Lowell in World War One: July 29, 1918 to August 9, 1918

Two weeks worth of Lowell in World War One posts today. This is the 64th 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:

July 29, 1918 – Monday – Victorious allies pursue retreating Huns across whole battle line. Yanks cross Ourcq river in desperate battle with Huns. City Hall news: Repairs to Appleton street, caused by the Bay State Street Railway in paving between the car tracks, will be finished by the end of this week. Regarding, the poor condition of the roadway over the Pawtucket bridge, Commissioner Charles Morse of the street department said that nothing can be done about it now, because the Bay State Street Railway intends to replace its single track over the bridge with a double one this fall, and that street repairs will have to wait until after that work is done. Hot weather hard on water supply. Lowell people are consuming 2 million gallons of water every day according to George Brown of the water department, and water is now getting scarce. It is not an emergency, but people are urged to conserve water whenever possible.

July 30, 1918 – Tuesday – Millions of Germans hurled into battle in attempt to stop advancing allies. Vicious counter attacks from Soissons to Rheims fail to check allied forces.  Corporal Gerald Silk killed in action. Silk, the son of Mr and Mrs Frederick Silk of 67 Nineteenth street, was 24 and was a member of Battery F. He went to camp in Boxford with the rest of that unit last September. Before the war, he was employed as an electrician by the L. A. Derby company. Big locomotive falls through bridge. The engine took a nose dive into Hales Brook when the bridge it was on collapsed. Because the bridge was on a siding with only one track, normal railroad traffic will not be disrupted.

July 31, 1918 – Wednesday – Americans, French and British smash Hun counter attacks and push on. Sergeant John Griffin severely wounded. Griffin, son of Austin Griffin of Ennell street, is a member of the machine gun company of the 101st regiment. He enlisted in the headquarters company of the old Ninth Regiment in 1915 and served on the Mexican border.

August 1, 1918 – Thursday – Americans win more ground. Foch begins movement to outflank enemy. New Franco-American drive, if successful, will compel German retirement over wide sector east of Fere. Another Lowell boy wounded in battle. Private George T Underwood of Co. M, 101st Infantry, is the latest Lowell soldier on the casualty list. He is the son of Mr and Mrs George H Underwood of 80 Bourne Street. He is a veteran of Co. M having enlisted before the unit went to the Mexican border several years ago. The nature of his wounds are not known. Former Lowell man charged with conspiracy to defraud the government. Captain Aubrey Vaughan of the quartermaster corps is a former resident of Lowell and well-known in the city, faces charges related to contracts for Army raincoats. Movies and community sing on Common. The park commission will host an open air movie performance and community sing along on the South common this evening. The moving picture shows will include views of the Glacier park reservation, the Canadian northwest, and a screaming comedy.

August 2, 1918 – Friday – Turning point of war. New Allied victories on all fronts, advance 3 miles west of Marne salient. First case under new anti-loafing law heard in Police Court this morning. Michael Tobin has the doubtful distinction of being the first local man to be arrested and prosecuted under the anti-loafing law. Superintendent Redmond Welch swore out a complaint against the man, charging him with having failed to engage in some useful occupation for 36 hours during the week ending July 27. Judge Pickman found him guilty and sentenced him to three months in jail. This sentence was later suspended when Tobin promised faithfully to get a job and stick to it until the kaiser is licked.

August 5, 1918 – Monday – Americans cover themselves with glory in bitterest fighting of the war. Captured big German base after fierce hand-to-hand fighting. Private Edward Gillis killed in France. Gillis, the son of Mr and Mrs Matthias Gillis of 68 Pleasant street, was killed in action in France on July 20. He was a member of Co. C of the old Sixth, now the 105th regiment. He was 26 years old and was employed as a stone-cutter before entering the service last summer. This morning, 15 men from Lowell were forwarded to the Syracuse NY Recruiting camp by the local exemption boards. Recruiting rally and movie exhibition. Sgt Alec Blinman of the British and Canadian recruiting mission here has organized a recruiting rally on the South Common tomorrow evening. Speakers will include three Canadian officers who have seen service “over there.” They will urge the British and Canadian subjects of Lowell to join the home forces now instead of waiting to be drafted next month. Immediately after the rally, the city’s park commission will show movies on an outdoor screen on the common. The first film will be flashed at 8:30. It is not known yet whether there will be singing with the pictures.

August 6, 1918 – Tuesday – French advance to Avre. 498 on today’s casualty lists. Total losses since United States troops landed in France are 16,409 – Lowell boys on lists. Mechanic Edward Desaulnier of Battery F, Private Frank McPherson also of Battery F, Private Walter D Andrews of the infantry, Corporal Charles Germain and Private Richard L Ganley, both of Co G of the 104th regiment, and Private Frank Rourke of Battery C, Lawrence, formerly of Lowell, were all on today’s casualty list. Lowell soldier dies at southern camp. Private William J McKenna, aged 25, died this morning at Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia. He recently became ill and passed away early this morning.

August 7, 1918 – Wednesday – Coal warning. Anybody trying to “hog” the coal supply will be dealt with severely with a $5000 fine or two years in jail or both. Lowell soldier wounded in action. Private Sylvester Greggon of 262 Fayette street is reported to have been severely wounded in France. Before the war, he was employed in the Massachusetts mills. City Hall news. With the probable expansion of the draft age to 18 to 45, many had expected an increase in the number of marriage licenses being obtained from city hall, but that has not been the case. William B Northup of the plant protection department of the military intelligence bureau visited Mayor Perry Thompson today to discuss security at the local war industry plants in Lowell.

August 8, 1918 – Thursday – Foch launches new drive on 28 mile front near Amiens. Lowell soldier makes supreme sacrifice. Corporal Oscar Arnold Hix of 371 Bridge street has been killed in action in France. He enlisted in the regular army last November and was sent to France as a member of M Co, 30th Regular Infantry. War work for girls. Organization to be formed here may be called ‘cit club of Lowell for girls.”

August 9, 1918 – Friday – Allies advance eleven miles and capture 14,000 Germans. Great victory grows as Franco-British continue to hurl back the enemy. Sergeant Ruth Farnam: Only American woman soldier in allied army tells Serbia’s story. Sgt Farnam, a member of the crack Serbian cavalry and author of “A Nation at Bay,” told a thrilling story about Serbia at Associate hall last night. The crowd was big, but not as big as it should have been. Corporal James McCluskey missing in France, McCluskey, of Co. M, 101st Infantry, is the son of Mr and Mrs Felix McCluskey of 340 Bridge street. He enlisted in Co. M of the old Ninth Regiment and served with that unit on the Mexican border.