A death in Romania, Part 2

WW1HA member John Snow has a link to the story of Edward Newell Ware, who died in 1919 Bucharest while serving the American Relief Administration. The post was written by genealogist Vicki Cheesman about her ancestor:


Edward Ware was an ambulance driver with the American Field Service. Here are diaries, letters, photos and MAPS from another ambulance driver, Samuel Miller Keplinger Jr., also posted by a family member:



Volunteers with the American Field Service at an aid station. (“Friends of France,” Houghton Mifflin, 1916)

A death in Romania

Photo by Valentin Mandache.

Market analyst and historian Valentin Mandache writes a blog about period buildings and architecture in Romania. He took this photo at a Bucharest cemetery, and here’s what he writes about it:


The photo was reposted by historian Diana Mandache, who blogs about the history of European royalty, especially Romania, that has many interesting posts related to World War I and the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.  Here’s her link:


Blogger Griff has more about the American Relief Mission, with letters and diary entries from agronomist Harry Vaughan Harlan, who traveled across Europe in 1919 to study wheat production for the American Relief Administration. Here’s his link:





War Horse Sketch Contest

War Horse on Facebook held a contest that collected entries until Aug. 11. Here are the rules:

“In War Horse, Captain Nicholls records his time in Devon and France by creating sketches of landscapes, battles and Joey. Take a page from Captain Nicholls’ sketchbook and create your own landscape or an illustration of a horse.

“All entries will be eligible for a chance to win a signed personalised copy of The War Horse Drawings, the hardback souvenir book featuring multi-award winning designer Rae Smith’s sketches for War Horse.

“About Rae Smith: The Olivier and OBIE award-winning British designer Rae Smith works regularly in a wide variety of styles and genres. This diversity has taken her from Slovenia to Broadway.”

The winner will be announced Aug. 31. Now you can vote on your favorite at:


This drawing comes from Joseph of Granite City.

War Horse drawing entry by artist identified as Joseph.

Fort Luserna

Kerry Dwyer is a Brit living in France with her family. One of the things she blogs about is her walking tours — she calls them ramblings, I would call them hikes. On an innocent vacation to the Alps, she came upon the remains of the Austrian Fort Luserna, which played a grim role in World War I.

Kelly writes: “I find the history of wars very disturbing. It was not something that I expected of this holiday although maybe (I) should have given the location.”

From an account posted at Moesslang.net, with an English translation by Jim Haugh:

“At the start of the Italian/Austrian war most Austrian units were already fighting on the Russian front. As a result, the Austrian border with Italy was protected mostly by volunteers who were not even part of a regular army unit. Soldiers ages ranged from 16 to 80.  …  They were often armed with older rifles and equipment and logistics so terrible that many times soldiers wives would bring food to the men in the trenches. ”

Here’s an account of the fighting in this part of the Front, with many interesting photos of the Austrians’ secret weapon.


Here’s Kerry’s description of her walking tour of this part of Italy, with photos of the ruins of Fort Luserna:






The Battle of Orleans

How much do you know about the U-boat that attacked Massachusetts?


Naval History & Heritage Command’s Facebook page has photos of the planes that counterattacked.

Here’s more about the USS San Diego, sunk by a submarine on July 19, 1918.  Just in case you’d like to dive down and see it.


The 1916 Olympics

Berlin was chosen to host the next Games at the International Olympic Committee’s 1912 meeting in Stockholm.

Of course, the 1916 Games were never held — though I wonder at what point they were cancelled. The war was supposed to be over by Christmas 1914, remember, and presumably all would have been forgiven by the summer of ’16. That seems even less likely than the Christmas scheme.

But the stadium was built in Berlin all the same. According to a New York Times report, its dedication was held June 8, 1913. The Kaiser was there, along with 60,000 other people — half in the stands, half on the field parading and demonstrating athletics or some sort or other. It must have been a wonderful day.

Organizers released 10,000 pigeons or, as we might think of them now, doves of peace.

Dedication ceremony at the stadium in Berlin built for the Games of the VI Olympiad.

The other side of Passchendaele

Warfare Magazine posts an excerpt of “The German Army at Passchendaele” by Jack Sheldon with this note:


Classic photo of a German soldier taken prisoner by the British. National Library of Scotland.

