Newspaper Page Text
/7 hirty Years in the Service of God and Country Col. Edmund P. Easterbrook, Whose Retire ment as Chief of Army Chaplains Brings to a Close a Remarkable Career, Served in Two Wars, Accompanied the Troops to Cuba and the Philippines, and Won Distinction as Senior Chaplain of the Army of Occupation in Germany. 11 BY GEORGE S. CARLL, JR. ■jrv EACHING the statutory retirement m W age limit of 64 years on December 22, 1929, Col. Edmund P. Easter § brook, chief of Chap la after a successful military career covering a period of more than 30 years, will be placed upon the retired list of the Regular Army. Born at Torquay, England, on December 22, 1865, Col. Easterbrook completed his early edu cation in the graded schools and Torquay Pub lic College, in England. He then came to the United States and entered Drew Theological Seminary, located at Madison, N. J. His first parish was at Stuyvesant Landing, on the Hud son, where he served from 1892 to 1894. Prom 1894 to 1898 he was pastor of a church in Rochester, N. Y. At the outbreak of the war with Bpain, Col. Easterbrook entered the military service as chaplain of the 2d New York Volunteer In fantry, serving from July 31, 1898, until he was mustered out on October 25, 1898. Scarce ly a fortnight later, November 7, 1898, he be came chaplain of the 202 d New York Volunteer Infantry, and with that regiment he served in Cuba and was mustered out on April 15. 1899. Prom the time of his acceptance of a com mission as a chaplain in the Regular Army, on February 14, 1900, up to the present time, his record of service is studded with commenda tions of the highest character, penned by the various commanding officers under whom he has served. The first orders received by Col. Easterbrook after becoming a member of the military estab lishment, dated February 21, 1900, directed him to report at a post in New York Harbor until the transport Sumner sailed for the Philippines. In due time the Sumner arrived in the islands and Col. Easterbrook was on duty with the 29th United States Volunteer Infantry from June 30, 1900, to March 22, 1901, in the southern de partment of Luzon, Philippine Islands. On May 9, 1901, he reported for duty with the 17th United States Infantry and accompanied Com panies A and P to Manila, from which port they sailed on September 12, 1901, for Z&mbanga. From this time until he reported back to regi mental headquarters, on January 27, 1902, Col. Easterbrook visited Jolo, Bongao, Malabang, Parang Parang and Cotabato. The following March he sailed from Manila for San Francisco, arriving in the United States April 1, 1902, and proceeded to Vancouver Barracks, Washington, with the 17th Infantry. Col. Easterbrook’s sojourn in the United States was brief, for scarcely had five months elapsed when he received orders for the Philippines for duty with the Artillery Corps, and he sailed on or about October 1, 1902, and we find him with station at Passay Garrison. His second tour of service in the islands was much longer in duration than the first, and he did not see American shores again until two and a half years later. Prom August 22 to October 16, 1903, Col. Easterbrook visited Japan and China on leave, and on June 9, 1905, he was returned from duty in the Philippines and assigned to duty at Fort Flagler, Wash. "JN the Spring of 1906 he was assigned to duty at Fort Worden, Wash., and in August of that same year he reported for duty on the United States Army transport Crook for a short period of service while this vessel was engaged in obtaining pictures from San Fran cisco to Honolulu and Alaska and other data for stereopticon lectures. In January, 1908, • Col. Easterbrook was returned to the Puget Bound district,, and on September 20, 1909, he was recommended for promotion by Maj. Andrew Hero, who Is now a major general and . chief of Coast Artillery. In recommending him for promotion, the then Maj. Hero said: “He (Col. Easterbrook) possesses the qualifications a chaplain should have for efficient work amongst the men, enlisting their sympathies in a manly, soldierly manner, and in my opinion is worthy of special distinction for exceptional efficiency in his particular line of duties.” He was pro moted to the grade of major on February 10, 1910. Chaplain Easterbrook remained on duty in the Northwcstern part of the United States until the outbreak of the World War, perform TOE SUNDAY STAR. WASHINGTON, D. C., DECEMBER 22. 