"To know the sacrifices of the past is to appreciate the
blessings of the present and to inspire great
deeds in the future."

~Robert M. Quinn
February 22, 2019

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The Life History of Martin Emmet Quinn
An Autobiography

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September 16, Monday, 1918 Morning foggy and rainy. Sighted land, the coast of England, 10:25 A.M. Afternoon cloudy but no fog. Left steamer at 5 P.M. at Liverpool and took train for South Hampton.

September 17, Tuesday, 1918 Left train at South Hampton about 8 A.M. then hiked out to a little rest camp where we had dinner and inspection. Pretty hard trip for the conditions we were in. A very poor dinner too. Hiked back about 3 P.M. and got on boat, left dock 5 P.M.

September 18, Wednesday, 1918 Landed in La Havre, France, 1:40 A.M. No sleep last night. Everyone about tired out owing to close quarters. We cleaned up boat and started for a camp about 9 A.M., about five kilometers hike. The boys began falling out after first half hours tramp. They fell out all along - clear out. All uphill with full pack.

September 19, Thursday, 1918 Left camp for train 1 P.M. They loaded us on a boxcar 2:10 P.M. Left Le Havre about 5 P.M.

September 20, Friday, 1918 Rode on train all day, like riding in a pine box with about ten more. Awful crowded. No place to rest or sleep. The usual thing.

September 21, Saturday, 1918 Left train about 11 A.M. Arrived in our new quarters about 11:30 A.M. at an old Catholic Monastery in which we were billeted. It was built about 1600. That made it of 300 years old. It had been shot down in some of the old wars a couple times and rebuilt. It had broken glass set in cement on the walls that surrounded it. Chancelade is the name of place.

September 22, Sunday, 1918 Sunday morning in France. Raining. I went to mass, 10:20. The priest gave us a little blessing. I noticed that all the paintings on the wall had been cut out of frames and sewed in again.

September 23, Monday, 1918 Blackberrying in morning. Hike in afternoon, rainy.

September 24, Tuesday, 1918 Squads right Co. Drill. Physical drill.

September 25, Wednesday, 1918 The usual drill in morning. Inspection by general. He gave us quite a little talk in which he told us we were to be a combat division.

September 26, Thursday, 1918 Usual drill in morning. Hair cut, bath in afternoon, then play hour which was harder work than drill.

September 27, Friday, 1918 Usual drill in morning. Hike to Parigo in afternoon.

September 28, Saturday, 1918 Singing and squads right inspection company drill.

September 29, Sunday, 1918 Bulgaria has capitulated. Beginning of the end, I hope.

September 30, Monday, 1918 Have had pretty hard drilling so far since our arrival here.

October 1, Tuesday, 1918 Signed pay roll once again.

October 2, Wednesday, 1918 After noon, four hours hike by battalion.

October 5, Saturday, 1918 Battalion review by Major.

October 6, Sunday, 1918 False report that Germany capitulated.

October 9, Wednesday, 1918 Have taken the dysentery. Awful bad from the 9th until 12th. A French lady called me in her house and gave me some peppermint tea on the 11th. On light duty.

October 13, Sunday, 1918 Feeling a little better. Another false report about Germany. Fired ten rounds on Browning machine gun.

October 14, Monday, 1918 Feeling pretty good although pretty weak. Fired 60 rounds. Received helmet and heavy underwear.

October 15, Tuesday, 1918 Big wreck last night at Chancelade. A lot of men killed and hurt. Rainy. Inside today spent on guns.

October 17, Thursday, 1918 Wrote Alice. Fired on range. Rained, so came in at nine o'clock. Inside the rest of the day.

October 18, Friday, 1918 Wrote Alberta.

October 19, Saturday, 1918 Beginning of the Spanish flu.

October 20, Sunday, 1918 Paid 391 Francs. Feeling pretty sick.

October 28, Monday, 1918 Quite a lot of the sick boys going to hospital and some of them dying. Makes a fellow realize how small, and he is. I am feeling pretty sick and discouraged. I wonder if I will ever get back home.

October 29, Tuesday, 1918 Over 100 of the boys packed up and left.

November 1, Friday, 1918 Paid 143 Francs 50 centimes.

November 3, Sunday, 1918 Have been pretty sick since Oct. 19th. Feeling better today although very weak. Marked duty today to keep from Hospital.

November 4, Monday, 1918 Drill in morning. Polishing billets in afternoon.

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Last Updated: January 28, 2019  
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