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AMERICAN BOY'S GRAPHIC
STORY OF TRAINING UNDER
A letter from a young American
officer in France telling of his first ex
perience at the front contains inter
esting details of the trench-training
of army officers from the States. The
letter is written to his uncle by Lieut.
Paul Hemmel, of Little Rock, Ark.,
and is dated from "A Dirty Little
Town in France," on November 13th.
If one may judge from his description
of his first dinner and breakfast un
der fire, the British officers were not
then suffering any great privations.
Here are parts of the letter as printed
in the Arkansas Gazette:
"At the close of school, each Ameri
can left with a British officer (his
friend) for a different division which
held a different sector in the ever
changing boundary-line of war ? the
trench. It was my good fortune to
visit in company with a fine young
English officer, Captain Bond, a sec
tor upon which ensued enough excite
ment for any live American. After a
day and a half of traveling by train
we arrived in the war-area, eight
miles from the German lines, the
division headquarters of the British
Army (First -Army). Here my friend
took off his finery and put on his
trench-clothes and we both were fitted
out with steel hats, gas-respirators,
and the long, Webly pistols, to take
our last lap to the trenches' edge. We
were given two horses and two sol
diers to accompany us the remaining
"We passed through several French
villages, through which raced back
and forth English ambulances, ammu
nition-carts, and huge automobile
trucks bearing fresh fuel (men) to
the hell that is forever waging on
that front. As we came close, we
passed through villages in which
there stood no house that was not
completely ruined by shell-fire. These
villages you would easily recognize if
I could only tell you their names.
Village after village, ruins after
ruins, utter desolation mutely spoken
of wild barbaric treatment at the
hands of the Germans. Not one soul
did we see in the?e villages as we
drew nearer the booming guns we
could so distinctly hear.
"In the heart of a deserted village
we were compelled to leave our horses
and strike out on foot, and after a
three-quarters of an hour walk along
a camouflaged wood we reached at
last the mouth of the trenches. As
we bid farewell to level ground and
walked down into the trench, I looked
overhead and saw seven British
planes flying overhead observing for
the artillery that was at that moment
sending screeching shells into the
At last they entered the trenches,
the entrance to which was situated in
the center of a ruined and deserted
village. They were German trenches,
very well made, though somewhat
battered by shells. They were con
stantly drawing nearer to the Ger
man lines, and the writer says:
"At last, after walking around and
around, we finally reached the bat
talion headquarters (it was then 4
p. m. and gradually growing dark),
which was quartered, as everything
is, in a dugout 45 to 50 feet under the
ground. After climbing down the
steep steps I came to the dugout, and
it was certainly a surprise. The first
thing that greeted my eye was a long
table, upon which was a cover of
spotless linen, with silver placed all
around, and grouped around were five
English officers drinking tea. Oh,
these English, you can not beat them.
They go to war with a teacup in one
hand and a revolver in the other.
f'TUIa n r? ??> ,?!/] Pnnmnti
xiiio uu^uui who an viu vivt man
one, which consisted of four rooms, a
large dining-room, a signal-room, a
kitchen, and bedroom. Imagine that
if you can, all fixt up with huge mir
rors, lounging chairs, stoves, lighted
candles in brass holders. These men
were sitting around calmly drinking
tea and whiskey while 45 feet over
head the shells were screaming by.
I was introduced as the American
who was attached for a few days for
instruction, and I was made quite
welcome; such a welcome I had never
had before anywhere. My hosts were
a colonel, captain, two majors, ably
asissted, and several privates whose
only duty it seemed was to look after
me and to be sure I saw everything
in the way of excitement, and believe
me, I did. I was just in time for tea,
so I sat down after taking off my tin
hat, as the steel helmet is called.
'As I drank my tea I was plied with
questions, for I was the first Ameri
can officer they had seen. I seemed
to be refreshing to them because they
were constantly laughing at my an
swers. Just before dinner I was led
by the colonel, the two majors, and
the captain up the steps to see the
heavy guns belch into the night, send
ing huge missiles of death into the
German lines; also the heavy guns of
the Huns would grunt in retaliation."
