Newspaper Page Text
Nov. 7, 1917.
BRITISH EDUCATE GERMAN PRISONERS Y. M. C. A. in English Prison Camp. Pennsylvania Doctor Assists. After describing' several barracks and rooms in an English camp for German prisoners of war, Mr. F. L. Waldo, in a recent number of the Philadelphia Ledger, says: “In a long room used as a theater I found several hard at work making a sofa, upholstering it with shavings, to be used in a play the following Sun day evening. The play was Suder mann's ‘Johannesfeuer.’ The chief ac tor (of the First Foot Regiment) told me that at home he was a sculptor. He led me round to the front of the stage and showed me a plaster figure of a young man he had made to adorn the proscenium. He had been a cap tive for three years. The man who was helping him make the sofa was twenty five years old and hailed from Heil bronn—an upholsterer by trade. In the greenroom a double bass leaned in a corner. There were sets of scenery painted by the prisoners. On the wail were many posters—of Sudermann's ‘Die Ehre and ‘Helmat’ and Schnitz ler’s ‘Liebeli’ and other modern dra mas. “in the Y. M. C. A. erected by pris oners, outfitted by Americans, instruc tion is given in Turkish by a wiseacre who was three years at Constantinople, in Spanish by another prisoner, in ag riculture, algebra, biology, physiology by others. The librarian was captured at Loos two years ago; he hails from Westphalia. His assistant, aged twen ty-one, comes from Nuremberg and was taken in the battle of the Somme. He told me he had been in the camp a year and two days, with a wistful ac cent on the two days. “At adjacent workshops of the Roy al Engineers some 400 prisoners are employed. I saw them at work creat ing sentryq boxes of big logs with the bark on by successive processes. “What are they fed? They get thir teen ounces per diem of bread When working, nine when idle; six ounces of meat five, days in the week, ten ounces of salt fish two days a week, three quarters of an ounce of coffee, one ounce sugar, half an ounce of' salt, four ounces green stuff (i. e., cabbages, turnips and the like), two ounces split peas or beans, four ounces rice or po tatoes, one ounce margarine (which costs twenty-two cents a pounw), two ounces oatmeal, one ounce jam, two ounces cheese (if at work), one and a half ounces maize meal (if at work), one seventy-second ounce pepper. That ought to do for one day for one man. “The food is drawn in bulk by a “ser geant major’’ for each group, and woe be unto him if he cheats! Potatoes abound and are raised in the gtrdens, which rae numerous and flourishing. There they produce not only potatoes, but parsnips, beans, lettuce and other vegetables. They eat the seeds of the sunflowers, and their asters and mari golds are beautiful to behold. “As those at work earn a shilling a day, they can buy extras at the can teen. I saw a great many rabbit hutches and learned that the last cen sus there were 1,500 bunnies, which were destined to be petted a While and then killed and eaten. “They have a football field, a Roman Catholic chapel in use very evening, a band, a hospital with a fully equipped operating room, where I found Doctor North, of Punxsutawney, Pa., a grad uate of the University of Pennsylva nia. There is a gymnasium, where I saw men vigorously at work. In the three years of its life the camp has lost eleven prisoners by death. Two died of woundsfi one of appendicitis. Sixteen prisoners have passed through the camp in this time. One letter may be sent on Monday, another on Thursday—post free. In an emergency other letters may be writ ten. The prisoners may receive as many (short ones) as they ilke. These, of course, aer censored. The letters and packages shed a highly significant light on economic conditions in Ger many.’’ WORK IS DONE. Raymond B. Fosdick, chairman of the War Department and Navy De partment Commissions on Training Camp Activities at the conference in Washington in October, explained that all their work is included in three main divisions: (1) Inside the camps —through the Y. M. C. A., Knights of Columbus, American Library Associa tion, and through commission repre sentatives developing athletics, sing ing and theatricals; (2) suppression of vice and liquor evils through repress ive agencies; (3) outside the camps— through the trained community organ izers employed by the Playground Rec reation Association of America. On the third great field of service—repre sented by this national conference, Mr. Fosdick said: “I have no hesitation in asserting that the work which your organization has done for our commis sions in stimulating the recreational activities of communities near military camps is the most effective single piece of. work with which we have been re lated." TRENCH AND CAMP Y. M. C. A. Secretaries Assist Drafted Men on Trains to Camp Cheer Homesick Men—Furn ish Hot Coffee, Games and Writing Paper on Train. Ba dage Hand for Injured Sol dier. Man Throws Whiskey Away. Cheered As He Leaves Train. All over the country Sammy is still is still en route for Somewhere, as he has been for weeks. But just now “Some where,” that flexible war-time word, chiefly means the sixteen national can