Lowell in World War One: August 27 – September 1, 1917

This is the 20th weekly installment of my Lowell in World War One series which commemorates the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War One. Here are the headlines from one hundred years ago this week:

August 27, 1917 – Monday – Many Lowell people visit military camps at Ayer and Framingham. “Camp Devens, Ayer, was the objective of several thousand Lowell people yesterday and both electrics and jitneys were kept busy transporting relatives and friends of the men who are soon to go across. . . . Military officials had hinted that yesterday would probably by the last time that the men of the 26th Division which includes three Lowell companies of the Sixth regiment, would be at liberty to receive visitors preparatory to their transfer to another field of action.” President Wilson pledges “every material and moral assistance” to Russia. Business good at public market. On Saturday, there were 24 wagons and trucks lined up for the Lowell public market on Anne street, but the farmers are still on the lookout for a more permanent site for their market.

August 28, 1917 – Tuesday – Allies of Germany (Austria and perhaps others) declare war on U.S. Berlin admits British advance in Flanders. Korniloff warns Russia that army must be regenerated to save country from ruin. Tells of fighting anarchy in army, outlines measures necessary to prevent disaster. Thought of separate peace repudiated. Portion of Battery F of Stanford, Conn., passes through Lowell on way to Ayer. U.S Army officer killed in France (in motorcycle accident).

August 29, 1917 – Wednesday – Peace rests with German people. Wilson in rejecting Pope’s offer says U.S. cannot deal with present German rulers. Russian Armies are fleeing in disorder. Lowell man killed in war (Barthelemie Lamarre, a brick mason, formerly of Clinton avenue in Pawtucketville, was serving with the Canadian Army). Lieutenant in the U.S. Dental Corps. Dr. William F. Donohoe of Linden street received his commission as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Dental Corps.  Lowell boys off for France and Ayer. The majority of Lowell young men who were awarded commissions at the Plattsburg officers’ training camp several weeks ago began their first active duties as officers today when they left Lowell to report at Camp Devens, Ayer, for further assignment.

August 30, 1917 – Thursday – Great Send-off for New York troops. 27th Division of New York National Guard marched down Fifth avenue and then departed for training in South Carolina. Senator La Follette objects and delays war tax bill (says too much of the burden based on consumption taxes, not enough on increased taxes on the wealthy). Lowell’s history portrayed by 2000 playground children on South Common. Male characters included President Jackson, General Butler, Passaconaway, Wannalancit, Captain Ford, and Mayor Peabody.

August 31, 1917 – Friday – Pauses before great drives on three fronts. Pacifists to meet in front of Capitol. Cut in price of bread: Reduction in sight as result of fixing $2.20 as price of wheat. Will bring fair returns to producers – grain trade satisfied with action. Cardinal O’Connell speaks to soldiers. Celebrated Mass and spoke to troops of duty to America at Camp McGuinness in Framingham. Lowell boy graduated from West Point. Rossiter H. Garity, son of Mrs. Mary E. Garity of 32 Fairview street, graduated yesterday and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the regular army. He graduated from Lowell High in 1913. His late father, George Garity, was a career army officer who died after his retirement.

September 1, 1917 – Saturday – French strike sharp and heavy blow on German line on Aisne Front. Another Lowell man gets commission. Eldred E. Beese, mechanical engineer of the Lowell Gas Light Co., has been commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the ordnance department. Move Police Court to Gorham Street. Judge Enright requesting permission from County Commissioners to move police court from Market Street to Gorham Street since the noise from the adjacent parking garage makes it impossible to hear witnesses. Ayer Camp and 7 others nearly completed. The 16 national army cantonments including one in Ayer, each to house 40,000 soldiers, will be ready for occupancy soon.  Nothing big planned for Labor Day. “Whether the lack of any demonstrations this year is due to the all embracing influence of the war or whether Lowell people have been already satiated with celebrations is a question.”

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