Date Written: c. July, 1931
Full transcription of text follows:
Left [Kansas City] June 26. 6 P.M. Arrived New York July 14. Left [New York] July 16, 4 P.M. By Bus through the Hudson Rim tunnel the tunnel is three mi long Sailed on the Steamship America from Hoboken 9 P.M. our first thrill of the long journey Left [Kansas City] July 26. 6 P.M. All the family were at the depot but I was more than surprised to see so many friends and Left [Kansas City] July 26 6 PM. My family went to the depot with me and a number of friends were there with gifts and good wishes and was more than surprised to see the Mt Wash. Capter of War Mothers each of them assuring me that they would be with me in thought and spirit untill I returned. Mrs A V Trego of Mr Wash and Mrs J. McClure of [Kansas City] left with me. We found there was three Ladies on the train that were going in the same group that we were two of them were from Marysville K. and one from Hanover we became very well aquainted by the time we arrived at [New York] Now arriving at [New York] We were met by several Army O. who took us in charge and were taken to the P. Hotel and from there to the end of our journey we never had another care when we
would get to our Hotel R also to our cabing on board the steamship we would find our bagage there ahead of us. Every thing that possible could be done for our comfort and pleasure was done at the Hotel the large Lounge was turned over to us for Registrations to meet our friends in [New York] to get aquainted with each other and especially to because of with the Captain the Doc the nurs who were to have charge of us on the Steam ship. The next mor we were taken on a sight see trip in [New York] back to the Hotel to Lunch and the afternoon was free to give those that had friend to visit them Mrs Tue Mr Mc and myself went to a show. After din a group of [New York] WM among them their Pres Mr Burbing came to the Hotel with greetings from their Chap and also greetings from the Mayor who was out of town and she sent each of hte 96 M a lovely silk flag. The next [ms illegible: 1 wd] we were taken on anther s s bus ride back to Lunch than we the captain took over P. P. and were given Identification cards and our return R R Tickets were left with the O. at the Hotel untill we returned from France so we did even have to worry about losing our return R.R.T. Left the Hotel at 4 P.M. and had our first thrill of the trip that was going over to Hoboken where the
S. S. was docked through the Hudson R. T. just the thought of riding under the H R for three in certan was a thrill. On B. S. We stood on the deck and the War M that came to see us at the Hotel and a great many more M were on the dock to see us of They waved A flags and sang the SSR as the Ship left and we did the same using the flags that they had present us with the evening before with all the excitement and all the atten that was show us I for one did not forget we were leaving the good old USA for a long six weeks Our first dinner on board and after dinner we were taken to our cabins I had just time to meet my room mate a Mrs Hamilton from Min when the Stewart came to the door with two large box of Flowers one from Dad and the Children on one from our dear Mt Wash Chap of W M they told me on leaving they would be with me in thought and Spirit and is certainly looks as if they ment it. We could not keep all the flower in our cabin so the Steward brought me two vases one I filled for our cabin and one I took to Mrs McCl. and Mrs T who share the same cabin just across from us the rest I gave to the Su of the dining room who took care of them
and every day he would place some on our table in the din room and the last day we still had two gladiolas left. We did not stay in our cabins long as eery one was anxious to see the last of [New York] and the S of Liberty. We sailed X The next morning we were out of sight of land On a beautiful calm sea X July 16 9 PM. on the S.S.A. with 96 W.M. Captain Apgar of the U.S. Army a Doctor. Mrs. and a Hostess. There were 519 Passengers Commander Officers and crew 467. Total on board 986. The days were spent in getting aquainted taking our daily walks and waisting the games on deck, one day the crew had a fire drill wich was very exciting watching them ans the dif signals lowering the life boats and so forth. On Sunday we had services on the boat deck for the boys that were lost at sea. Every pilgramage has service for those lost at sea. We have with us a Mrs Keeler from Philadel who did not go with the group of Mothers whos boys were lost at sea because of a broken ankel she is just able to get around now with a cane she was given the honor of casting the gold star wreath in the sea she also cast overboard an armfull of roses for our dear boy who was lost at sea the ceremony was very impressive and was
attended by our own Captain Apgar the Ships Officers and all the passengers Rev Simpson opened the ser with a prayer and Father Gilleran gave a beautiful talk on Mother love sacrifice Taps were sounded as Mrs Keeler was droping the flower over board Then the band played the Star S B as we were leaving the deck for the Library were we were greeted by Mr Chapman given a lovely talk and were presented with a Medal and a certificate on behalf of the S S L that our taking the groups over to france. Monday a spessial entertainment was given in the social Hall for the War Mothers consisting of Vocal and piano Songs and duets songs were sung by the Ships Doctor who has a wonderfull voice A composer of Music could not get his name played a piece on the piano that he composed for the W.M. Slight of Hand preformance and lovely refreshments were served. Tues wer were shown all over the ship through the tourist part the kitchen up on the Captains deck shown all the machanism that controles the workings of the ship how they mesure distance by the sun all are automatically controled and so perfect they can change the course of the ship as easely as we can change the route of an automobile.
Wed was field day all kind of sports on deck W.M. takeing part in some of them. Thursday night the Captains dinner we were given comical caps and all kind of souvenirs and after dinner the Mask Ball of course we did not take part in the Masking or dancing only to look on. Friday every one did just as they pleased we were up early as we got our first sight of land about 6 oclock and it was the most beaut sight I had ever seen the sun coming up over the hills of Plymouth England A tender came out in mid Ocean and bringing passenger from England on their way to France and Hamburgh [Germany] they also took the pas. of our Ship that were going to England among them the winners of the Oratorial contest of the Star at [Kansas City] and 9 hindred Sack of Mail for England by 10 oclock we were out of sight of land again. Sat morning we packed and were ready to leave the ship for Cherbourg. And I think I can safely say that every one of us were sorry to leave we were told by the ships crew that we had the most perfect voyage of any of the pilgramages. The weather was perfect cold but braceing the sea so smoth that we seldom ever seen a white cap several of
the younger M were sick the first two days but after that every one was in perfect health every one congenial and it seemed that every one had the same mind and that was to make the best of every thing to bear with each others little piculiarities and get themselves in condition for what was ahead of us in france. Left the Steamship at 4 P.M. were taken to Cherbourg on the Tender Atlas arrived there at six left immedeately for France by R.R. through a beautifull part of France through Cain Normandy apple blosoms time in Normandy was composed for this part of France all the damage done to this part of France was done by Air raids there was no fighting through this part of france but the damage was great especially to Forts and large buildings arrived france 1.30 am. at the Gare de Invalides this Station was used exclusively by the Nobilety of France Pres Wilson and Gen. [Pershing] used this station the French extending the privilede to the U.S. to bring the Pil of W.M. through this Station. The people of France had planned a large reception for us but we were a day ahead of our skedual so that was postponed for the next group. By Bus to the Wonderful hotel Lutetia the next morning we found we had been divided in groups each group to dif hotels to be closest to the cemetary
They were going to visit [ms illegible: 1 wd] Mc and I were seperated from Trego. after two days of Sight seeing in Paris and our ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier our group was taken to Verdun
From the Gold Star (War Mothers and Widows) Pilgrimage of Agnes Fraas, mother of Frank X. Fraas, Jr., 1931. Private Fraas was a member of 129th Field Artillery Regiment, 35th Division, AEF and was killed on October 7, 1918. He is buried at the St. Mihiel American Cemetery.
World War I
Gold Star Mothers
Gold Star pilgrimmage