A Very Dull Day, a Voice from World War One…
One hundred years ago, George Erie Black, was one of many brave Americans involved in the war that was thought would end all wars. Black was inducted into service on February 23, 1918. He shipped off to France on June 15, 1918 on U.S.S. Susquehanna and landed in France on June 22, 1918 to become part of the AEF in World War I.
American Expeditionary Forces
The AEF or American Expeditionary Forces was a formation of the United States Army on the Western Front of World War I. The AEF was established on July 5, 1917, in France under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. The AEF fought alongside the armies of France, Britain, Canada and Australia against the German Empire. . A small faction of the AEF troops also fought with the Italian Army against the Austro-Hungarian Army.
The AEF was considered crucial to the French Army on the Western Front during the Aisne Offensive in the summer of 1918 with its major actions involving the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the latter part of 1918.
A Rare Glimpse
In a rare glimpse of the life of a soldier in the AEF in World War I, the family of George Erie Black graciously allowed The Founding Project to publish this poem, written by Private 1st Class George E. Black. Black sent this poem to his sister, Mary Black Huey, while he was stationed in France during WWI.
Very Dull Day
“Nothing new – Very dull day”.
Would they understand of each man’s toil?
Of seething emotions brought to a boil
Of American blood redding the soil?
Can’t really think of what to say,
So it’s “Nothing new – Very dull day”.
Should I write of the corpses on battle’s lawn?
And of the stillness of the stillborn dawn;
And of the rotten stench when the cold is gone?
No! The proper thing to say
Is “Nothing new – Very dull day”.
George E. Black returned to his wife and family in the United States on June 9, 1919 and was honorably discharged from military service on June 26, 1919.
Special thanks to Aaron Hayes-Harden, Sabrina Hayes and the family of George E. Black for allowing The Founding Project to publish this glimpse into U.S. and world history with their family’s cherished photos and memories of their ancestor.