Posted in Letters, Military, World War 1

“[They] gave thier Lives where we only gave our service. But we were all willing.”

Pvt. A.L. Gooch on his motorcycle, WWI 89th Div., Military Police
Pvt. A.L. Gooch on his motorcycle, WWI 89th Div., Military Police

[This is 14h in a series of letters written by Private A.L. Gooch to his family in Duncan Arizona, while a part of the American Occupation Forces in Germany after WWI.

This letter was written 23 Jan 1919, after the end of the war but before Pvt Gooch had returned home.  This letter is the last in the series of letters from Pvt Gooch to his family during WWI – at least the last of those I have found.  In this letter, Pvt Gooch (known as Nig) was recovering from the Spanish Flu, had returned to his company, and was looking forward to his return home at some point. Original letters are in possession of Dayna Gooch Jacobs, King City, California. Envelope missing.

Transcribed by Dayna Jacobs. Slashes in the transcription indicate line breaks.  Links to other letters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  10 11 12 13]

Knights of Columbus, Overseas Service On active service with American Expeditionary Forces

A.P.O.  461

Date Jan 23, 19

Dear Mother and All, Well I got back with/ my old company again./  And sure am glad too/ for it seams more like/ home I’ve been with them/ so Long.  All of the boys/ thought I was dead and/ I thought it myself for/ awhile.  The Flue settled/ in my Lungs and came/ near turning into newmonia/ I am still a little weak/ and short winded but/ will get over that allright/ I havent went back to / duty as yet But expect/ to soon I found ten Letters waiting/ me here and sure was/

[p2] glad for most of them/ was from you.  One from/ Sister one from Lula,/ a card from bob and/ one Loansome Letter from /Doll written in Sept/  Thats the first one I/ have recieved from her/ in many month’s.  I have/ written her quite offen,/ Guess she has decided which soldier whe wants/ and probley some of my / Letters helped her to/ decide, But dont think/ mother that I worry/ for my worrying day’s/ are over except about/ home and I avoid that/ all I can/ For I know/

[p3] you will Live untill I/ return.  Then things will/ be different than they/ use to be I hope/Of course you know/ I think Lots of Doll/ as I have many others/ But she is only a/ kid to me and has/ Lots to Learn.  Her/ parents are the cause/ of the name she has/ and the way she doe’s/ She is very jelous of Lula they had a quarrel/ about the ring Lula has of mine, Both written/ me about it with different / sotrey’s  I got both their/ Letters just before I/

[p4] went to the front, I didn’t/ write eather of them for/ about three month.  Could / hardly get a chance to/ write to you.  So I didn’t/ hear from her any more/ I write as tho I think her/ Letter are misplaced, But/ I know all and dont blame/ her for it isent all her fauld,/ I am satisfied if she dont/ stand the test now she/ wouldent Later.  So why worry.  Well it has been snowing all day and I have been / setting bye the fire sewing/ for the boys and cutting/ their hair I cant be/ idle where they all know/ me.  We never have any-

[p5]  thing to tell about except/ goeing home and have/ no idea when that will be/ as we are in the occupation/ army But of course it wont/ be much Longer for we are/ the guy’s that done the fighting/ and deserve  relief soon.  / I hope to see you all about/ the Last of March But can/ wait Longer if we have too./  I know how you all felt/ when you heard the war/ was over and I was safe/ But believe me I was some/ glad myself for things was/ getting kindly hot along/ towards the Last and / at times the future Looked/ rather blue.  But thank/ God it is over and we/ are coming back with the/ victory we came after/

[p6] Of coarse it is hard to Leave/ so many behind that gave / thier Lives where we only/ gave our service.  But we/ were all willing. Yes mother I relize that/ my safety was not all Luck/ and I appreceate the prayers/ that guided me. And even/ you may not know how/ much and how offen I / thought of them my/ thoughts are not allways/ as they seam to others./  I have found that I am/ very decieving in many/ way’s even to myself at/ times But I am thankful/ for the past that it was no/ ware But can hardly relize/ the thirty sixth anniversity/ that you know how

[p7] well I would liked to have/ been there I Layed in bed/ all day with my head covered/ dreaming I was there would/ sure like to see those kids/ and grandmother I think/ of them so offen, But I/ am rather comtent to know/ that it wont be Long. I/ never did get the Xmas/ package may get it Later/ Dont worry about me just / be content till I get home Will close as I never/ will catch up writing hope/ to answer some in pearson/

With Lots of Love to all

Your Son Pvt 1 class A.L. Gooch

89th M.P. Co. A.E.F. France

P.S. It will be Nig soon.


I am an Accredited Genealogist® professional living in California. I have been researching and teaching since 1988.

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