tonments of the United States. Toward thse cantonments our somewhat bewild ered Sammy of the new National Army, still without uniform, without previous military training, without even a very definite idea of war except that he is going to fight it, is speeding. Big-boned mountaineer of the South, who will wear his new uniform when he gets it about as comfortably as if it were a mustard plaster—he is leaving the home he has never been ten miles away from before in his life. Ex-member of the Gas house Gang, raw recruit from Hell’s Kitchen, or college junior from the silk stocking precincts—he is pulling out of New York for Yaphank. A slim French French youth in the northern states — the patriotism of two lands is blazing up in his eyes, as he gets on the train near Fort Caribou. A dazed young Serv ian, hot yet six months in America,—he is learning his first English words in the chorus of “Kaiser Bill” on the station platform of a New England factory town. East and west, north and south, the trains are tooting- Sammy away from home. It isn’t just one engine, but hun dreds of them, that are grumbling their staccato warnings at him, as he lingers tor a last joke with “the bunch.” It isn’t just one woman, but thousands of them, and of all ages, whose tear-stained faces twist bravely into smiles, as they wave good-bye. it isn’t one Sammy, but a whole army of him, who is going away with bravado, promising gaily to come back and bring the Kaiser along. Sammy's Sensations. There has been a lot of talk about how the men in khaki pull out of the station, to the flutter of hankerchiefs, and the thrill of bands. Even without their uni forms, the drafted men of the new Na tional Army have had their share of at tention. It is quite a different matter when the train is a few miles on its way, after the excitement of departure has died, and they begin to realize that home is behind them and the war ahead. No body has described the sensations of Sammy en route- Nobody ever will, either. The fact is that nobody knows exactly how Sammy feels about going away to fight except Sammy, and he isn’t telling-. But for the past few weeks Railroad Y. M. C. A. secretaries have been traveling with the men of the new National Army to can tonments all over the United States. On more than 750 trains they have already beer, “following the soldiers on wheels.” as one of them gratefully put it, to do what they can to cheer his trip. As near ly as one man can know the heart of an other, they know this drafted Sammy’s. They have seen him in that first tragic moment when he begins to realize that his face is turned away from home toward unknown danger. And they report that the average Sammy, no matter what class or what part of the country he comes from, is more afraid of those first few hours on the train than he is of the bat tlefield. The stories of these “Y” men, the only ones who have traveled in this way with the soldiers to the cantonments, be gin where all the others leave off. "Says Sammy to the Public” is all ver” well, but “Says Sammy to Himself” is quite another matter. Sammy stripped of hero ics and of bombast, Sammy homesick and human, is the one the trainmen see. Big Man Crying. Above the rattle of wheels and the shriek of the engine, an Alabama train laden with soldiers shook with a bellow like that of a bull that has nosed his way into a bee hive. Without any trouble at all the “Y” secretary followed the noise to its source, a two-hundred pound Sam may possessed of the- contradictory at tributes of a double chin all around, a sure- trigger hand, a hard head, a soft heart, and the self-control of a child of six. Ham-like hands over bis distorted face, he was blubbering at the top of his voice: “I want to go home! I want to go home!” Down by the mass of shaken avoirdu pois the “Y” man sat, and soothed him gradually, till he learned that the man came from a mountain settlement where he had left a wife and three children. Never in his life had he been out of his own county before. War? Dang it, he wa’nt afraid of that! He’d be “darn glad to bust the Kaiser,” in fact. Only —he wanted to go ho—ome. Lots of other men in the car wanted to go home, too, it appeared from the murderous glances they cast at the fat mountaineer, who dared to “rub it in” like this. So the “Y” man sent them home for a few minutes by handing around postcards, even stamps to the ones who hadn’t any money, and urging them to write home. "Go to it, fellow,” he said. “Send your first messages to the home folks. They’ll be looking for a word from you, you know.” You might have thought the soldiers had been gone from home six months instead of a few hours. They didn’t ex actly ask. “Have you. still got the same old cat?” like the boy in Riley’s story, but they did indicate by the general tenor of their messages home that it seemed to them a long, long time since they had taken that morning train. They said, too, that they were well, and hoped the folks at home were the same, that they were having "some ride” and meant to put up “some fight," and sent lots of love. Secretary Furnishes Coffee. '• After that the secretary passed around checker-boards —a great