Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

 Military Letters, WWI

As found in old newsletters.
Transcribed by barbara stallman-speck

            Updated    Friday, March 05, 2010   

       WWII letters

Holmes, C.H.       Somewhere in England    June 17, 1918

Dear folks,

Well, here I am across the water. Got here o.k., only got dizzy on the ship. It was a great trip. Saw a few big whales and other kinds of fish.

We marched through one of the cities when we landed; some different than ours. This is a pretty place, kind of old-fashioned. The Unites States has this country beat a block for being up to date.

You had better number your letters when you write after this so I'll know if any are missing. This is a fine morning here. The nights are cool. Had quite a lot of rainy weather coming across.

Haven't seen Pete or Gord here since I left Camp Mills, but I think they are here someplace.  The English talk a little broken. I can hardly understand them. Everything is green and looking fine. Sure seemed good to see after being on the water.

I'm getting more used to army life all the time. Am feeling fine in every way and have been ever since we left Camp Funston. The band has just been playing and it sounded fine.

I don't suppose I can write very often. Tell everyone hello and to write as often as they can as your letters sure are appreciated.

We see all kinds of soldiers except German. If you know Merrill Elliot's address, send it to me. I may, by accident, run across him. I suppose more of the boys are going from there all of the time.

Wish I could get the Argus. Have gotten it once. Everyone in this tent is writing letters home. The next trip we get across will be the best!

Saw a paper yesterday and the war news looked good. There are lots of boys in our company from South Dakota, but no one I know. Most are from east of the river. Saw Newman from Vivian several times on the ship and one boy from Brule county who came down when I did. There are not any young men around here without uniforms on.

Well, will close and write again when I can. I am as well as ever and hope you are the same.

With lots of love,
Your son,
Calvin H. Holmes
355th Inf. Sup. Co.
American E. F.  via New York


                           France             Sept. 23, 1918

Dear Mother,

I will drop you a few lines to let you know I'm still over here somewhere and still going, the same as ever.

I got a letter from Boyd today. The only mail I've had for a few days. Als got his picture and some clippings from the newspaper which I was very glad to get.

We are still moving around the same as ever. We are in a German dug-out now. May only be here for a day or two though. The hills are all undermined around here. There are three of us in this one. It is almost six by ten and all boarded up fine. Has a stove in it, window and door and cemented up all around the outside. They also has electric lights in them.

I haven't seen Pete or Gordon lately. Saw Ted Nelson the day before yesterday. He is in reserve I guess. I also saw Corp. Ducky Newman from Vivian yesterday. He said he didn't much like it and said he heard Boyd had gone. I didn't talk to him long.

You can't imagine what things are like over here. Great big shell holes, trenches and barbed-wire entanglements. It sure looks awful. We got the New York Herald this morning. The war news looks fine. It is printed in Paris.

Boyd says he likes it better since he doesn't have to drill, but he has pretty long hours. He expects to be there  a couple months longer.

We sure see all kinds of booty here that the Huns left. There are pianos and everything in the houses fixed up in fine style. In one place there was about 40 of them. The boys are trying to learn to play Boche music. We kind of stay clear of them towns as much as we can, they shell them, too.

It rained again last night as usual, but it is clear now and the sun is shining. The nights are rather cool now. Well, it's five months since I left and expect to be starting home in five more months.

Last night we had a light in our little home. It's the first time we've been able to have one for two months. The nights are pretty long with no lights so we can read or write letters.

I saw two American girls yesterday. It sure seemed good to see them. They skin the French girls by a country block to my notion.

Will close for this time. Expect to get some mail tonight. In every way, write all the news and then some for it sure is good to get it. You are, as ever, in my thoughts.

you son
C.H. Holmes

PS. Just came to mail this and found your letter and the Oacoma Argus Leader. Letter dated Sept. 1st. Be sure to keep sending the Argus.



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