Somewhere in France



A soldier boy lay dying,

On a road “somewhere in France;”

He had tried to get thru a barrage

Tho he knew he stood no chance.

A pal knelt down beside him

While the tears ran down his cheek

For this soldier was his life long friend

And he longed to hear him speak.


When the dying soldier opened

Up his eyes, and looked around

And saw his dear old pal

Kneeling side him on the ground

He smiled and said “They got me Jim

Yes got me with a shell.”

“My orders were to take this note

Thru water, fire and hell.”


“Take this message Jim and run it thru

Do not stop for me

It means two hundred lives and more

Its for our company

Fritz made a fake attack this morn

Just at break ‘o day

If you can only get it thru

We’ll make those dam Huns pay.”


“And when you get around to it

Just write a line or two,

To my mother and my sweetheart Jim

Old pal so good and true;

Tell them I tried to make it

Thru gas, barrage, and shell

That my resting place is heaven

For I went clear thru a hell.”


Then the dying soldier closed his eyes

His pal with tender care,

Gently laid him down

And smoothed his bloody ruffled hair,

And with a sob of anguish

He started down the road,

In his hand he held the message

That was written out in code.


Jim got the message thru in time

To call the German’s bluff,

He told the story to the boys

How the blood got on his cuff,

The dying words of Bill his pal

A runner dead and gone

And the company paid their last respects

To the brave but silent form.

(Wrote at Apremont at the conclusion of a dream)

—Batt. Runner Blanchard, Co. F 103rd Inf.


Many thanks to for sharing this rare find written by Pvt. C.R. Blanchard of the 103rd Hdq. Co. Signal Platoon while assigned to Co. F at Apremont in the Toul Sector. Please visit PortraitsofWar for many other fine examples of vintage military photography and interpretation.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Did we ever figure out who C.R. Blanchard is? I’m trying to put together a WWI presentation and would like to have additional info on him. Any potential leads?

  2. I know that C.R. Blanchard was initially part of Hdq. Co., 103rd Infantry. He is listed on the Company Roster on this site. However, he is not listed as part of the Company when it was a Camp Devens prior to demobilization in 1919. You might contact the Mass. NG Archives and Museum in Concord, MA to find out if they have any additional information.

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