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Catalog Number 2013.58.6
Object Name Diary
Accession number 2013.58
Description From the personal diary kept by Thomas R. Shook, October 21, 1918-December 25, 1918

Good place to stay last night in a vacant house; Do not see how we took the place so easily and in such a short time; Stopped for the night-staying in dugouts; With Joe fixing a stove; Had a fairly good night's rest; Rekindled the fire several times during the night; Cooked oatmeal, fried bacon and spuds for breakfast-had toast, bread, coffee, butter and jam; Left camp and trained for Albert; Marched from outside of Albert where we detrained; Have been told by President Wilson this Division could be one of the first to go back on account of good advances;Went to nearby village and secured some letters, also a good supply of chocolate which we have not had for weeks; Resting and cleaning up personally all day; Slept on a pile of sacks with Pew; Great amount of talk of the armistice the Germans are asking for; Drill hours; First Sergeant did inspecting of machine guns and equipment-repacked the limbers; Two of the corral men got drunk and were put on arrest; Had a Co. field meet in the afternoon getting ready for Div. Tournament; Received a few new clothes this morning but they were mostly Tommy stuff; Only 30 new uniforms came in while we have 104 men; Part of the boys went to church this forenoon; Field meet held at Nouroy one mile west of here; Eleven new men came in tonight; Boys who were under arrest allowed in Co. street without a guard; Drill work; Co. took a bath this afternoon-water cold; Drilled all day in field east of village

October 29: Officially announced that Austria has given up; Look for a reply from Germany to President Wilson's note

Received issue of woolen gloves, shoes and uniforms are coming in very slowly; Shoes are all Tommy and not many of us fellows are able to wear them; Nasty cold; Poor ground for marching

November 1: Turkey surrendered yesterday and Austria signed armistice at twelve o'clock

Boys' rifles in bad shape-had no oil to clean them with for some time; Y. had a good stock of supplies on hand; Received two blankets again; Left Co. street for the Brigade review which was held about four and a half miles east of here; Rivalry between two Divisions; When we reached the field the 60th Brigade was returning; Sergeant Wilkinson returned to the Co. at noon; Stayed inside cleaning gun-had a great argument on proper way to put on elevation; Sgts Burroughs, Armour and Pew went to the line Co's. in afternoon as instructors; Spent morning in mechanism and checking up shortage

November 8: Three of Germany's great generals were in Paris today to talk over terms of the armistice with Allies; Drill with gas masks on; McReid and Huggins came back at noon-expect to hear that armistice is signed at any moment

Regimental inspection this morning; Passed in review, inspected in afternoon; Have great arguments over the armistice signing which Germany has until the 11th at eleven o'clock to say yes or no about

November 10: Six months this morning since we came aboard ship in New York; German delegates signed the armistice at eight o'clock this evening

In the afternoon had weekly bath-also had clothes deloused can rest much better

November 11: All hostilities ceased today at eleven o'clock

Easy day of drill; Half hour of stripping blindfolded, half hour of cleaning and half hour of feet rolling for trench feet; Good table after supper; Ended up in an argument like almost every night over the issues and causes of the war; Went out with Co. in the morning and drilled-all general leave taken away and an extra hour of drill added for not having equipment in the limbers in good shape; Left with 25 other men on train for St. Malo for seven days leave; Left Amiens at eleven and travelled on a second class train; Arrived in Paris at noon; Flags flying from almost every window-great square filled with captured German guns; Went back to St. Malo-wrote letters home; After dinner went to quartermaster's to get extra clothes; Saw Douglas Fairbanks in "Nuf Sed"; Two girls had to be carried across the water by a French soldier; Sewed the service stripes on coat; Mobly said the Co. was paid off Thursday and on Saturday had turned in everything that belonged to the British except mules and limbers; Vaudeville on at the Y tonight am having a splendid time; Spent all my time at the Y casino; Went back after dinner; Ran into Irvin Tessler and spent afternoon talking; Went back to Y theatre to the Vaudeville-good dog acts-all the acts were good, all by Frogs

November 30: Papers say American Army will be demobilized immediately

Water in the docks and landing places for boats so low; Hired a frog carriage, who took us to many points of interest outside the town; Minstrel show at the Y, was a bad failure; Up at seven o'clock this morning for Y trip to St. Michael; 15th century portion artistic-pictures of battle on the sand, statues at their different work, prisoners in their cells, well with skeletons; Slept very late-tired from trip yesterday; Good Parisian vaudeville on in the casino theatre tonight-fellow using his hand as a face and throwing his voice; Roman fortresses in the bay used to protect their highways, river dividing Normandy and Brittany, Queen Anne's chateaux; Headdress Brittany women wear, carts and donkeys they use-method of throwing dirt banks up around the border of their farms; Hotel De L'Univers' visitor book contains the names of J.J. Astor, Rockefeller and a great many other noted men of the world-finest hotel in St. Malo; Left hotel and stayed at Y casino, going from there to the depot; Went on to Le Mans; Did not get much sleep; Saw Sergeant Watkins at the camp; Slept in an old barn; Left Co. M after getting a cup of coffee; Left with a bunch of machine gun men; First American troops here; Pew, Price, Jarmon, Orr, Steinfeild had nice supper last night; Have bed with Pew and Orr in the loft of a house; Joe made a corporal today; Mail from home; Drill; Several hard showers in the evening-issued another blanket after recall