From young Remmel's description
his first night in the trenches was not
tinged in any way with the horrors of
war. In fact, he might very well have
been dining and sleeping at some
hotel far from the front Have for the
sound of the shells overhead. * He
"Wo had a wonderful dinner, con
sisting of fresh meats, sugar, cream,
and a whole course dinner, even down
to cheese and coffee ? think of that if
you can on the firing-line. These
'blooming Britishers' certainly do
"About nine o'clock I went to bed in
an adjoining room, about twenty feet
square, and my bed was berthlike
affair, with heavy blankets, and I
slept soundly in spite of the fact now
and then I could get the jar of a Ger- ,
man shell lighting overhead. I was
awakened next morning by the colo- ,
nel's servant handing me a cup of.
steaming hot tea, which I drank down
with much gusto. I was also brought '
hot water for shaving and for wash- J
ing and was told that breakfast was
ready. And such a breakfast! You ;
would think that this was some hotel
instead of a dugout on the Western
front. Wonderfully cooked oatmeal, '
fresh eggs and ham, hot coffee, tea,1
and jam greeted me.
"After breakfast I was furnished '
with two runners (privates with full,
equipment) and a fine daredevil lieu-]
tenant, for the purpose, as the colonel
exprest it, of seeing the whole show.
"So I started out with my tin hel
met, gas-respirator, a cane, and 45
revolver just r?s a German machine
gun spat out a welcome, the buttets .
coming 100 feet away. My guide
took me down one trench into another,
every one named, down into dugouts,
bomb dugouts, and out into observa- [
tion-posts. I looked into periscopes I
overlooking the German lines, saw !
Germans walking around, peered into j
German wire entanglements, saw i
dead Germans lying in captured dug
outs (this hill has been only captured |
two months). As we walked on the i
Germans were sending huge shells,
over us and the English were giving |
them tit for tat; overhead eight Eng
lish planes were flying, observing for
the artillery. One especially claimed
my attention. It would fly around
and around, then suddenly swoop
down straight for t,he German trench,
getting about 100 feet above the
Boche, then let fly his machine gun,
which would pop-pop-pop certain
death in their trench. Then we would
yell. It was wonderful!"
The writer tells of his first experi
ence in observing the work of the
artillery. At the top of a hill an
officer was directing the fire of the
battery, 1,500 yards behind. They
were shelling a village held by the
Germans not 800 yards from the of
ficer's post of observation. Remmel
"He stopt and shook my hand most
heartily and seemed most glad to
meet me. He explained everything to
me, showing me the tiny teplephone
his orderlies used to give the range to
the battery at his command. He then
asked me if I would like to see him
make a few hits, and of course I said
that I would not mind, secretly tickled
"He told me to put my glasses to
my eyes and pointed out a red-brick
house on the extreme left of us, a
house which he indicated on his
pocket map which was reported to
billet a German company. I instantly
glued my glasses to my eyes and I
heard him call to his orderlies, who
stood four feet behind him with the
tiny telephone something which sound
ed like "two degrees to the left re
peat." Then suddenly I heard a dis
tant boom and a screeching through
the air, and after a few seconds an
other boom, and, bless you ? the house
which I had confincd within my
glasses blew up into the air and fell
back in smoking i-uins. His had been
a perfect hit."
A Valuable Tree.
What is said to be the most valu
able tree in the world from a produc
tive standpoint is the Gantor avocado,
or alligator pear, near Whittier. Its
average revenue to the owner is $3000
a year. At one time it was insured
in Lloyds for $30,000, but the com
pany insisted that a high lattice fence
be built about it to avert any damage
from wind or carelessness, and it was
feared that this might interfere with
the health of the valuable producer
and two years ago the lattice work
was removed, causing a cancellation
of the insurance policy. Other alliga
tor pear trees in Southern California
produce large returns, but none so
far has rivaled the Gantor tree, the
fruits from which sell at from 50 to
$1 each. ? Los Angeles News.
"No one understands me."
"That's not to be wondered at, girl
ie. Your mother was a telephone girl
before she maried, and your father
was a train announcer." ? Louisville
A spark is a tiny thing ? but watch
it fall into a powder-magazine! A
sin may be tiny, but the soul that
welcomes it is welcoming danger. ?
Don't Forget the Soldier# in Camp.
From every nook and corner in the
State our young men have gone to the
camps to learn the soldier's life.
Shortly they will represent us on the
firing line, and others will be called
to service in their places.
While they are training, what can
the home folks do to help thein?
