the Silver Greyhounds, the first Overseas Courier Service, in Paris.

He made drawings and wrote a memoir of his experience, but these were stolen from the family's archive in 1972.

In 2008, Hamilton's daughter, Felicita Trueblood, went on an incredible quest to recover the lost items and then decided to publish the manuscript and the images.

This week at WWRite, read the post "Holding Onto the Silver Greyhounds' Tail," about Trueblood's journey to reveal both the little-known story about the courier service and the story of her father's WWI artistic life!


Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

This week at the Behind Their Lines blog, read British medical worker Louis Golding writes of the sadness that characterized life after the Armistice in his poem "Broken Bodies." 


Doughboy MIA for week of Dec. 3

Edward M. Beneker

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is is Private Edward M. Beneker. The son of Henry and Catherine Beneker, Ed Beneker was a farmer born in South Gate, Indiana on September 20th, 1895. He entered the service on March 28th, 1918 and trained at Camp Taylor, Kentucky before being assigned to Company D, 115th Infantry, 29th Division at Camp McClellan, Alabama. With them he went overseas in June, 1918 and saw action that summer. Reported wounded on October 23rd, 1918, his status was later changed to killed in action, though his grave was never located. Nothing else is known of his case at this time.

Would you like to help solve Private Beneker's case? Then why not give Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Necktie

World War One Aviation Silk Tie

Looking for a Christmas for "that guy"? Look no further: get him this 100% woven silk tie that has been custom created for the World War One Centennial Commission.  This red silk tie features World War One era aircraft and the official logo of the Centennial Commission on the back.  This beautiful tie also comes packaged in a 2 piece box with the Doughboy seal printed on the top.  

Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. 

This and many other Christmas gifts are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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George H. Ratterman

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

George Ratterman

Submitted by: John L. Nolan {Great Nephew}

George H. Ratterman born around 1898. George Ratterman served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

George H Ratterman joined the US Air Service and on 6/12/18 was assigned to the newly formed 96th Bombardment Squadron in the 1st Day Bombarment Group. This Squadron operated over the American Sector of the Front starting in mid May 1918.

When the St. Mihiel offensive began, the German railhead at Conflans was a frequent target for the 96th. On July 10th, 1918, the entire 1st Day Group was to make bombing attacks behind the German lines. The 96th’s target was Conflans. Due to very poor weather conditions, all units except the 96th decided not to fly. Six Breguet 14’s, each with their crew of two headed towards their target. Lt George Ratterman was in one of those bombers.

With no way to see the ground and primitive instrumentation they had no way to realize how strong the tail wind became, pushing them deeper into Germany than expected. Eventually the Squadron Commander, Major Brown realized they were not going to see their target and signaled for the Squad to turn back. Now the wind was in their face, slowing their progress back to the safety of France. One by one the Breguet’s began to run out of fuel. Each was forced to land. Each crew was unhurt, but all were captured.

Read George H. Ratterman's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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U.S. Mint's 2018 WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar only available to Dec. 27

Transfield

We bring you this story as a repeat from November of last year. The U.S. Mint's 2018 World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar is a collectible coin that is only available for another four weeks. The coin makes a wonderful holiday present -- and it gives you the opportunity to directly participate in the creation of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. A $10.00 surcharge from every coin sale will go to our Centennial Commission to help build the Memorial. The designer of the Centennial Silver Dollar is Leroy Transfield (left). He is an experienced sculptor from New Zealand. His design was picked through an open international competition, hosted by the U.S. Mint, and this is his first coin for them. Click here to revisit our conversation with him about the coin, the inspiration, and his own personal ties to World War I.


"A First Look" events build awareness of and excitement for new WWI Memorial

Tableau vivant snip

America paused to remember World War I on the 100th anniversary of its close: At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. America’s entry the previous year set the course of American history and ignited passions of allegiance and heroism in the four million Americans who served and the 116, 525 men and women who sacrificed their lives. For a period of five days this month, November 8 through November 12, citizens could look into the lives and stories of diverse groups and individuals who served and supported the US military in WWI. Nine public events held in Pershing Park, Washington, D.C., site of the National World War I Memorial, saluted all military and veterans who served in WWI and the 100 years since.  Click here to read more about the A First Look special events that paid tribute to the significance of the anniversary of the Armistice.

Dawn patrol

For the Armistice Centennial, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission hosted a number of events -- concerts, religious services, education symposia, commemorations, gatherings -- across the National Capital region, over the course of 8-12 November. The schedule represented an incredible partnership with such remarkable teammates as the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and many, many others. Called the ACE Events -- for Armistice Centennial Events -- they brought together long-term supporters of the Centennial activities over the years, with new members of our World War I community, many of whom have direct and indirect ties to people who served in the war. Click here to view galleries of photos that show the preparation and execution of some of the Commission's own ACE events.


New Art Exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps Highlights WWI US Navy and Marine Corps Combat Scenes

Art Exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

To commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I, curators of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy art collections collaborated in a joint exhibition, “A World at War: The Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy in World War I” at the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC). This collection of artwork by 42 artists depicts the experiences of Marines, Sailors, and civilians during “the war to end all wars.” Click here to read more about this collection of WWI artwork that was created by service members, some of America’s leading illustrators, and even some unknown artists.


Commissioner Naylor in Veterans Voices: "Veterans, Write your Story!"

