Somewhere near Gironville, 5/12/1918

Dear Folks.


On the back of my old trusty mess kit and with a stub of a pencil which is very trusty in this case I start this letter homeward with the first news, “All’s Well.” The spirit of “Mothers Day” has been greatly impressed and incouraged by our General Pershing, and time enough has been granted every man of the A.E.F. to at least write a “letter home.” These letters are to be given first consideration, thus answering it’s quick delivery – to you.


A year ago I remember very distinctly, Em pinned a pink on my coat (just as I was going out) the significance of which we all know well. This year a gold service stripe is worn showing that we’ve been in the advanced zone six months. Some of the boys from old K have said their last, (one from this company) and others are wearing a gold stripe for wounds received in action. Suming these things all up it is very fitting that this day should find every soldier (in France anyway) writing a letter home, and I gamble that there will be more letters written by the Sammies or (Buddies) today than before. My one wish is that Aunt Madge gets a letter from “Some where at sea.” She will get one from “Some where in France” for it is going to be the very next thing I do.


The sun is shining again, the big guns cease to pound, there isnt an air ship in sight and Ive got rid of some of my choicest friends which all goes to make things seem very much out of place for this part of France. These unusual events are well balanced by the usual though in that Im feeling fine and expressing the fact in writing.


In the last letter that I received from Em she said that Henry and Leonard was “over” but made no mention of Nora. How is she? It is pleasing to know that Henry is feeling so good and acts the same by showing up once in a while. Also that the rest of you are in the pink. Do you know that a picture would not go amiss if you folks ever had the occasion to have any taken. As soon as I get a chance Ill have mine taken just to prove that my statements are right and can be shown.


I will tell you in this letter that altho we are quite a ways from the last place we were at we are still at the front, and we expect that the next place we will be at will be very far from here but yet on the front. You see we’ve been up here now about ten weeks but we don’t mind it at all. As for the furloughs or leaves we are or were to get, (the old saying) “What you never had you never miss.” O.D. shirts are being worn today, the first time the weather has permited this since we were in Westfield. It sure is “Sunny France” when the sun is shining.


Captain Tobey has returned to the regiment but does not take command of this company so Ill have to continue to grin and bear it. It is a situation I will some time explain for of coarse this is no place for it. Out of the even twenty men that he took with him when he was assigned to this company there are only thirteen left, as follows. 3 sgts. 4 cpls. two cooks and 4 privates. The rest are either on detached service or have been transfered out of the company.


You never can tell what tomorrow brings until it etc. Who knows but what tomorrow the war will end thereby putting a stop to this chatter. Hoping this finds you all well Ill close with best wishes



Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf American Ex. Forces



© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

[Editor’s Note: The “pink” Sam refers to would have been a pink ribbon worn on Mother’s Day in honor of his deceased mother Annie who had died when he was only 10 years old. The “choicest friends” refers to the cooties purged during Sam’s recent bath.]