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World War I letters, 1917-1919
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World War I letters, 1917-1919
Walter S. Lingard World War I letters, 1917-1919


Lingard, Walter S., 1892-1961, creator


The collection includes 96 holograph letters and 61 photographs from Lingard to his family, chiefly his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Lingard in Berkeley, California. Letters from 1917, June 28th through July 29th, were written from American Lake, Washington, while the 18th Engineers prepared for shipment overseas. Letters in transit and throughout service in France, were written between August 2nd, 1917 and May 8th 1919. Many letters are on stationery with American YMCA and Knights of Columbus War Activities letterheads. All letters were censored (with the censors' signatures appended) and and a few were scissored.
The photographs show various army camps, military parades, life aboard a troopship, U. S. Army construction sites in France, prisoners of war, social activities. There are also 27 photographs on pages from a scrapbook whose provenance is uncertain. These photos include a series of shots taken at a homecoming parade in San Francisco for the 363rd.
Regimental publications include a souvenir program for a Franco-American field day held on July 4, 1918 in Bordeaux, a "Welcome Home" brochure, and two rosters for the 18th Engineers dated 1928 and 1931. There are three postcards to Lingard from friends in France.
Lingard was with the 18th Engineers throughout the war. The 18th was one of the first units sent to France after the declaration of hostilities, serving as a support group for soldiers who were on the way to the front. Thus, Lingard was fairly certain from the time he arrived in France that his company was not going to be sent into action as their duties would keep them behind the lines. "Business sure is rushing over here now we are working Sunday and from daylight to dark. We have a great deal of work to do and it is up to us to get it finished in time to be of use to the boys that are coming."
He writes of major projects in which he is involved: building docks, warehouses and storage yards in Bordeaux; working as a carpenter and roofer for barracks in La Rochelle; and helping to construct Red Cross recreation halls in Beau Desert. He describes doing guard duty, working on pick and shovel brigades, painting signs, supervising prisoners of war. In his off-duty time, Lingard learns French, takes in the culture, performs asa vocalist in a small Army band and enjoys furloughs in Nice, Monte Carlo and the Pyrenees. Several times he mentions the newsletter published by the regiment, The Spiker, and sends copies home to give his family another source of news from the front.


1917 (issued)


n-us-ca -- e-fr---
Lingard, Walter S -- 1892-1961 -- Correspondence
Soldiers -- California -- Correspondence
World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American
United States. -- Army. -- American Expeditionary Forces -- Biography


Walter S. Lingard was a life-long resident of Berkeley, California, born there in 1892 and dying there in 1961 at the age of 69. After his service with the 18th Engineers in France from 1917-1919, he returned to Berkeley and became a painting contractor. He married and raised a daughter and a step-daughter. He was active in both the American Legion and the V.F.W. and was also a member of the Master Painters' Association of Alameda.
Walter S. Lingard World War I letters, 1917-1919
Finding aid available and a calendar accompanies each box.



Physical Description:

1 box (ca. 160 items) : ill., ports.