Full transcription of text follows:
[American Y.M.C.A. letterhead] March 11 1918 Dear Ma - : Well I got back off my trip had many letters waiting for me from you and will make this one answer all. I sent you many cards from Italy I had a wonderful trip the scenery thru the alps is wonderful I went thru the long tunnel. took us 40 min. Italy is the most wonderful place I ever seen, or ever expect to see I hope if it takes 15 or 20 years to live in Rome we were treated like Kings were fed on the best the nation could produce stoped at the finest hotels. The Grade Republic Band of France and 3 English Guard Bands massed.
an Italian Band and us all took part in the propaganda The Grade Republic was the best band there they are the best in the world when you have heard them you have heard all the bands. The Queen of Italy gave all the musicians a silver cigarette case I will send mine home as soon as I get a chance we were in the trenches when we were ordered to go. This war is Fierce I cant describe it. The dugout I was in was blown up by a shell it produces a sensetion on you that cant be writen down. we played a concert to-day for the soldiers they enjoyed it. played mostly pouplar numbers. I dont improve any because I cant think of music under conditions and the
duties I have to preform I was shure glad to get the pictures. I will send Mrs Slagle $15 when I get payed again I went broke on my trip to Italy. The reason we dident have our instruments in the pictures was because it wasent our day ot play you see we played one day and they the next. we were audience that day. The weather in Rome was warm the trees are all green. It is warm here cold at night the snow just went off. I got the Pkage of socks. I write the best letters I can it takes solong to hear I almost loose interest I had a nice letter from Mr Rader. I went to see his teacher while in Milano but he was out on a concert tour. he was Formely
[censor signature] From [Brussels]. I dont know when the war will be over a long time I guess I read some papers from the states some of the junk they have in them is shure a joke. One never knows how it is till he gets here and sees it all. I dont want any Furlough. thats the reason I enlisted when I did I seen what was coming. I got around a bit anyway. I blieve in doing things myself. I hope I get back to tell you all about it I must now close and go to bed. as it is getting about 9 oclock I am well got fat on the trip Monsier Verney the greatest clarinet player in the world was with the French Band he talked real nice to me and gave me lots of valuable advise I liked him very much. it was a shame I couldent talk only Brokenly to him. ans soon Walter
From the service of Private Walter G. Shaw, 18th Infantry Band, 1st Division. With band tour of Italy 2-3/18. Gassed at Cantigny 5/4/18. Died at No. Charpentry in the Argonne.
|Date||March 11, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
World War I