Veterans Voices

Writing in the Fall 2018 issue of Veterans Voices magazine, World War I Centennial Commission Commissioner Dr. Matthew Naylor, who is also President and CEO of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO, encourages modern-day Veterans to follow the example of Americans who served in WWI: write about your experiences in the service of your nation. He notes that "sharing the veteran experience empowers the serviceperson and benefits their community" while "fostering a connection between the two while also deepening the connection between society and the military." Click here to read Dr. Naylor's entire thoughtful article connecting WWI Veterans with their contemporaries in the 21st Century.

You can help share the written or spoken World War I memories of your own ancestors, family members, or others who served our nation 100 years ago by submitting their information to the WWI Centennial Commission web site's Stories of Service section, using the submission form here.


Michigan celebrates the life of Eugene I. VanAntwerp during special event for Armistice Day Centennial in Detroit

VanAntwerp

The Michigan World War I Centennial Committee hosted a special commemorative ceremony to honor a heroic native-son, and to dedicate this year's Veterans Day/Armistice Day to his memory. Our Centennial Commission was represented at the ceremony by Commissioner Debra Anderson. That native-son was Eugene I. VanAntwerp (left), former mayor of Detroit from 1948-1959, and National Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 1938-1939. Click here to read the entire story about VanAntwerp's military and industrial contributions to America's war efforts.


"Connecticut Fights, The Story of the 102nd Regiment" commemorative edition

Connecticut Fights

The Connecticut State Library has released the limited first edition republished “Connecticut Fights: The Story of the 102nd Regiment” by Capt. Daniel Strickland. This book is a remarkable account of the World War I experiences of this legendary infantry regiment. Christine Pittsley, Project Director for the Connecticut State Library's "Remembering World War One: Sharing History/Preserving Memories" shared the announcement with us. Click here to read the entire article about how this historic volume was reassembled from 70-year old printed pages to tell again the stories of the CT heroes.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Historian Corner: David Pietrusza

David Pietrusza

In November 2nd's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 96, host Theo Mayer spoke with historian David Pietrusza about one of history's deadliest pandemics, the Spanish Flu. This virus wreaked havoc on the war-weary peoples of the world, killing an estimated 50 to 100 million. Despite its massive impact, the history of the Spanish Flu is largely forgotten or ignored in the broader discussion of WW1. Mr. Pietrusza answers questions about the origins and consequences of the Spanish Flu, and why so little attention is paid to it. Click here to read a transcript of the entire absorbing interview,


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Enjoying a thanksgiving dinner in 1918

Episode #99
Thanksgiving Special

Host: Theo Mayer

What are we thankful for on this Thanksgiving? | @ 00:25

How to help build the National WWI Memorial in Washington DC | @ 02:45

Memorial Sculptor Sabin Howard on the sculpture design | @ 06:55

President Wilson’s 1918 Thanksgiving Proclamation | @ 10:50

Commission Executive Director Dan Dayton | @ 15:55

Commission Chairman Terry Hamby | @ 17:25


Literature in WWI This Week

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Accidental Tourism and War Memorials

By Eric Chandler

As a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, writer Eric Chandler discusses the voyage he's taken (mostly on foot!) to grasp the lasting impact of WWI.

In this week's WWrite post, "Accidental Tourism and War Memorials," Chandler, author of Hugging This Rock, Outside Duluth, and Down In It, brings us along with him as he jogs through major American and Canadian cities searching for traces of WWI amidst other war memorials.

Read this compelling post about Chandler's awakening to the presence of World War I history in our daily lives at WWrite this week!


Doughboy MIA for week of Nov. 26

Melvin Tinsley

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Private Melvin Tinsley. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on 21 March, 1895, Melvin Darden Tinsley joined the United States Marine Corps on June 26th, 1917 and took his training at Parris Island, South Carolina. Assigned to the 48th Company/6th Marines/2nd Division, Private Tinsley arrived overseas on November 20th, 1917. He served in the Toul Sector, the Aisne Defensive, at Chateau Thierry, and finally during the Aisne-Marne Offensive, where he was severely wounded in action on July 19th, 1918 at Soissons. He died later that day of his wounds. Nothing else is known of his case at this time.

Would you like to help us solve Private Tinsley’s case? Can you spare ten dollars? Why not give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Key Tags

“Nothing Stops These Men” Key Tag

Still one of the favorite WWI Centennial Commemoration items, this handsome key tag is a great addition to your keys! Inspired by an original World War One poster, this key tag features the dramatic image of a bayonet advance on the enemy, with the United States flag in the upper corner.

A functional way to show your patriotism, this 1-1/4” long, custom key tag has a bright gold finish, with color-fill, and is offered exclusively through the World War One Centennial Commission.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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John B. Kane

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

John B Kane

Submitted by: Gus and LaWanda Zimmerman {Grandson}

John B. Kane was born around 1893. John Kane served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

The Khaki Road

My grandfather, John B. Kane, an architect who lived in the Philadelphia area, died when I was twelve years old. He never discussed his time in the service during WWI.

When my mother was an adult, she discovered a book he wrote to her when she was ten years old. The "little story" was typed on fragile onion skin paper, written as though he were telling his young daughter stories about his military service. We speculate that he wrote the book because WWII was just starting, and he couldn’t imagine how the leaders would allow such monumental sacrifice to occur again.

WWI was the first time Americans fought overseas, consequently resulting in the formation of the Graves Registration Service. His drafting experience was put to good use by designing and plotting the first of many American cemeteries in France.

Read John B. Kane's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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