19». ing his professional duties in a manner most noteworthy, respected by his brother officers, beloved by the enlisted men and a real friend to all the civilian communities. To take his part in the conflict of the Great War he arrived in Prance and joined the American Expedi tionary Forces on September 13, 1918, on duty with the 69th Coast Artillery. Shortly after his arrival overseas, Chaplain Easterbrook was transferred to the headquarters of the 3d Amer ican Army on the Rhine. He later was the senior chaplain of the American forces in Ger many, in charge of all the religious and wel fare activities of the American troops in Germany. 'X’HE United States vdll ever be proud of her military representatives on the historical Rhine. No body of troops since the days when Caesar’s legions built the military road along the picturesque river from Coblenz and the famous bridge at Urmitz have equaled the American soldier in appearance, efficiency and morals. Their mission was different from that of any other army of occupation. Though they march ed into Germany as conquerors and victors in the world’s greatest conflict, yet their hearts beat with kindness and charity for a con quered race. They sought no conquest nor spoils of war; no malice nor spirit of revenge actuated their deeds. They came as real, true friends to a broken, disheartened people whose horizon of the future was clouded with sus picious malice, hatred and despair because of a lost cause. But within a short time the German people caught the spirit of the Amer ican soldier, saw that he desired no glory nor gain and a personal and international brother hood dispelled all enmity and fired the hearts of conquerors and conquered alike. Chaplain Easterbrook’s office was in the head quarters at Coblenz and his place of worship was the chapel at the Royal Palace of the Kaiser and his staff. He conducted the re ligious activities of all the chaplains In Ger many, and all who came to his office, soldier and civilian alike, were always greeted with a cordial welcome. During the month of September, 1921, he accompanied the composite battalion of Amer ican troops to Paris and later to London, to participate in the ceremonies incident to the placing of the Medal of Honor on the Tomb of the Unknown French Soldier and the Tomb of the Unknown British Warrior by the gen eral of the Armies, Gen. John J. Pershing. In order to promote a more cordial rela tionship between the allied armies, Chaplain Easterbrook Initiated the conference of all the chaplains of the British, French, Belgian and American armies. These conferences gave an opportunity for an exchange of ideas and methods of work among the soldiers and ce mented a real friendship and fellowship among the chaplains that still exists. Many and arduous were his duties, yet every problem was settled with tact and diplomacy. Maj. Gen. H. T. Allen, command ing general of the American forces in Ger many, in commenting upon Chaplain Easter brook, said: “His untiring zeal, broad vision, intelligence and generosity have made him eminently successful throughout a career I have known since 1898. His services In the American forces in Germany have merited ap proval of all classes and creeds.” In apprecia tion of his services of the troops of the French army of occupation, the government of Prance decorated him with the Legion of Honor. M"!?. changes have been brought about during the more than 30 years that Col. Easterbrook has been connected with the military service. At the time of his entry into the service there were approximately 25 chaplains in the entire Army, and they were, to a more or less extent, merely tolerated. That this condition of affairs has been radical ly changed is evidenced by the fact that the present authorized strength of the Corps of Chaplains is 125, which includes the chief of chaplains. In the days of ’9B the duties of a chaplain consisted principally of directing the religious and moral welfare of the military personnel, but now the duties of a chaplain > are many and varied, and he is one of the mr :. <:•<:: ■ :. N .:- v ; ' r ‘ ••' ' x;.% •><<* x i y V . > 9 V<f • t m yjuM p aT V, JL. 'i « |'' \ €H Be V |B # "S' 'F* JW F"‘ 9Cj|r , Jra| It if mi • JmM mm m- *4 "< - I (| | ' V *hLJL if > ' x/ ; ;^:>^-- •■ BB BL I BLfc. Bb Jl f . .;. BmhHMHL . tUM j^BimPrfwßßP^lli^^NikffßßßßHr j m ■ • \. JB H 11 "818 B jWi K Cos. Edmund P . Easterbrook, retiring chief of the Army chaplains. Copyright by Harris & Ewing. most engaged persons on a post. In addition to conducting the religious services at a post, the present-day chaplain is charged with the many .recreational activities that are now participated in by the service personnel. Usually the poet chaplain takes a prominent part in the various forms of athletics engaged in by the post personnel, and a number of strong post and station teams in the various lines of sport have been developed the past few years.. It is interesting to note in this connection that both Col. Easterbroek and Capt. Sydney Key Evans, chief