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Trench and camp. : ([Admiral, Md.) 1917-1919
Place of publication:
[Admiral, Md.
Geographic coverage:
  • Admiral, Anne Arundel, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Camp Meade]
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 10, 1917)-v. 2, no. 38 (June 26, 1919).
  • English
  • Armed Forces.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00814586
  • Maryland--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204739
  • United States--Armed Forces--Maryland--Newspapers.
  • United States.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204155
  • World War, 1914-1918--Newspapers.
  • "Printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of The Evening Star of Washington, D.C."
  • "Published under auspices of the National War Work Council, Y.M.C.A. of the United States.
  • Also on microfilm: Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service.
  • Issued in over 20 separate ed. throughout the U.S.
sn 92068220
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Trench and camp. October 10, 1917 , Image 1


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Trench and Camp

Trench and Camp was a multi-edition World War I-era newspaper for U.S. military personnel, with common content produced by the New York-based National War Work Council (NWWC) of the Young Men's Christian Association of the United States. Local content was produced in cooperation with local newspapers. At least 20 separate editions were published across the country. The weekly Admiral, Maryland edition of Trench and Camp, published from 1917 to 1919, was for soldiers and personnel at Camp Meade. The NWWC was led by Dr. John R. Mott, while Trench and Camp editions were coordinated by John Stewart Bryan, publisher of the Richmond News Leader. The NWWC contracted with the War Department to organize recreational activities (sports, films, concerts, singing groups) as well as libraries, religious services, and canteens supplying snacks and personal items. Its purpose was to maintain morale and morality among U.S. troops in military camps and overseas. The Trench and Camp newspaper was part of this overall mission.

Camp Meade was located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, a short distance by train from both Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. It was a major processing and training center for troops preparing for service in the Great War. As many as 400,000 men passed through Camp Meade during the war years, all potential readers of Trench and Camp. The camp was segregated, with African American units in separate barracks and hospitals. In light of its mission, Trench and Camp offered large servings of patriotic and inspirational content. In addition to featuring national and local news, Trench and Camp chronicled events at the camp and lists of regimental comings and goings. A major issue was the influenza outbreak of 1918, which killed approximately 700 at the camp, or about 25% of those who contracted the flu. The movement of troops during the war was a major cause for the global spread of the pandemic.

The edition of Trench and Camp at Camp Meade was printed at the Evening Star printing plant in Washington, DC. Its editors included at least two employees of the Sun (Baltimore, MD), Edwin R. Gontrum and N. Howard Haynes. Gontrum was a Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland Law School graduate. Despite claims that they were coordinating with Catholic and Jewish organizations with similar missions, the NWWC, and by extension, Trench and Camp was Protestant in tone. Complaints arose about some content that appeared to proselytize or at least promote Protestant views on issues. Other groups also protested that the NWWC was not properly distributing the government funds it received. An unofficial mimeographed parody called the Wrench and Camp was produced at Camp Meade in 1919 that primarily was humorous in tone, but also mocked some of the pretensions of the official newspaper.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD