Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (page 1 of 28)

Michiline Resco Pershing

Gen. John J. Pershing (1860-1948) was the consummate professional soldier – utterly dedicated to duty. He didn’t marry until his forty-fifth year, to Helen “Frankie” Warren (1880-1915), the only daughter of the wealthy and prominent Sen. Francis Warren of Wyoming. The Pershings had four children in the space of six years, all while Pershing’s career took the family to Japan and the Philippines. Back in the U.S. they settled at The Presidio of San Francisco. Pershing was sent off to temporary duty at the Mexican border, leaving the family at The Presidio, where Helen and their three daughters died in a fire at their residence. Surviving was six year old Francis Warren Pershing (1909-1980). ...read more

The Six-Star General?

In the middle of one lonely night in 1970 when I had the duty at headquarters I answered a telephone call from an off-post bar. It seemed that there was a hot controversy going about whether there was such a rank as a six-star general. I knew that Pershing had been promoted to a higher rank than General but I didn’t know what the insignia was so I wasn’t able to be the tie-breaker. What follows is the whole story about ‘six-star’ generals. Judge for yourself what I should have said. ...read more

The Big Red One Comes Home

One hundred years ago (plus a few days) the 1st Infantry Division disembarked in New York, the last of the American Expeditionary Force’s fighting units to return. You can read more about the Big Red One by clicking here or here.

The 1st Division were literally the first infantry to arrive in France in June of 1917 and the last ones to leave. However, the 28,000 or so men that returned home was a substantially different group – the 1st had lost 6,020 dead or missing and 17,201 had been wounded. ...read more

CFA finally approves the National WW1 Memorial design

On September 9th the District of Columbia Commission for Fine Arts signed off on the Pershing Park project. The next step is to get approval from the National Capitol Planning Commission. It is still hoped that the project can be completed by November 11th, 2020. If you’re interested in reading through the final version of the design click here. ...read more

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred were cartoon characters in a wildly successful comic strip of the same name that ran in the British tabloid The Daily Mirror from 1919 to 1940 and again from 1947 to 1955. Originally the work of story writer Bertram J. Lamb (1887-1938) and illustrator Austin B. Payne (1876-1959), this imaginative work featured the dog Pip, the South African penguin Squeak and the juvenile long-eared rabbit Wilfred. ...read more

Til the Boys Come Home

This was the last line of the chorus of the 1914 British hit song  Keep the Home Fires Burning, with the music  written by Welsh-born Ivor Novello (1893 – 1951) and the tear-jerking lyrics by American Lena Guilbert Ford (1870 – 1918).  World War 1 connections:  In 1916 Novello joined the Royal Naval Air Service, where he washed out of pilot training after crashing two aircraft, and during the night of March 7th, 1918, Mrs. Ford and her son Walter were the first American civilians to be killed in a German air raid. ...read more

The Centennial of The American Legion

The American Legion was formed March 15th, 1919 at a meeting held in Paris, with the stated mission of providing advocacy and services to the veterans of World War 1, similar to the Civil War organizations the Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans. The Legion was chartered by Congress on Sept. 16th, 1919, (U.S. Code, Title 36, Chapters 41-50). ...read more

The Nobel Prizes and World War 1

On December 10th, 1920, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of his effort to create The League of Nations. This was a rare late award, permitted under the rules but not previously done. The reason for the delay was that some of the committee were reluctant because the U.S. Senate had failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles in November, 1919. ...read more

New WW1 Movie: 1917

This major motion picture will be released soon. Directed by Sam Mendes and produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, it features George McKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Richard Madden. You can read more about this and view the trailer here. ...read more

The Reparations Story

The 1919 Versailles Treaty required the payment of reparations to most of the Allied Powers for causing the war.  No payments were to be made to Russia, who wasn’t represented at the conference, and the U.S.  which refused to receive reparations or territorial concessions. The burden fell mostly on Germany, in an amount equivalent to $269 billion today. Cash reparations assessed to Austria, Hungary and Turkey were zeroed out due to their large territorial losses. Bulgaria paid about $1.4 billion in today’s money before their debt was cancelled in 1932.   ...read more

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