game, checkers! ff you don’t want all your kings jumped aft the board, you must put your whole mind on your play, to the exclusion of feeling homesick. What, with the unffx pected moves forced upon them by the train, and the comradeship of the game, the men began to feel better. The “Y” man won their hearts by passing around hot coffee for them to drink with the lunch the government had provided. They began telling him how they felt about things. “War? Hell? It ain't war I mind; it’s goin’ away and leavin’ the kids and my woman to look out for themselves!" said one. “If we could play the game on our home field, with our own bunch around to root for us, it wouldn’t be half bad," summed up a young college fellow. Bandages Injured Hand. On another train one of the men ap peared to have been fighting his first bat tle already. He was holding one arm stiffly, a soiled and blood-stained hand kerchief around the hand. “Did it leaning out of the window to wave to my girl,” he explained. "An other train came along and bit me." It was really rather badly bruised, and the “Y” man helped him wash it, and bind it up in a clean covering. Word went through the car that "That Y. M. C. A. chap is as good as a doctor,” and two other men with ailments sent for him. “Got anything for the toothache?” an other Sammy wanted to know. "It’s that darn candy the girls threw after us the last station back.” Lonesomeness doesn't always break out the same way; it has as many symptoms as measles. Early evening on one train found three bruised heads, several smash ed windows, several dents in faces, made by tin cups, and various minor injuries. The train had been stopped twice because some Sammy with a small-boy heart had pulled the emergency cord, and once had been broken in two when someone at tacked the coupling lever. The secre tary passed around song books at last. Men Enjoy Singing. "Fine!" said a recruit. “Ge gotta do something." So they sang all their bravado and animal spirits away, as it grew dusk in the car, and it was a husky chorus that finally took up the words of “Old Folks at Home.” “Got any Testaments?” asked one of the men at last. The secretary had. They were for the men who wanted them particularly—who did? Every man on the car except one Russian .Tew pressed forward to ask for one of the little books; the Russian Jew explained with great politeness his rea son for not wanting one, and then began to talk in Russian. “Can she come back?” he said. “She sure can. Ain’t I got. al] my money in vested in Russian bonds?” Sad News in Telegram. On another train a fine young college chap who had just left honre got a tele gram that his mother had died. The sec retary tried to comfort him. “Your mother would want you to keep up your courage and fight the best you can,” he suggested. “I know she would," said the boy. “She was sick and dependent on me, but she wouldn’t let me claim exemption. That’s the kind of mother she was. Wanted me to be a good soldier. * * * Well, I’m going to be.” “Y” Sends Clothes Home. After the men receive their uniforms, they send home their civilian clothes; wardrobe room is an unknown quantity at a cantonment. Some of the men said that they hadn’t any home to send things to. But the secretaries announced that these men could send their clothing to the Y. M, C. A. of their home town, which would receipt the express company for it, then send the receipt on to the soldier. If a soldier hadn’t the money to pay the express, he could even send his things collect, and the “Y” would take care of it. “Who said we hadn't any home?” de manded one of the Sammies. “We’ve got the ‘Y.’ ’’ Near Anniston, Alabama, one of the trains broke down, and fifty soldiers rush ed over to the nearest Y. M. C. A., calling loudly for ham and eggs. It was a rush order, but it was filled. "What would we do without the ‘Y’?” they asked with their mouths full, as they rushed back to the train. Whskey Thrown Away. Several of the men on one trian in the South got on with as many as four quarts of whiskey. The men said that some of the towns there had been giving the en listed men free of charge all the liquor they asked for, the bill being paid by the business men of the town. At first the secretary couldn’t be of much help to the men who were really durnk. But aft er a time, when he had gone through the car with envelopes and paper “to write the folks at home,” he observed men quetly pouring their w’hiskey out of the window. “I don’t want the stuff.” one said. “Never did want t. It’s just this going away that’s got me. But the folks back home expect me to be decent, and I’m going to be.” The secretary told him and the other men about the “Y” huts in every can tonment, and at every army and navy encampment in the United States—those buildings that- help the men “be decent,” that bring home to them as nearly as possible, that encourage the men and en tertain them, and keep their fighting spir it up. “I’ll be there,” sad a Sammy. “If we get all ths for nothing just on a train, I’m game to see the inside of those huts." Three Cheers for Secretary. “Three cheers for the Y. M. <2. A.!” called another voice. And every car of the long train shook