Lowell in World War I: Aug 26, 1918 to Sept 6, 1918
At bottom of lower right sidebar is a box titled “Browse Article Categories.” From the dropdown menu, select “WWI Lowell.” That will retrieve all blog posts related to World War I. Each week during 2017 and 2018, I had been posting newspaper headlines for that week 100 years ago as a way to capture life in Lowell during the war. However, because of the demands of my recent re-election campaign, I halted the World War I headline posts at the end of August (my last post covered August 12 to August 23, 1918). Today, I pick up where I left off. Although the dates will be out of sync, the events cited are still of interest:
August 26, 1918 – Monday – British launch new drive on Arras front. French break up big Hun counter attack. Lowell’s social condition all right for soldiers says General Henry McCain, the commander of Camp Devens. Mayor Perry Thompson met General McCain at the camp on Saturday and then returned to Lowell with Major Wright who is in charge of the social welfare of the soldiers. Major Wright and Mayor Thompson spent Saturday afternoon and evening walking on Lowell’s main streets to get a first hand view of conditions. Major Wright found nothing amiss. In one case, he witnessed a group of uniformed men making advances towards several groups of young women, but in each case they were ignored. The Major was also very pleased to learn that the local police court had been sentencing disorderly women and expressed himself well satisfied with the moral conditions here.
August 27, 1918 – Tuesday – British pierce HIndenburg Line. Allies push along whole front. Lowell man killed in action in France. Private Stewart MacLean of the 42nd Canadian Kilties, was killed in action in France earlier this month according to a telegram received by his wife, Mrs. Marlon MacLean of 40 Waugh street. Prior to entering the service, MacLean was employed at eh Pillings shoe shop. Corporal James H Danckert, Co. G, 104th Infantry, is missing in action. He lived at 135 Summer street at the home of Mrs Mary Donnelly. Before enlisting, he was an electrician with the Bay State Street Railway Co. Mrs. Daizolle Dunlap-Brown of 54 Hanks street has received word that her son, Lt Harry Dunlap Brown, was wounded in action and is recuperating in a French hospital. Private Harry W Bishop is also reported missing in France. He is a member of Co A, 104th Infantry. In Lowell, he lived with his aunt, Mrs. Charles Sears of 264 Appleton street and worked at the American Safety Tread company.
August 28, 1918 – Wednesday – Big Hun retreat. German front crumbles before smashing blows of Allies. British swing forward east of Arras and plunge on well past Hindenburg line. To Camp Jackson: 94 Lowell men started for Columbia, South Carolina, this morning. Thousands of friends and relatives assembled at depot to give boys send off. Two Lowell brothers injured in France. Two sons of Mr and Mrs Thomas J Reagan of 206 South street have been wounded in France. Private Thomas F Reagan Jr is with Co F of the Ninth Regiment, regular army. Private William P Reagan is also “over there” with a machine gun unit.
August 29, 1918 – Thursday – Noyon Captured. German lines are rapidly crumbling as allied forces sweep on along the entire battle front. More Lowell men for the National Service. Lowell’s exemption boards sent 10 more men to national service today. They left this morning for Camp Devens. Miss Ruth Burke will go to France. Burke, who has been the moving spirit of the American Red Cross in Lowell for the past four years, will leave shortly for France where she will enter the Red Cross canteen work in the aviation section of the army.
August 30, 1918 – Friday – British smash Hindenburg line east of Arras. Canadians advance along Arras-Cambrai line. Huns fleeing. Use of gasoline. Fuel administrator Garfield says the prohibition on using gasoline on Sundays for motor vehicles only applies to pleasure riding and that reasonable use of gasoline driven vehicles for necessary purposes is not prohibited. Another draft. United States completing plans to draft French and Greeks in America. Proposed draft would affect between 2000 and 3000 local Greek residents who have not previously affected because they are not US citizens. These individuals will have the choice of enlisting in the Greek army and going overseas to fight or automatically being drafted into the United States Army. A prominent member of the Greek community told a Sun reporter this was a good idea, that if Greeks and other foreigners are satisfied with what this country offers them, they should be willing to serve in the military. He said there are between 12,000 and 13,000 Greek-speaking people in the city and that about 10,000 of them are men. More Lowell men for Camp Upton. Lowell exemption boards forwarded 33 men to Camp Upton, Yaphank, NY this morning. Army and Navy Day. Harry Pitts and Hutchins Parker have agreed to take charge of the provision of automobiles to bring soldiers and sailors to Lowell for the big Army and Navy day celebration to be held here on September 21. At least 300 machines are wanted for the day and people who are willing to loan their autos for the day should get in touch with either Mr Pitts or Mr Parker.
September 2, 1918 – Monday – Labor Day
September 3, 1918 – Tuesday – Huns face disaster as British capture Lens. British gain four miles on the Bapaume-Cambrai Road. 6000 Marchers in Lowell’s greatest Labor Day parade. Soldiers from Camp Devens in line with unions. Women in paper costumes describe the human flag. Many floats in the biggest Labor Day parade in the city’s history. After the parade, sporting events were held on the South Common and in the evening, there was a great mass meeting on the South Common that demonstrated the great extent that Lowell’s labor is well organized.
September 4, 1918 – Wednesday – Victorious allies push on as disorganized Huns flee. Over by Christmas unless German defenses stiffen quickly. Washington looks for smash by Americans in south before end of year. World Series. First game of big baseball classic between the Red Sox and Cubs postponed. Heavy rains prevented first game in Chicago today. Series to open tomorrow. Civil Service Commission questions legality of Dr W A Sherman’s election as Animal Inspector. People at city hall say Dr Sherman has been the animal inspector for many years and were surprised to learn the position is covered by civil service.
September 5, 1918 – Thursday – French and Americans gain seven miles. Take Guiscard and close in on Ham. British knocking at gates of Cambrai. Wage increase. 1,000,000 railroad employees granted $1 a day raise by Sec. McAdoo. Second largest wage increase ever granted in US industrial history. City Hall news. City Solicitor goes to Boston to ask approval of $25,000 loan order by the District Committee on Capital Issues. All loans either individually or cumulatively for the year that exceed $100,000 must be approved by the state. This loan is to pay for sewers in Pleasant, Concord and High streets, and also to the contagious hospital on Varnum avenue. Mr. Rourke feels that since most of this money is being spent at the request of the United States housing corporation, approval should be forthcoming.
September 6, 1918 – Friday – Allies smash ahead on 150-mile front. French and Americans near St. Gobain. British advance now threatens Lille. Campaign here tomorrow to raise funds for boys at the front. Money will provide comforts for them. Lt Mooers dead. Mrs Frank L Walsh, 52 Lundberg street, has received notice of the death of her brother, Lt Robert Mooers with a Canadian regiment “over there.” He was 21 years old but had been in the fight for four years. Besides his sister, he had two aunts in Lowell, Miss Edith and Miss Ethel Mooers of 1171 Middlesex St. Private Henry L Beauchesne of 2 Endicott street has been listed as missing since June 8. Privates William H Merrill and James Higgs have been listed as wounded. World Series. With the Red Sox one game in the lead in the world series, the Cubs are confident that they would win this afternoon. Grand Jury indicts former Lieutenant who married Lowell girl for polygamy. Allan Gail Steingardt married Miss Rose Dillon of Lowell on June 15, at the same time having a wife from whom he had not been divorced living in Baltimore. Steingard was on duty at Camp Devens.