TrenchFoot
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Do you have a family member who fought in World War One?

Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:57 pm

I thought it would be nice to share family stories about family members who served in the Great War. Mine is below. Please share yours!

This is a photo of my great uncle, Elbert Tye. He served in the 61st Infantry Regiment, a part of the US Army's 5th Division. He fought at the battles of St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. He was awarded the victory medal with two battle clasps, the silver star, and a presidential citation signed by President Wilson. He was wounded in the hip and back. After the war he returned to Kentucky and became a teacher, then later a principal.


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Elbert.jpg

theone1
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:15 am

My great-grandfather fought in the Great War on the Austro-Hungarian side. I don't know much about him but I've heard he saved a general's life and was awarded a medal for this. I've seen his medals once when I was young. Later those medals were unfortunately lost... He probably served in the 97. infantry regiment on the Eastern front and after May 1915 probably on the italian front.

elxaime
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:41 am

There was a great uncle on my father's side named Modesto who fought in the US Army in France, he was gassed but survived the war. That is all I know about him.

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Tamas
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:57 am

I know about two of my great-grandfathers fighting in the ill-fated Piave offensive in 1918, as Hungarian soldiers. One of them spent the war on the Italian front I think, the other started it out more luckily, as a cook behind the lines in the Serbian front, then got transferred to Italy. Both had stories about the vicious fighting in Italy (although all stories were relayed to me by grandparents as I never knew them). Stories like the massacre of their friends by well placed machine gun nests, or their comrades executing some captured Italians because starvation even among frontline troops were going rampant by late 1918 and they felt there was no food to spare for prisoners of war. Nasty stuff. :(

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Shri
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:33 am

My great-great maternal grandfather was a NCO and later a junior Officer and part of the ill fated British Army that advanced in Mesopotamia and surrendered at KUT to Baron Goltz Pasha. There is no trace of him after that, we never came to know whether he died in war or in those appalling prisoner camps of the Ottomans.
One of my maternal uncles tried a lot to trace him/his whereabouts and even went to Iraq post USA victory of 2002-03, he narrowly escaped death and came back and burnt the remaining papers in a fit of anger at the Ottomans, Iraqis, British etc and now regrets it.
He was declared -missing, presumed dead by the British recruiting Office - but no other details provided.

P.S.:- I of course never met him, this uncle of mine told me all these stories about 5-6 years ago.

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Le Ricain
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:05 pm

My Grandfather served with the AEF in France. When the USA entered the war, they would accept volunteers aged 17 years, but you had to be at least 21 years old to go to France. My GF's 21st birthday was close to the deadline and so was among the youngest Americans to serve in France. He studied French in High School. His youthful appearance and having a basic ability in the French language meant that he was assigned to the Quartermaster Corps. He returned to the US in 1919 without much of his hair as he claimed that the army gave him a helmet that was too small.

My Great-Uncle served the Marine Corps in France. He was wounded at Chateau-Thierry in 1918.

in New York City there is one of my favourite bars in the world, McSorleys. McSorley's is one of the oldest bars in the city having opened in 1850. Lincoln was the first President to drink there as he was treated there by supporters after his Cooper Union speech. Every American President since, with the exception of President Obama, has visited. The place was last decorated in 1913. On the rail along the bar there is a set of handcuffs attached, which were left by Harry Houdini. You get the picture...

In 1917 as the boys were leaving for France, the local Doughboys were treated to a chicken dinner. At the end of the meal, each man placed a wishbone in the chandelier. When the men returned, each took down his wishbone. The remaining wishbones are still hanging from the chandelier.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

'Nous voilà, Lafayette'

Colonel C.E. Stanton, aide to A.E.F. commander John 'Black Jack' Pershing, upon the landing of the first US troops in France 1917

RGA
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:15 pm

One of my maternal great grand fathers was in the Royal Navy and was killed when his ship HMS Goliath was sunk in Morto Bay (off Cape Helles) on 12th May 1915 while participating in the Dardanelles Campiagn. He left a widow and five sons, the youngest being my grandfather who was 6 months.

