WWI AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES in FRANCE PHOTO ALBUM
Black string-bound album with “Photographs” on the front cover in gold measuring 11 x 7”. On the inside front cover there is a clipping from a cartoon of a young boy asking his Pop to tell him about when he was an officer in France. This somewhat whimsical opening acts as a prelude to the 117 black-and-white photos from the Western Front of World War I. There are harrowing photos of trenches, mortar action, ruined buildings, and even eerie photos of a skull from a blown-up German cemetery and dead German soldiers. However, there are also interesting photos of interiors from gun shops, artillery repair buildings, small arms shops, a wood shop, and an ordinance repair shop. Some of these interior photos show women and people of color at work assembling arms. A couple of photos show General Pershing addressing troops at Mehun, with Marshal Foch and Georges Clemenceau. Many of the photos have a small caption stating that they are by Greer. Photos measure between 2.5 x 1.5” and 5 x 6.25” and are glued to the pages, with some annotated. The smaller photos look to be commercial Signal Corps photos, though I cannot see the versos so can’t say for sure. One interesting postcard is from the SS Kaiserin Auguste Vicotria and says "Greetings from the Jewish Welfare Board to Soldiers and Sailors of the US Army and Navy." The album is not completely full, though nothing looks to have been removed. The first page is detached and a few pages in the back are detached as well. At the back of the album there is a letter “To Departed Officers of the A.E.F.” signed by General Pershing and newspaper clippings.
TO DEPARTING OFFICERS OF THE A.E.F.
After honorably serving your Country in a great war, you are about to embark for the homeland. Remember that the bearing of their officers is reflected in the behavior and discipline of the men you are commanding homeward bound. I most sincerely trust that no single act may occur to stain the splendid record won by our troops in Europe. My confidence and best wishes follow you and them as you cross the sea and in your future service in the Army or elsewhere.
John J. Pershing.