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World War I letters, 1918-1919.
05/17/01 T
Collection Overview


World War I letters, 1918-1919
Albert W. Newlove World War I letters, 1918-1919


Newlove, Albert W., 1894-1979, creator


The collection includes 49 holograph letters and postcards written by Newlove to his parents in Arroyo Grande, California. Letters from Feb. 21, 1918 to Apr. 26, 1918 are from Mare Island, California; 2 postcards and a letter dated May 11, 1918 from Quantico, Virginia were sent en route overseas; letters and postcards from June 9, 1918 to Oct. 5, 1918 were mailed from "somewhere in France"; a letter dated Nov. 26, 1918 was sent from Gilsdorf, Luxembourg; letters and postcards from Dec. 23, 1918 to Apr. 8, 1919 were sent from Niederbreitbach, Germany; letters from May 13, 1919 to June 15, 1919 were sent from Kurtscheid, Germany. Many of the letters are on insignia letterheads; the letters from overseas are censored. Graphic materials include two portrait postcards, 18 photographic postcards documenting war damage, 6 view cards of German cities along the Rhine and a Mothers' Day card.
"You ought to see us recruits drill. Its a regular circus to watch us. I am always making some bonehead mistake. But am not the only one I am glad to say. With a little more practice I guess we will pull through alright." reports Newlove in his first letter from training camp at Mare Island in February of 1918. In letters that follow he provides an account of his on-going indoctrination into military life, from sore arms due to inoculations to French classes in preparation for duty overseas. In early May Newlove's division is sent to Quantico, Virginia for embarkation - a journey of 7 1/2 days by train described in a letter dated May 11.
Writing on June 15, 1918 after a safe voyage across the Atlantic, Newlove comments on the countryside: "This is a very beautiful country & the soil seems to be mostly all fertile of what I have seen so far. You don't see many large farms like in the states." He is ready for action: "We have been issued our trench helmets, shoes, caps, masks, etc. and expect to get a crack at some of them Huns before long." His first report of battle is dated July 27: "I sure had a funny feeling come over me when I heard the guns begin to fire and shells and shrapnel busting all around. Got through it without getting a scratch and consider myself mighty lucky. We captured lots of prisoners and guns. Most of the Germans are young kids and seem to be glad to be taken as prisoners." Descriptions of farm land alternate with reports of battlefield activity during the rest of the summer and fall; in late Sept. he writes "Seen lots of air battles this time while on the lines & it is quite thrilling to watch them. They generally come down in flames. Would rather stay on the ground myself."
Newlove's remaining letters talk of his service with the Army of Occupation in Germany - of note is a description of a VIP visit in February 1919: "The Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt was here the other day looking us Marines over. Nearly frozen waiting on the review to come off. They took movies of the parade so you may see them at Tanners Theater about ten years from now." In early April he enjoyed a 2-week furlough in Aix-les-Bains, France, and had his photograph taken and printed up as a postcard. His unit was relocated and "We are billeted with the German people here instead of being in barracks. Two other boys and myself are staying together with some square heads. We are fixed up very comfortable and the Fraulines do our washing." But he is clearly ready to return home as he writes in May: "It seems to me that they are pretty slow with this peace business. The longer they put it off the longer we stay over here in the Army of Occupation. If she isn't signed know (sic) telling when I will get back. Heres hoping they sign it as I am getting tired of this life."


1918 (issued)


n-us-ca -- e-fr---
Newlove, Albert W -- 1894-1979 -- Correspondence
Marines -- California -- Correspondence
World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American
World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns -- France
World War, 1914-1918 -- Pictorial works
United States. -- Marine Corps. -- 2nd Division -- Biography


Albert Wyman Newlove was born on Nov. 23, 1894 in Los Alamos, California, the middle son in a family of 3 boys (John R., Albert, and Ralph) and 2 girls (Ida and Ruby). His parents, Frank and Amelia, had a farm near Arroyo Grande in San Luis Obispo County where they grew primarily fruit. In early 1918 Newlove enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps and trained at Mare Island, California until May when his unit shipped overseas.
In France he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division (5th Regiment, 17th Company) and fought on the Western Front in France in the concluding offensive of the war during July-Sept. 1918. In Oct. Newlove was stricken with the influenza that was then epidemic in Europe and recuperated in a hospital near Bordeaux. Upon return to duty he was assigned to serve in the Army of Occupation stationed in the vicinity of Neuwied, Germany. After discharge Newlove returned to San Luis Obispo County where he farmed near Paso Robles until his death on May 1, 1979. He was survived by his brother, Ralph, and sister, Ruby.
Albert W. Newlove World War I letters, 1918-1919.
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.



Physical Description:

1 ms. box (ca. 75 items) : ill., ports.






Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.