My other maternal great grandfather joined the Royal Garrison Artillery after war broke out and served on the Western Front. He survived the war. One notable incident was him receiving Field Punishment No 1 (tied to a gun wheel for several hours per day) for being intoxicated at a time when the guns where required to be moved at short notice in 1917.

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deguerra
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:24 pm

Most of my great-grandfathers and a number of siblings of great-grandparents fought on the German side in some capacity. I believe one great-grandfather was a locomotive driver and was killed when his train was bombed. I should try to dig up some pictures, I know I have them around somewhere.

TrenchFoot
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:19 pm

These are all great stories. I'm sure many stories though have been lost over time. Luckily I have my great uncle's service record and a copy of an article he wrote for his local newspaper in the 1970s about his experiences.

In the US you can write to the national archives and get any family member's service record from any conflict from the Revolution to World War II.

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Eugene Carr
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:55 pm

My Grandfather was a ploughman before the war, when it started a lot of draught horses were requisitioned so he was laid off.
He became a driver in the Royal Horse Artillery and was on the Western Front from late 1914 / early 1915 until the end in fact because he joined the Regular Army he was in until 1922.
I gather he spent most of the war muleskinning supplies into the support trenches as one of his few reminiscences to my father was "that a horse stuck in the mud will eventually give up and let itself sink while a mule never stops trying to get out"

S!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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H Gilmer3
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:32 pm

I wish I knew more about my family.

Yank
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:57 pm

My Grandfather, Frederick Winslow Flagg, born 2/3/1898 in Gardiner, Maine. In 1917 he was working in a shoe shop in Gardiner, when a recruiting parade came down the street and right past the shop. He walked off the job, straight into the parade, and enlisted the same day.

Fred served in the US 26th (Yankee) infantry division. He was a runner and was machine gunned while delivering a message to regimental HQ. He nearly lost his arm from the wound but kept it, though he never had full use of it afterward. He returned home to the States and set about getting married and raising a family. He worked for the Central Maine Power Company for forty-two years and had a long and happy retirement.

Somewhere I have a picture of him in his doughboy uniform when he graduated basic training. I will find it and post it.

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deguerra
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Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:50 pm

Am loving all these stories, bring more!

Obtained some pics (quality isn't great, sorry). Both of my maternal great-grandfathers, who were both from Silesia in what is now Poland.
[ATTACH]29910[/ATTACH]
This is Franz Seidel, who fought on the eastern front in East Prussia.
[ATTACH]29911[/ATTACH]
This is Roman Furch (got to love the headgear :) ), who as I mentioned was a locomotive driver in the war, including on the western front in France. I was incorrect about his death though (my mother is a fountain of family history) - his train was bombed and he was killed, but that was in the second world war :(
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Roman Furch.jpg
Franz Seidel.jpg

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Ebbingford
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Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:29 am

My great grand father was on HMS Pathfinder on the 5 september 1914 when it became the first ship lost to a submarine in the war. He was one of the 250 who were lost that day.
"Umbrellas will not be opened in the presence of the enemy." Duke of Wellington before the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

"Top hats will not be worn in the Eighth Army" Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein K.G.


Image

RGA
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Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:11 pm

A friend of mine with a German surname of 'Jaeger' told me that his great grandparents had to put a picture of their son, in uniform, in the front window of their house to prevent any bricks coming through. Anti German feelings where very high in some parts of the UK.