These men are offering their lives for
us. All that we can do for them will
not equal the sacrifices they are mak
After talking with hundreds of
them in the camps, I want to offer
three practical suggestions to the peo
ple at home as to what they may do.
Every person who reads this state
ment can easily, and should, gladly,
do all of them.
First, sent your home paper to at
least one soldier at the camp. Pick
out one of the men you know and
subscribe for your home paper and
send it to him. Any member of his
family will give you his correct ad
dress. Write him a letter and tell
him you are sending it. The cost will
be trifling. The thought will be ap
preciated. It is not an act of charity,
but an act of patriotic service.
Second, at least once a week ,make
it a point to write a letter or a card
to some soldier at the camp. Send
him a magazine or a good book oc
Third, keep ymir troubles at home.
The soldier has enough of his own.
Be strong enough and unselfish
enough to cut out the trouble parts
of your letters. There are plenty of
good things to write about. The sol
dier has a man's size job, and besides,
he can't help you. Why worry him
when you have a better opportunity to
look after your troubles than he has
to help you?
Follow these practical suggestions
and you will render a service worth
W. S. WILSON,
Secretary North Carolina
Council of Defense.
Raleigh, January 31st, 1918.
On January 8th Mrs. Sarah Powell
Whitley, one of earth's saints passed
to her heavenly reward, having just
pased her sixty-eighth year. Her
husband, Mr. W. H. Whitley preceded
her to the grave about four years.
She was the mother of several chil
dren among whom survive, Mrs. P. A.
Holland, Mrs. W. T. Woodard, Messrs.
James and Beverly Whitley. She was
the sister of Sheriff Powell and Aiden
More than passing notice should be
made of her many rare tHaits of
character. She was an optimits along
all lines. She was a leader for good,
and by her encouragement and sacri
fice identified herself with every
organization and movement for the
uplift of civic and religious life. A
faithful member of Sanders Chapel
M. E. Church, her constant attendance
was proverbial. She never reached
the age when she regarded herself too
old for Sunday school membership and
attendance. The writer feels honored
at having her as a member of her
S. S. class and will cherish her record
of faithfulness and many words, acts
and deeds of encouragemrnt.
She was always to be found at the
bedside of the sick dispersing cheer
and hope and ministering to the suf
She has left as a heritage a good
name, a goodly example and a con
sistent life. May those of us who
know her appreciate her virtues, and
may we each thank God for the life
She was laid to rest in the family
burying ground near Sanders Chapel
church. The funeral services were
conducted by her pastor. Rev. C. K.
Proctor, assisted by Rev. C. E.
Stevens, of Selma, N. C.
MRS. W. A. EDGERTON.
Selma, N. C.
Life is what we make it ? a garden
or a desert. ? Christian Herald.
Honest Opinion Doctor Gave
Bedford, Ohio. ? "I was in a pitiful
condition, weak, nervous and run
down so I could not do my housework.
I had doctored for years and tried
everything under the sun. A friend
told me about Vinol. I asked my
doctor about it, and he replied, 'It
certainly is the best medicine that can
be had today. I couldn't give you
any better.' I took it, and today I
am as well and strong as any woman
could wish to be. and it was Vinol
that saved me." ? Mrs. Frank A. Hor
key. Ash St., Bedford. Ohio.'
We guarantee this famous cod liver
and iron tonic fo- all such conditions
; HOOD BKOS., Smithtield, N. C.
> / '
Semi- Annual Sale
On account of the unfavorable weather
during our Sale, we will continue to sell all
sale goods at the same prices as during the
sale for a week or two.
We have still quite a large stock of these
goods. We are selling the larger per cent of
them cheaper than the wholesale price.
SMITHFIELD, N. C.
Big Lot Fertilizers Now on Hand
At Smithfield and Four Oaks !
200 Tons 8-3-3
200 Tons 8-2-2
50 Tons Nitrate Soda |
25 Tons Muriate Potash
Cotton Seed Meal
Mr. J. W. Sanders has charge of our Fertilizer
business at Four Oaks. We can deliver in Car Load j
Lots or in smaller lots anywhere in county.
We have on hand Two Car Loads nice Buggies.
Well selected stock of Furniture.
Biggest Stock of Dry Goods we have ever carried.
Give us a call and let us show you our goods. j
| Cotter-Underwood Company
i Smithfield, N. C.