Monday, June 29, 2009

Harry Buzzell's World War I Story, Part 4

Time to start thinking about and getting ready for the 4th of July. Harry Buzzell, my grandfather's brother, automatically comes to mind as he is the one in our family who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1918 during World War I in France. His story was captured in his own words in 60 letters that he wrote home from 1914 to 1918.
I've written about him before some and even presented a speech once. But now I want to look at it again and thought that I would create a series about him in anticipation of the upcoming holiday weekend.

A Few More of My Impressions of Harry's Letters

There is an on-going discussion about money that he apparently sends home to be used by the family and for the church.
While in the army, he describes going on a hike for five miles and then having to shovel gravel. In the autumn when he first arrives at the army camp, there is no heat in the barracks, no hot water to shave with, and only a straw tick he had to make himself for a mattress to go on the iron frame bed.
The six letters that Harry sent home from overseas have the mark and signature of the army censors. These letters seem to hold back a lot, both in tone and in information.
Harry was killed at age 24 on October 20, 1918. The armistice ending the war came just 22 days later. He was buried in France. His last letter was written October 18, two days before his death. The last letter was not even postmarked until October 23 and certainly would have arrived in his mother’s mail much later.

For More Information:

There are two websites with information about Harry:
My website with all of Harry’s letters

The American Battle Monuments Commission website with information regarding the cemetery where he is buried

to be continued