Nearly all of the writing on Passchendaele concentrates on the British and Dominion experience; that of the Germans is skated over. This gives rise to an apparent feeling held in popular circles in Great Britain that her armies almost uniquely suffered the miserable – indeed hideous – conditions of the final weeks of the Third Ypres. Jack Sheldon has begun to rectify this situation and restore a balance to the historiography of the First World War in his works, which focus on the equally horrific day-to-day experiences of the men in the trenches, pillboxes and muddy shell-holes on the other side of No Man’s Land; those of the German Army at Passchendaele.

Here’s the link:


The beginning in Berlin

A fantastic repost from our Facebook friend Small Town, Great War: Hucknall 1914-1918:

A Nottingham woman, Edith Cantelo, was touring Germany as the nations mobilised for war. Her account begins on 3rd August 1914:

“That night – or, rather, early next morning – there was a fearful row in the street. Trumpets were blown and flags exhibited at windows, and then we were informed of the declaration of war. When England declared war on Germany [2300, 4th August] there was still further excitement. We wondered how we should get back, for all the horses and motors were being used for mobilisation purposes and we were 20 miles from a station. The next day we got notice that we were going to be sent to Baden-Baden and handed over to the British Consul, who would get us through, via Hamburg, to England.

“We were sent away with only our hand luggage, and reached Baden-Baden at ten o’clock at night. Then we were kept two hours having our luggage carefully searched and our names and addresses, and descriptions taken down. We afterwards received a small ticket-of-leave paper, which we always had to carry with us to show to the police. We were also told that we must not leave the town.

“The people were very nice and the landlord of our hotel on one occasion stuck up for us. It happened like this. Some German people came to him one day and inquired where he kept the Englishers, at the same time making some very disparaging remarks. The landlord pointed out to the man that it was not our fault that England declared war, and that we could not help being there at that time.

“We borrowed money right and left and an English lady who had been brought from Todtmoos, but who was taken ill and went into a sanatorium, lent us a considerable sum.

”A German told me one say that the German Army expected to dine in London on Christmas Day. Another told me, ‘When we have got England we are going to make learning of the German language there compulsory. Every one will have to speak German. He said it quite solemnly and sincerely, and I replied that I was sorry for the people in England, as German was a very hard language.

“Really, we were afraid that we would not find any England left, for we got nothing but German news of victory after victory. Every time news of another great German victory came through the church bells in Baden-Baden were rung and flags were put out. They even put German flags out of our bedroom windows.

“They are very enthusiastic, and regard the war as a really sacred one. Their one motto is, ‘It is a just war, and God is with us, so we must win!’ They worship the Kaiser.

“Extraordinary stories of English brutality are current throughout Germany. One very prevalent was that the English soldier was provided with a kind of steel instrument with a hook. This he used to tear open the wounds of German soldiers and to take their eyes out. As a matter of fact, they later discovered that the thing was a patent meat tin opener!

“Although we were everywhere treated very kindly, I do not think I shall go to Germany again at any rate not for a considerable time.”

Enthusiastic crowds on the Unter den Linden, Berlin, 1914.

enthusiastic crowds on the Unter den Linden, Berlin, 1914.

Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!

The Athlete of the 1920 Games was Nedo Nadi of Italy, who swept the gold medals in the five fencing events, a feat still unequalled. Until swimmer Mark Spitz came along in 1972 and won seven, Nadi held the record as the athlete to win the most gold medals at any Olympics.


According to SportsReference.com:

 “Nedo Nadi was lucky in the foil event. He won ten of his eleven final parties, but lost to Roger Ducret of France. With Ducret only having to beat the last-placed fencer in the pool, he was expected to win the gold, and Nadi withdrew crying. In his euphoria, Ducret failed to concentrate for his last match and was beaten by Speciale of Italy, leaving first place for Nadi.”

Nadi’s younger brother Aldo won four medals at the 1920 Games. He shared three team golds and won the silver, behind Nedo, in the sabre competition.

The Nadi brothers and others benefited from Hungary being banned from the Games, because the Hungarian fencing team traditionally was a strong competitor.

The Nadis turned pro after the Olympics.