TrenchFoot
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Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:26 pm

This is the larger photo of my great uncle with his family after returning home in 1919. They were poor coal miners in Kentucky, but put on their best clothes to have a photo taken with the returning soldier. [ATTACH]29987[/ATTACH]
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Tye Family.jpg

Elmo
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Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:42 pm

I worked one summer with an older man back in the 60's who worked for my father. He was a German machine gunner during the war according to my dad. He was the nicest unassuming guy you would ever want to meet. Never got up the nerve to ask him about the war. Wish now that I had.
"We don't stop playing games because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing games." - Anon

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James D Burns
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Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:19 am

My grandfather had a very long and distinguished career serving in WWI, WWII, Korea and many of the small Banana Wars. During his career he was awarded 7 purple hearts and a Cross of Valor among his many other medals. He enlisted initially in the army (think it was around 1914) and did 4 years in the army, then he switched services over to the Marine Corps when he reenlisted. He eventually became an officer and retired a Colonel. Here’s a shot of him in his dress blue uniform probably around 1917-1920 (I don’t have the picture to look at to see the dates, I’m just guessing based on his rank) and his grave stone in Arlington Cemetery.

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Jim
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RVB.jpg

veut
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Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:16 pm

My Grandfather was fighting in the german army as a 16-17 year old boy in ww1 (western front) and later again in ww2 as a first lieutenant in France (1940-44). He was a professional soldier but not further promoted after the Nazis rise to power because he was a member of a democratic party. He was never able to forget some things he has seen in ww1 because he was in a flamethrower unit and even a lot of years after the war(s) he often awakes and screams at night and so he commits suicide when my father was 5 years old. He was awarded with both classes of the iron cross (EK II 1914, with 1939 clasp and EK I 1914, with repetition 1939) the wound badge in black (ww1) and silver (ww2) and the War Merit Cross with swords His brother fights only in ww2 (france, greece, eastern front, yugoslavia and in austria -he was captured by US forces after the war ends) .

Kotik
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Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:36 pm

well I don't know for sure but I should have some relatives on my paternal mother side that fought on the German side. My family is from Denmark and my paternal mother came from the parts of Denmark that was part of Germany during WW1, I know for a fact one of them fought in boxer war in the German contingent, so it can be safe to say a couple of them fought for Germany in the WW1.
"Saw steamer, strafed same, sank same, some sight, signed smith" From "The Thousand Mile War" by Brian Garfield.

Mowers
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Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:56 pm

I lost 3 direct relatives in WW1:

Robert Cathcart, 11th Batt, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who died on the first day of the Somme with the Ulster Division, he was under age (17) and panicked and was sent back down the line and was killed in a counter bombardment, his two brothers who went forwards survived.

James Vipond, 5th Battalion, Kings Liverpool Reg, on the 8th of August during the 1916 Somme offensive on Guillemont, (missing facing off Junger by only a couple of days). He had been awarded the MC in July during a prior assault.

George Mayers, 12th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, wounded on the 18th and died on 19/09/1918 assaulting Pip ridge on the Salonika front. Tragically he died only days before Bulgaria surrendered.

We have about 4 direct relatives who survived that we know of and they all have some interesting stories.

We have not been able to track a number of great uncles so we believe there are very likely a couple more that died during the fighting.

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Ebbingford
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Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:56 am

Ebbingford wrote:My great grand father was on HMS Pathfinder on the 5 september 1914 when it became the first ship lost to a submarine in the war. He was one of the 250 who were lost that day.



[ATTACH]30482[/ATTACH]

100 years ago today. :gardavou:
Here in my game he has made it through until october :thumbsup:
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2.jpg
"Umbrellas will not be opened in the presence of the enemy." Duke of Wellington before the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.



"Top hats will not be worn in the Eighth Army" Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein K.G.





