"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
June 23, 2024




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The Life History of Martin Emmet Quinn
An Autobiography

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November 5, Tuesday, 1918 - Same drill. Beginning to feel some stronger. Stomach out of order yet. Battalion review after noon. Banquet in French restaurant tonight, songs and speech by Lieutenant Nall. We are to leave in morning on our way for the front.

November 6, Wednesday, 1918 - Rolled our packs and loaded them on truck at 8 A.M. Left Chancelade for Parigo on truck at three o'clock in afternoon. Arrived at Parigo 3:30 where we sat around for about four hours. Battalion band played some. Loaded on train about 8 P.M. on our way to front. My equipment consists of:

  • 4 pair heavy socks
  • 2 pair heavy trench shoes
  • 2 suits heavy underwear
  • 1 pair spiral leggings
  • 2 O.D. shirts
  • 2 O.D. blankets
  • 1 overcoat
  • 1 O.D. coat
  • 3 pair gloves
  • 1 overseas cap
  • 7 pair shoe laces
  • 3 collar ornaments
  • 1 tent pole
  • 5 tent pins
  • 1 tent rope
  • 1 waist belt
  • 1 pistol belt
  • 1 shelter half
  • 1 rain coat
  • 2 lb. canned beef R.ration
  • 4 lb. hard tack
  • 2 oz. coffee
  • 2 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. salt
  • 1 pack carrier
  • 1 mess kit
  • 1 knife, fork, and spoon
  • 1 canteen cup
  • 1 canteen
  • 1 canteen cover
  • 1 first aid pack
  • 1 first aid pouch
  • 2 magazine pouches
  • toilet articles
  • 1 Red Cross comfort kit: needles, thread, buttons, safety pins, straight pins, scissors, trench mirror, tooth brush, tooth paste, comb, two towels
  • 1 razor, Gillette
  • 1 crucifix (given to each one of us before leaving by priest)
  • forty rounds pistol ammunition
  • six instruction books
  • 1 helmet
  • 1 gas mask
  • 1 Red Cross sweater

  • 5 cans sardines
  • 1 lb. hard tack
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 lb. sugar
  • 6 packets tobacco
  • 1 pair light socks
  • 2 towels
  • 1 big onion
  • mess kit full of lunch

November 7, Thursday, 1918 - Rode on train all day. Left train about 9 P.M. at Le Mans. Hiked about 8 kilometers to a camp field. Hard hike up hill through the mud. Pitched our shelter tents in the mud where there was thousands of others. In them you could hear the men coughing. Everything wet and soggy. The men sleeping on wet ground. It looked pretty scary to me.

November 8, Friday, 1918 - Just back from ration detail. Sitting in my dog tent. On detail and K.P. all day. Started raining about noon. Everything wet and muddy. More reports of war ended. All kinds of equipment lying around this camp.

November 9, Saturday, 1918 - Fine sunny morning. Went over to Officers quarters and helped to roll up Lieutenant Nall's baggage, and he gave me a new rain coat. Fine day all day. Gave our equipment a chance to dry out. Hundreds of men coming and going here every minute.
Orders came in about 2 P.M. to pack up. Rolled our packs and left about 4 P.M. Lieutenant Nall shook hands with us and bade us good-bye. He was the nicest man and officer I ever met.
We were marched 9 kilos. Got pretty warm then stood around in cold for two hours. No rain but plenty of mud. We were then marched through a big gate into a big camping field. Unslung our packs and laid them down in the mud. We then went to supper. While at supper someone stole my outfit. I had no blankets so went over to a little camp fire and sat up all night. It was a long, cold night to me.

November 10, Sunday, 1918 - Went through the mill and was issued a new outfit. This is a classification and forwarding camp. You can see thousands of men coming and going every minute. Laid around all day. Got a good bunch of straw and made a good bed and just got to sleep when order came in to pack up. Left camp for train. About 9:30 loaded on train. About 1136 men per car. Awful cold and crowded.

November 11, Monday, 1918 - Spent the day on train pretty cold. Armistice signed today. French having a great time. Flags everywhere. They are happy as can be, and they are not alone.

November 12, Tuesday, 1918 - Left train at Longville and hiked to Chardagne, about 14 kilometers. Arrived at Chardagne about 9 P.M. About all in when we arrived there. A long hard hike. I and several others got into an old French woman's hay. One good nights sleep. Next morning she ran us out. She was mad as a wet hen.

November 13, Wednesday, 1918 - With a new outfit again. Co. B 111 Machine Gun Bn., 29 Division. They gave us the morning to clean up. Co. went out in afternoon, but I missed them. Went on guard 6 P.M.

November 14, Thursday, 1918 - On guard today. Went out to airplane in afternoon to relieve Private Swisher.

November 15, Friday, to 16th, 1918 - Drill. Policing. Cleaning up.

November 17, Sunday, 1918 - Got Division insignia put on my shoulder. Bought a razor for 20 francs.

November 18, Monday, 1918 - Packed up and hiked about 30 kilometers from Chardagne to Velarres.

November 19, Tuesday, 1918 - Drill. Bad cold with cough.

November 20, Wednesday, 1918 - Set up carts and hauled them to loading station.

November 21, Thursday, 1918 - On loading detail with forty more. Rolled our packs and went to the next town and loaded our carts and wagons on train. No dinner or supper. We got on train. About 4:30 P.M. we left there. Straw in cars to sleep on for once. Ligne.

November 22, Friday, 1918 - Pulled into Jossey 4 A.M. Unloaded our wagons. Hauled them out along road. After that we had breakfast and hiked 14 kilos to Fresnes.

November 23, Saturday, 1918 - 24 hours to bathe and clean up. Polishing and cleaning all day.

November 24, Sunday, 1918 - Haven't done much since landed here. We are in barracks here. We had 20 minutes open air service by YMCA man. A gloomy day. Wrote Alice and Alberta today.

November 25, Monday, 1918 - Cleaning up and getting equipment together. Rain and mud. This is sure a muddy place.

November 26, Tuesday, 1918 - Drill, bathe, etc. Cloudy and muddy.

November 27, Wednesday, 1918 - More rain. Mud, six inches deep. Inside Mess Hall on gun stripping and assembling, immediate action, etc.

November 28, Thursday, 1918 - Thanksgiving Day off. Chicken dinner bought out of Co. fund. Wrote Alice and Alberta today.

November 29, Friday, 1918 - Went downtown tonight. Got four glasses for serving, also something that was not issued.

November 30, Saturday, 1918 - Inspection. Took bath and washed my clothes. Schedule for coming week. 4 hour drill, morning. 1 hour play in afternoon with the usual formations.

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Last Updated: September 30, 2023  
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