of Navy chaplains, were bom abroad. Col. Easterbrook, as noted above, being bom in England, while the Navy chief of chaplains was bom in Wales on October 20, 1873, making him 56 years of age in Octo ber of this year. Capt. Evans is of the Protestant Episcopalian faith, while Col. Easterbrook is a member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. Capt. Evans entered the naval service on December 5, 1907, nearly a full decade after Col. Easterbrook entered the service of the military establishment. The exceptional and distinguished services rendered by Col. Easterbrook during the past 30 years was recognized when he was selected by former President Coolidge to be the chief of chaplains on December 10, 1927, and on April 6, 1928, he took the oath of that office at Washington. The brief tenure of Col. Easterbrook as chief of Army chaplains was saddened with the death on June 26 of this year of Mrs. Easterbrook, one of the most beloved of Army women. Possessing charm, tact, good judgment, energy and force, she always was a leader in her community. Her wonderful ability to co-operate made her wel come everywhere, and this contributed greatly to the success of her husband’s mission. Mrs. Easterbrook accomplished great work in the homes of the soldier, where her presence was helpful, friendly and constantly sought. In spite of her time-consuming endeavors in the missionary field and in the Sunday school at the various posts at which Col. Easterbrook served, she was able to play an important part in the social work of the garrison and the home. With her death, the great Army fam ily lost one of the most capable, efficient and beloved workers ever known, whose influence in the service will continue for many years. Col. Easterbrook plans to remain in Wash ington after his retirement on December 22 at least until the graduation of his son Ernest, who is now a second classman at the United States Military Academy at West Point, whose graduation will take place in June, 1931. There are four other children, as follows: Capt. Arthur E. Easterbrook, an Air Corps officer, now en route to the Philippine Islands; Wilfred Easter brook and William Easterbrook, both of whom are living in Seattle, Wash., and a daughter. Mrs. J. Lawton Collins, wife of Capt. Collins, In fantry. who is now on duty as an instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. As to what line of endeavor Col. Easterbrook will devote himself to when he relinquishes the directing reins of the chaplain office is not known, but with the ever-increasing demands now being made upon Capt. Alfred C. Oliver, the chaplain stationed at the Army Medical Center in this city, where are located Walter Reed General Hospital, the Army Medical, Den tal and Veterinary Schools, it would occasion no surprise if Col. Easterbrook would not become emeritus of the Army Medical Center, where he could accomplish an incalculable amount of good In "building up the morale and faith of those veterans of the Great War whose bodies have been wracked in pain for more than a decade. Col. Easterbrook’s tenure of office as chief of Army chaplains has been brief, but dur ing that short span of time a deep feeling of respect, loyalty and devotion to duty has per meated the Chaplains’ Corps and his retirement by operation of the law is deeply regretted by every officer and enlisted man in the service. Reindeer Production Grows. 'T'HE "deerboy” may soon rival the cowboy as a picturesque character of the wide open spaces, if the growth of the reindeer Industry keeps on at its present rate. No longer will the old practices carried on by the Laplander and the Eskimo do, as the infant industry begins to take on larger proportions. • Government experts at Fairbanks. Alaska, where the Biological Survey’s experimental ranch is operated, foresee the day in the near future when open-range production of the rein deer will call for the development of the same system in handling stock as is now applied on the large beef ranches of the United States. However, the time is not yet at hand when it will be politic to paraphrase the famous cry of the West and shout, “Ride ’em, deerboy.” Intensive Study of Food. 'J'EN years of intensive study in the value of various foods and their vitamin contents has finally resulted in the completion of a re port by Sybil L. Smith, chemist in the depart ment of Agriculture. Tests of more than 160 foodstuffs have been conducted by Miss‘Smith and her report gives not only the content in vitamins A. B and C, but also tells of the effect of cooking, canning and otherwise processing. The data go so far as to Include the vitamin content of the various parts of the foods, such as the pulp, the Juice, the leaves, stems and 6o on.