From John, Jamaica N.Y. 6/8/1918

John J. O'Farrell, Joe's brother-in-law

Jeffry Ave, Jamaica, N.Y.

June 8, 1918

Dear Brother Joe:

We received your letter announcing your safe arrival overseas and you may rest assured that it was most gratifying news to the whole family, for we didn’t want our pride to meet with a mishap on the water.

The last time we saw you at Newport News I will always remember with a great deal of pride, for if ever I was proud of being an American it was that day.  To see the four young corporals, Maus, Jenison, Steed and the other fellow, I forget his name, with the look in their eye that they feared no hun that ever walked; four clean cut, typical American doughboys, the kind the Fritz will be sorry he ever came in contact with before they get through with him.  I always told you that the Marines when they got into action would show people some real fighting; well the last two weeks has proved this and the “hell hounds”, as the huns nicknamed them, have added to their old glory, for they have been pushing him back.  It seems ridiculous possibly for me to write you war news from here but it maybe that in your part of the world news is rather scarce.

This war is serious business and some people may speak lightly of it, but to me it is no child’s play, and I realize the position of yourself and the other boys, but I know that you will never flinch in the face of danger but will prove yourself more than worthy of the good opinion all your friends have of you, and that some day you will return to us with a medal of honor pinned to your breast, and in perfect physical condition.  You must remember that everyone that goes over does not meet his end, and dear Joe, you know that our daily prayers are for you, that you may do your duty and escape any serious injury.

Jamaica has very few of the boys you knew who are not in the service.  John Wulforst goes in a week or so, and as one fellow remarked the other day “its damned near time”.  I think Army life won’t hurt him very much; a little discipline will make a man of him.

The Navy Dept is still keeping me mighty busy and I have little time to myself, but I shall make it a practice to write to you regularly, as will Madaline and your other friends, for I know that word from home will act as the proper inspiration.  Mr. Grill asked me for your address, also John Creegan, and you may expect to hear from them shortly.  By the way, we are getting an “Over There” legend to place on our service flag.

Write to me when you can, I know there won’t be much real news that you will be allowed to give, but a word from you as to general health + life will always be awaited for eagerly.


Brother John

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Somewhere in France, Around 6/8/1918

Somewhere in France

Dear sister Madaline:

At last I have found at least a few moments to write you as I did not write either you or Anna in about three days the reason being on account of military movements.  I have already had a few interesting experiences so far.  We rode for a short time in french trains third class which are nothing but an American freight train.  Some trains are marked forty men or eight horses.  My hardest bit of work was to make my rashions last for seventy two hours.

The boys were given part of the time off to visit town this was the first time liberty has been granted to us boys since we left Spartanburg.  Each day seems to be getting more interesting that is something new turns up each day.  Who ever thought that I would ever sleep in a barn known as billets.  I don’t mind this dear sister as you know I’ve waited patiently for the time to show what I am made of and theirfore I am willing to go through a few hardships and sacrifices.  I am feeling fine and am in fine shape and expect to keep well as plenty of food and exercise are given us daily.

Must close now dear sister.  Will write you again tomorrow, I am.

Your Brother.


Love and kisses to you all.  Tell pa that I am feeling fine and am always thinking of you all.


© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.