date(s):
1917-1919
creator(s):
Westbrook, Henry William, 1895-1977
subject(s):
World War, 1914-1918; Armed Forces; Champagne, Battles of, France, 1914-1917; Château-Thierry, Battle of, Château-Thierry, France, 1918; Saint-Mihiel, Battle of, Saint-Mihiel, France, 1918; Campaigns; Meuse River Valley; Telephone operators; Bombing, Aerial
place(s):
United States; France
type(s):
Correspondence; Collection
A3028 Westbrook, Harold William Papers Inventory of Harold William Westbrook Papers A3028 EAD by Jaime Bourassa using ArchivesSpace Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center 2017 225 S. Skinker Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63105 archives@mohistory.org URL: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2018-09-28 06:38:03 -0500 . English Describing Archives: A Content Standard English Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center Harold William Westbrook Papers Westbrook, Henry William, 1895-1977 A3028 0.02 Cubic Feet (1 folder) 1917-1919 Processing Information Processed by Corey Schmidt, June 2015. Donor Information The collection was donated by Mark D. Waldemer in 2014. Eugenia Cayce was the donor’s grandmother. Biographical Sketches Harold William Westbrook was born November 6, 1895, and died August 24, 1977. His father was Lucien H. Westbrook, a furniture dealer. His mother Emma was of German descent. Harold was raised in Centralia, Illinois, with his older sister Evelyn. He served during World War I as a switchboard operator and lineman in Battery F, 149th Field Artillery Battalion, 42nd “Rainbow” Division, and participated in four major campaigns: Champagne, Château Thierry, Saint-Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was discharged in mid-1919 after staying in Europe as part of the United States Occupation Force. After the war, he married Irene and they had a son named William. He worked as a proprietor of a retail dry-goods store. Eugenia Cayce was born July 25, 1898, and died September 11, 1989. Her parents were Charles C. Cayce, who worked for the Shoe Travelers Association, and Clara Johnson. She had a sister named June. Eugenia was raised in Vienna, Illinois, where she met Harold early in her life, attending grammar school with him. Her family relocated to St. Louis before 1910. After graduating from Soldan High School in 1916, Eugenia worked as a clerk and a stenographer for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. In 1921, she married Edwin Roy Waldemer. Scope and Contents The collection contains twelve letters and five postcards written by H.W. Westbrook to his friend, Eugenia Cayce. The letters and postcards date from December 9, 1917, to April 2, 1919, and detail Westbrook’s time in the United States Army in France, Germany, and Luxembourg during World War I. Arrangement The collection is arranged in the following two series: Letters and Postcards . The two series are arranged chronologically. Conditions Governing Access The collection is open for research use. Conditions Governing Use For permission to publish, quote from, or reproduce material in this collection, please contact the Archives Reference Desk at archives@mohistory.org . Copyright restrictions may apply. The researcher assumes full responsibility for comforming to the laws of copyright. Physical and Technical Requirements There are no physical or technical restrictions. Preferred Citation Harold William Westbrook Papers, Missouri Historical Society Archives, St. Louis. Bombing, Aerial France -- Description and travel Germany -- Description and travel Postcards Telephone operators United States -- Armed Forces World War, 1914-1918 United States. Army. Field Artillery Regiment, 149th Waldemer, Eugenia Cayce, 1898-1989 Letters Series Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5224 Garfield Ave., St. Louis. Wishes Eugenia a Merry Christmas and a successful and happy New Year. He is stationed in France. A3028-00003 1917 Dec 9 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5224 Garfield Ave., St. Louis. Explains his job as a switchboard operator in the telephone detail. He greatly appreciates the candy Eugenia sent him, and writes that candy and smokes cannot be bought in France. As he is writing, he describes that they are being shelled, and states, “You can always tell if it [shell] is coming your way by the whistle.” A3028-00004 1918 Mar 14 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5224 Garfield Ave., St. Louis. Writes Eugenia about who he is living with while being a switchboard operator. It has been very rainy, and because of that not many bombardments have taken place, except when the weather clears up. He describes the beautiful sunset that occurred earlier and how it was dotted with anti-aircraft fire. He also details how he