Full transcription of text follows:
Private J.E. Henschel- American Mission- Motor Transport A.E.F. Reserve Mallet- France- November 11/1917- Dearest Father and Mother- I chanced to meet one of the boys who came over in our unit but did not enlist and he gave me a letter from Mother dated October tenth - much to my surprise and pleasure. Also he informed me that my [Kansas City] Stars were being enjoyed immensely. Newspapers, it would seem, are not forwarded; hence I have not received a copy - yet. However, it is good to know that some one enjoying them. What do you think of this [ms illegible: 1 wd] stationery? It is the best that I could get hold of in this place, in spite of the envelope, so you must stand it until it is gone.
The Y.M.C.A. has established itself at this place - opened last night with a "movey". You should have been there. memories of one-reelers! You can believe that it was enjoyed by all of us. Even "Poilu". our shaggy [ms illegible: 3 wds] sat up on a seat by himself and seemed to take the keenest interest - barked and growled at quite the proper moments. As for us - we cheered at the sight of a [ms illegible: 1 wd] or dress suit and howled frantically when a good-looking girl was on the screen. We are mighty glad the "Y" is with us. Among its attractions are a rather limitted library and a Victrola (which of course - badly overworked). Also it has bathing facilities. I can not tell any news. The censorship is very strict and every
letter is censored. However, we are permitted more letters per month now - as you know. Once again, I wish to acknowledge receipt of tobacco and money order. (In case all of my past four letters fail delivery). And now something that I have been thinking for quite a while. You know - whenever I see the men coming back from the line - all worn out - or going up - knowing just what is ahead of them - it makes me feel just a bit uncomfortable. This business of relieving the "aged and decrepit" to do our little job up front isn't exactly pleasant - for after all - it is the job of us young fellows - if we are perfectly healthy and able bodied. Mind - I'm not feeling unduly patriotic - just "duly" so - and a little small. It was all right. I guess - to do this sort of thing (our work)
before we got into the war - but there are too many who would be satisfied with just that and nothing more. What would you say to my transferring to the infantry? I know just what it would mean - and of course it would have to be as a private - but I think I could be doing a little more by so doing. In my mind - it is only a question of whether the time for training would be lost. What do you folks think? At that - though - I might not pass the physical - so this may be all a "pipe-dream". Will do nothing until I hear from you. My thoughts and love are always at home no matter where I may be. (This is letter number eleven since I started numbering them) Ned.
From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
|Date||November 11, 1917|
|Year Range from||1917|
|Year Range to||1917|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I