November 28: Thanksgiving Day

Most of the fellows spent the day in writing letters; Two meals today, breakfast and dinner; Most of the boys off on leave to St. Malo-turned in the mules tonight; Co. took a bath at St. Jamme-marched over five kilos but had best bath ever; Dinner; Policed billets and off rest of the day; Morning inspection; Moved a pile of wood in the room and swept cobwebs from rafters; After policing, general leave was granted to everyone except those confined to quarters; Many of the men in the hospital returned; Religious services held on drive of a beautiful chateaux-all troops billeted in this town attended; After dinner leave was granted to all men that wanted it except those confined to quarters; Checking each man's equipment; Drilled in the school of the soldier; Practiced guard mount as used in large camps; Purchased Mother's Christmas present; Drilled; Officers on leave; Talk is all about when we sail from France; Drill; Review with music; Line Co's put on a regimental guard mount-many French civilians were out to the parade ground; Have not had a glimpse of the sun for several days; Several fellows came back from the hospital last night-heard the Division was soon to go to the States and came back before they were ready for duty; Boys coming back from leave think we are homeward bound; Order to the contrary has been ready to the Co.; Playing football; Non-coms issued the Divisional colors for wearing on the shoulders-new coats; Dismissed; Non-com school running over what we have had; Ready for inspection in the morning, instead called out for weekly bath; Went to St. Jamme; Football game in afternoon; Had blacksmith's wife to do washing; Sewed after dinner; Had formation for church; Services held in the chateaux drive; Went to American Red Cross reading room-Pew wrote a letter-so crowded, left with Joe and walked about town;Drill; Arthur Reid had his right leg badly sprained playing football; More men coming back from hospital; Took a long hike; Pew left for leave

December 10: Capt Ralph Ramer came back to Co. with report that we are soon to return to the States

Drill; Wagon did not get back until late with bread so that dinner was very late; Major came out for a parade which was led by the band; Semaphore and wig-wag; Afternoon hike; Captain Ramer, Sergeant Bailey and several men left; All commissioned officers away as Sergeant Pettigrew was in charge of the Co.

December 13: President Wilson and party landed 50 miles west of here

Today declared a French National Holiday due to President Wilson's arrival in Paris; Were to have taken a bath but that was called off; Several boys went to show at Divisional H.Q. at Ballou tonight; Church in company formation; Writing letters most of the afternoon; Get good meals now except breakfast-get good tomatoes and lots of beans; Before drill, shoes issued to men in need; Many could not fit; Same drill as usual-officers were out and were very strict; Slight cold in head affects my hearing-make mistakes on the drill ground; Drill, hikes; Two boys fell out as hike was too much for them; Placed in charge of 2nd squad, 2nd platoon; Spent morning in cleaning the machine guns and checking up on extra parts; Supplies we left at Calais; Up earlier this morning-entire Co. going out on a regimental maneuver; Left at 7:30 carrying pack, gas masks, and wearing helmets; Marched most all morning; Col. Wolfe sent back to Regulars and old Col. is coming back; Rest of Co. went for a bath in the same place we've been going; Had hard hail and large sleet storm coming back; New comers called to a meeting by First Sergeant and told to report all disturbances after taps; Regular Saturday morning inspection of the Co. and of billets; Passes granted to Le Mans for ten men; Getting new equipment fast; Church services the same; Went with Pew to cafe to write and ordered dinner there; Drill; One hour of semaphore afternoon; Started on hour's hike but rained so hard we came back; Cleaning machine guns; Had a great time tonight trying to get sage for dressing; Fell in with packs, gas masks, and steel hats; Ready to leave for Divisional Parade; No drill in afternoon; Most fellows trying to dry out clothing

December 25, 1918: Christmas; Usual fatigue work; Issued candy or tobbaco by supply sergeant; Pew cleaned chicken and got it in oven for cooking; Prepared hamburger; Had a good meal of roast chicken, dressing, French fried potatoes, hamburger, bread, coffee and candy from Joe's Christmas box

Lists addresses; Names

From the service of Corporal Thomas R. Shook, Company D, 340 Machine Gun Battalion at Camp Funston, Kansas; then Machine Gun Company, 119th Regiment, 30th Division, AEF.
Date October 21, 1918 - December 25, 1918
Year Range from 1918
Year Range to 1918
People Shook, Thomas R.
Subjects World War I
Military occupations
Military discharges
Clothing & dress
Vaudeville shows
Military life
Semaphore flags
Military parades & ceremonies