Image

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DrPostman
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:20 am

My grandfather was with 27th or the 31st Inf Division and was shipped
from the Philippines through Vladivostok to help guard the Siberian
Railway. Most people don't realize that US troops were in Siberia
guarding the railway and the supply stocks in Archangel. There were
US soldiers fighting and dying in Russia up to early 1919. I'm trying
to find out which of the two divisions he belonged to. I used to have
his discharge paper, campaign medal, and a lot of pics from then but
I lost them all in a fire in 2002. Anyone good with looking up troops
I'd appreciate if you could find Edgar Eckles, (B) 26-Sept-1897 (D) 06-
Jun 1966, buried in Saline County Missouri from Marshall Mo. I have
another friend looking for him but can't even find his draft notice. He
may not have been drafted, since he spent several years in the Philippines.
"Ludus non nisi sanguineus"

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Shri
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:50 am

USA troops in Archangel is natural, after all the Brits were heavily involved there; but i always thought the Vladivostok region was Japanese control i.e. Empire of Japan had troops in this area.

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Erik Springelkamp
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:24 am

My grandfather was an Anarchist-Socialist and Pacifist in a poor region of neutral Netherlands.
He refused to serve in the army and was sent to prison for this objection.
He had only basic education, but in prison he lived with intellectual conscientious objectors, from whom he got some more education, which enabled him in the end to found a printing office and become an entrepreneur.
So military service in WWI was a deciding factor in his (and thus my) life.

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Jolly Roger
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:25 pm

My grandfather from my mother´s branch of the family belonged to a Bavarian Cavalry Rgt.. MIA somewhere near Kiev in late 1917, I assume.
My grandfather from my father´s side belonged to a Hanoveranian Infantry Rgt. in the Prussian Army and fought in Roumania. He caught a bullet in the butt and was sentenced to death for deserting from the frontline. Finally his comrades witnessed he was wounded due to a ricochet and was rehabilitated.
Sic transit gloria mundi !

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Le Ricain
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:31 pm

Shri wrote:USA troops in Archangel is natural, after all the Brits were heavily involved there; but i always thought the Vladivostok region was Japanese control i.e. Empire of Japan had troops in this area.


One of the tasks of the American Expeditionary Force Siberia was to make sure that the Japanese did not take advantage of the turmoil in the resource rich Siberia. Another task was to assist the Czech Legion as it fought its way along the Trans-Siberian RR to Vladivostok. AEF Siberia was slightly larger than AEF Archangel.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]



'Nous voilà, Lafayette'



Colonel C.E. Stanton, aide to A.E.F. commander John 'Black Jack' Pershing, upon the landing of the first US troops in France 1917

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Shri
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:44 pm

Le Ricain wrote:One of the tasks of the American Expeditionary Force Siberia was to make sure that the Japanese did not take advantage of the turmoil in the resource rich Siberia. Another task was to assist the Czech Legion as it fought its way along the Trans-Siberian RR to Vladivostok. AEF Siberia was slightly larger than AEF Archangel.


Well, Thanks to you and Dr.Postman. Interesting, 2 allies keeping checks on each other.
A set of allies splitting up and ganging up to attack a former member, the devil and the humor is in the details after all!


As an aside, i am sure a few junior officers in AEF Vladivostok would have become friends with their Japanese Counterparts, just 2 decades later both may have been senior officers battling each other.
The Great War is interesting as it was the last of the wars with- "Floating Allies". After that it became all- 'If you aren't with us, you are against us style'.

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DrPostman
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:30 pm

Shri wrote:USA troops in Archangel is natural, after all the Brits were heavily involved there; but i always thought the Vladivostok region was Japanese control i.e. Empire of Japan had troops in this area.

They did, but the division my GF was in had to go through there to get to the railroad. They
probably left some small force behind at the port. One of the pics I had was of a group
of Russian destroyers he titled "The remains of the Russian Fleet in Vladivostok". Remember,
just 13 or so years prior most of it had been destroyed by the Japanese.
"Ludus non nisi sanguineus"

Image

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Ganbatte
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Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:52 pm

I never get to know my grandfather may (died 1945 in Dresden).
My now deceased father had told me,
that my grandfather on the Austrian side in the mountains against Italian
Mountain units has fought.
The Artillery were carried by donkeys in the mountains,
or were fighting for individual peaks,
these were miners that drove tunnel systems,
blown up by explosives.

Regards

Michael

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