enlisted for the Artillery. Westbrook mentions that “I don’t know of anything that is enjoyed more than letters.” A3028-00005 1918 Apr 9 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5224 Garfield Ave., St. Louis. Describes how the artillery is the “left hand” of the infantry and how the soldiers in France are covered in mud. His Battery raised enough money to adopt a French War baby for a year. A3028-00006 1918 May 9 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5224 Garfield Ave., St. Louis. Mentions sending signals by flags and projectors, a gas attack warning, and an enemy plane being shot down. He thanks Eugenia for the picture and the poem. 1918 May 30 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5224 Garfield Ave., St. Louis. Reminisces about his times with Eugenia during grammar school. He inquires about Bill and Glenn’s addresses. Mentions that Glenn’s sister, Della, is a nurse in the States. During a bombardment, Westbrook and a fellow soldier went into the front to repair a telephone line. He writes about running “flat” to avoid shells. A3028-00008 1918 June 10 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5294 Page Ave., St. Louis. Describes how he is now on the move and in a new location. He can now see No Man’s Land, and the soil looks white like snow. He visited a French city and enjoyed it. A3028-00009 1918 July 8 1 1 Letter signed Pvt. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5294 Page, St. Louis. States that he moves around a lot. He is currently being shelled as he writes the letter. His division is now a Shock or Combat Division, and he has been working constantly. He doesn’t mind the planes so long as they do not attack his position. His war orphan from the Red Cross is named Marguerite Matrone, a 10-year-old French girl. Bill G. is in France and Westbrook has made contact with him. A3028-00010 ca. 1918 Sept 4 1 1 Letter signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, France, to Eugenia Cayce, 5294 Page Ave., St. Louis. States that he is on the move again, and describes eating German rations such as black bread and canned meat. He mentions how his unit was sent to a rest camp. (Much of the letter has been censored.) A3028-00011 1918 Sept 22 1 1 Letter signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Luxemburg, to Gene [Eugenia Cayce]. Writes that the war has ended, and the Rainbow Division fought right to the end. He participated in four campaigns during his time in France: Champagne, Château Thierry, Saint-Mihiel, and from the Argonne forest to Sedan. He is now part of the Army of Occupation in Europe and has visited Germany (Adenau, Kyllburg, Bitburg, and Gerolstein), Belgium, and Luxembourg. A3028-00012 1918 Nov 29 1 1 Letter signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Germany, to Eugenia. Writes that he is in Germany and has had a mild winter in the Eifel Mountains. He is stationed near the Ahr River and is becoming a “pretzel” by learning the German language. He is grateful for the two years of German he took in High School. A3028-00013 1919 Feb 14 1 1 Letter signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Germany, to Gene [Eugenia Cayce], 5294 Page Ave., St. Louis. Writes that he had a 14-day pass and visited the French cities Nice, Monaco, and Monte Carlo. States that he will be seeing Eugenia soon. A3028-00014 1919 Apr 2 1 1 Postcards Series Postcard signed Westy [H.W. Westbrook] to Gene [Eugenia Cayce]. Souvenir from Old K.B. The postcard image shows a German farm with sheep, chickens, and roosters. A3028-00015 1918 Sept 22 1 1 Postcard signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Luxembourg, to Gene [Eugenia Cayce]. Wishes her a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. The postcard image shows the Arc de Triomphe with mistletoe and American and French flags. A3028-00016 1918 Nov 29 1 1 Postcard signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Dernau, Germany, to Eugenia Cayce, 5294 Page Ave., St. Louis. Writes how he has been in Germany since December 3rd. The postcard image shows a stone wall with two arches and a coat of arms above the arches. A3028-00017 1918 Dec 19 1 1 Postcard signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Ringen, Germany, to Eugenia Cayce, 5294 Page Ave., St. Louis. Writes that he is living in Ringen, Germany, and he finds it very beautiful. He moved there last week. The postcard image shows a German tree-lined street with old buildings. A3028-00018 1919 Jan 12 1 1 Postcard signed Corp. H.W. Westbrook, Ringen, Germany, to Eugenia Cayce, 5294 Page Ave., St. Louis. Writes that he visited Coblenz [Koblenz], Germany. German cafés are playing American music. The postcard image shows Koblenz with the Rhine River in view. A3028-00019 1919 Jan 31 1 1