It’s been awhile since I posted anything from the series of World War I letters written by my grandfather, Allen Lee Millard Gooch. Here is one written in late September of 1918 from “Some Where in France.” They were not allowed to disclosed their location. A.L. (or “Nig” as he was known) was a jack of all trades back home in Duncan, Arizona, including a sign painter, and in this letter it appears his many skills are coming in handy on the war front. You can read his previous letters if you want to catch up. 123456789 Continue reading ““…You aught to see my mustache…””→
[Letter from Pvt. Allen Lee Millard (“Nig”) Gooch to his family in Duncan, Arizona, written 18 May 1918 at Funston, Kansas. Transcribed by Dayna Gooch Jacobs. Slashes indicate page breaks. Original spelling and punctuation.]
May 18, 1918
Troop A 314th M.P.
Dear Mother and All,
Well as I have changed/ my address had better write/ you again. Have been/ looking for a letter from/ you for the past week/ have only got one/ since I have been gone/ I was transferred Friday/ to the Military Police/ [p2] troops and I think I will/ like it fine consider/ myself lucky for every/ one in the 34th Co./ went to the infantry/ but me. The M.P./ are the army Police/ they guard camp, street/ car lines and towns/ for twenty miles/ around just like/ police in a city/ and one good thing/ [p3] if we are on guard/ we are boss. Can throw/ a captian in the guard/ house if we see fit/ or any other man except [President] Wilson. When/ we drill we are mounted/ I will get a horse tomorrow/ I think. When on guard/ we cary a pistol and/ a club and a rifle/ when mounted. In France/ we will guard the/ [p4] soldiers camps and/ prisoners, also do/ scouting. We are here/ in Funston in nice/ barrick’s it is far/ more comfortable than/ those tents. They all/ seam to think we/ will leave here soon./ But have no idea/ where we will go./ I have been having/ a time with my ankles/ they gave away about/ [page 5 missing]
[page 6]… for miles with/ soldiers and weman/ as today is visitors/ you friends can/ come and eat dinner/ with you and go/ most any where/ if the M.P.s will let you pass./
I saw so many/ mothers wives and, sweethearts walking/ [p7] around with tears/ in their eyes that/ I had to come back/ to the barrack. I thought/ of many things that/ there is no use to/ mention.
All of the boys in this/ troop seem to be/ content and are very/ good natured. There/ is several here from/ New Mexico that/ [p8] say they know me/ but I don’t remember/ them. There is one/ here that I know/ well from Hachita/ he is a orderly/ sergeant in this troop/ and I am glad of it/ he said any time I/ wanted a twenty four/ hour pass to let him/ know. Well I written/ such long letter to/ doll [his girlfriend] that I am tired./ [p8] [sic] Will close and write/ more latter. As I know/ theres a letter from you/ at detention camp. They/ will transfer it soon/ I guess. Tell the girls/ to write offen and/ don’t worry about me.
Here is a photo of my grandfather, Allen Lee Millard Gooch. He served in the 89th Division, Military Police company in France. He was inducted on 25 Apr 1918 and discharged 11 Jun 1919. Below is a picture of him on his motorcycle–his job was to paint signs and ride to the front (or close to it) to post them. I don’t know the nature of the signs, but I do have letters he wrote home which describe the bullets whizzing by his head as he was riding back to his unit. I will post some of his letters sometime. They are amazing!
A few pages from his Military Service Record are posted here.