with those Sammy cheers. It was the kind of thing to make every mother and wife and sister grateful for an organization that goes with their men where the folks at home can’t go. and does for them as nearly as it can just what the folks at home-would like to do. FRENCH CAPTAIN DESCRIBES WARFARE Captain Carl Ullern Gives In teresting Experiences at Red Cross Meeting. Captain Carl Ullern, of the French army now training at Canip Hancock, gave an account of his impressions of the’ war at a meeting in the interest of the Red Cross held at Partridge Inn, Monday evening last. “The French,” he said, “previous to the war, were a peaceable, rather volatile, and pleasure-loving people. The desire for revenge on account of the Franco- Prussian war had largely died out, but after the ruthless destruction of property, and the atrocities of some of the Ger mans, the soldiers and people of France had come to actually hate the enemy.” In the early days of the war the French army was massed in the direction of Alsace-Lorraine but upon the German in vasion of Belgium, was transferred to the north of France to withstand the on slaught. The French were compelled to retreat but each division believed that all the others were advancing victoriously, while it alone was retreating for strateg ic purposes. He called attention to the joy which was felt when the retreat was stopped at the battle of the Marne, even though the great chemical works and in dustrial plants of France, most of which were located in the northern part, were left in the hands of the Germans. “The French had expected open war fare, and were compelled to learn trench warfare from the Germans. Both armies were impressed in these early days of the war, with the importance of vast stores of munitions, and both were com pelled to cease activities until the sup ply of ammunition was greatly increased. The captain gave but few instances of German breaches of the laws of modern warfare. He declared that the morale of the Germans was high or low, depend ing upon the unit considered. In some cases the French in small numbers are able to bring in a large number of Ger man prisoners, but in one case eighty Germans held for one whole day, a French force, twenty times as large. The French now wait until the Ameri can troops can be trained and placed in position to support the Allies, and to bring new enthusiasm into the troops who have fought so nobly. He expressed great satisfaction that America, the greatest neutral, had now become, America, the greatest fighter. 53RD DEPOT BRIGADE OUT OF EXISTENCE Col. Wood Made Commander of 103rd Engineers. City Troop of Philadelphia Made Headquarters Troop. What was left of the old Third. Sixth. Eighth and Thirteenth regiments and which was known as the 53d Depot Bri gade, has passed out of existence, and nothing remains but the mess shacks, a few tents and the bands. All the enlist ed men and most of the officers had been transferred to the reorganized 109th, 110th, tilth and 112th several days ago. What was left of the regiments was increased by 1.000 drafted men from Camp Meade, but the entire depot brigade has now been transferred to the four in fantry regments, leavng Brigadier Gen eral O'Neil a surplus officer. With the transfer of the First Penn sylvania Cavalry to the 53d Artillery Bri gade and the 103 d Engineers, Colonel Wood was left without a command for a short time, but he has been assigned as commander of the 103 d Engineers. Captain Vrooman, of the 103 d Head quarters Troop, was also transferred to the 103 d Engineers. The 103 d Head quarters Troop was formerly Troop I. of Sunbury. The First City Troop, of Phil adelphia, Captain George C. Thayer, be comes the 103 d Headquarters Troop. Corporal Dies from Fractured Skull While paying out wire while mount ed, Corporal Thomas H. Tomlinson, Jr., of the One Hundred and Third Field Battalion, Signal Corps, permitted the wire to come in contact with the horse, the burning sensation frightening the animal. Corporal Tomlinson was thrown from the horse’s back, landing on his head. He was rushed to the base hospital, where it was found his skull had been fractured, and he passed away several hours later. The remains were taken to his home in Charleroi, Sergt. O. H. Hall and Corporal G. A. X. Kuntz, -accompanying the remains. A military funeral was given, the Sig nal Corps and One Hundred and Sev enth Field Artillery Band participat ing. THE BLASPHEMER. “Onward with God!” So this blasphemer cries, . W.-ien he has deluged half the world in blood. Broken the bond of human brotherhood. Patched up his infamies with pious lies, Laughed at his murdered victims' groans and sighs, The reddened earth with outraged corpses strewed. Done deeds that would shame hell and called them good. And hoped for victory as his foul crimes' prize. And yet this crowned destroyer of his kind Pretends that God is his ally, and calls On those who follow him with madness blind To fight for God! But when God wills he fails. Leaving a name accursed of men behind. A record that a ravaged world appalls! -—Victor Vane in the Brooklyn Eagle. If You Like the (i Y, ,f Tell the Home Folks Why Page 7 J I I w V W 181 I