Lowell in World War One: Oct 8 – Oct 13, 1917

This is the 26th 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:

October 8, 1917 – Monday – Liberty Motor Truck for US Army. The first Liberty motor truck, the product of the combined genius of 13 motor truck plants and 62 automobile parts factories, was completed at a local manufacturing plant in Lima, Ohio yesterday. The truck was designed and assembled in great secrecy. It is said to be the strongest ever turned out in this country. Because of the large amount of gasoline and oil it consumes and because the designers freely contributed from their own patents, the truck will not be sold commercially, but will only be used by the government. Young men for the Navy. Four local men left Lowell today on the 1:48 train for Boston where they will formally join the US Navy as apprentice seamen. Pep lacking in Liberty Bond campaign. The local Liberty Bond drive produced nothing new today; subscriptions are coming in at a plodding rate. US Cartridge plant not run by government, contrary to a rumor that swept the city yesterday. Government representatives are present at the plant, but only to supervise actual production. The government has no ownership interest.  With the Lowell boys at Camp Devens. A visit to Camp Devens found numerous Lowell boys with Company C of the Machine Gun Battalion. They live in one of 1600 barracks buildings. Each is 100 feet long, half as wide, and two stories high. It is unpainted wood. The lower floor is divided into three sections. Messroom is on the left from the main corridor. Bare wooden tables were arranged in two long rows. There are a dozen tables in all. Alongside the tables were benches on which the diners sat. The dishes consisted of a tin plate, a tin cup and knife, fork and spoon. Beyond the messroom was the cooking quarters. On the opposite end of the building is the entertainment room. The men lounge here in their leisure hours although furniture is very scarce. Upstairs, there are rows and rows of cots extending the whole length of the building. They are covered with dark green blankets. There are windows everywhere. There is nothing of special interest upstairs besides the cots. The Lowell boys are contented. They are moderately happy. They are not lonely, but they wish that people from Lowell would write to them more often.

October 9, 1917 – Tuesday – New Allied drive in Flanders. British and French launch another heavy attack on German lines in Belgium. Lowell to the front in Liberty Bond work. Lowell stands second among all the cities in Massachusetts in the amount subscribed so far, and third in all of New England. Two club houses are being constructed in the town of Ayer for soldiers assigned to Fort Devens. Lowell High School regimental colonel appointed. Major Walter Jeyes, military instructor of the Lowell High School regiment, announced this noon that Allan McOsker has been appointed colonel of the regiment and Albert Bourgeois will be lieutenant-colonel.

October 10, 1917 – Wednesday – More German plots exposed. German plot to wreck railroad, carry on sabotage here, and effort to influence Congress exposed. Another great victory for Allied forces. Mill men very active in bond campaign. Giants and White Sox meet in third game of World Series.

October 11, 1917 – Thursday – Columbus Day – Giants and White Sox meet in fourth game of World’s Series. Allies hold ground won in great drive. Lowell’s observance of Columbus Day. Lowell will observe Columbus Day in a comparatively quiet manner, with the bulk of the observance of a religious nature by the local council of the Knights of Columbus who will parade from Associate building to St Michael’s church for a solemn high mass at 9:30 o’clock. In the afternoon, the Knights will journey to Camp Devens for the formal opening of the Knight of Columbus hut there. The Lowell High football team will play Lawrence Academy of Groton at Spalding Field. The OMI Cadets will hold their field day in Tyngsboro. The Lowell Driving Club will stage races at Golden Cove,  and the Lowell Gun club will hold an all-day shoot at its grounds in Chelmsford Centre. Industrial Lowell will be silent tomorrow with the majority of mills closed for the day.

October 12, 1917 – Friday – Columbus Day

October 13, 1917 – Saturday – German troops land on island in Gulf of Riga. Von Tirpitz expects U-boats to win war. Fire Captain Dunn died this morning. Captain Bernard Dunn, of Hose company No. 5 of the Lowell fire department, who suffered a fracture of the skull as a result of a fall from the Northern Waste Co. plant at Warrenville on the night of September 22, died this morning at St. John’s hospital.

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