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Public Library

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John "Treat" Daniels to Thomas Daniels, 1916

NEW BERN BOY IN THE WAR ZONE, GIVES ACCOUNT OF EXPERIENCES

—“Believe Me, The Germans Are Receiving a Pounding Now, And They Deserve It,” Writes “Treat” Daniels, in Paris—Is Traveling with Miss Tinker of New York, who is Giving Personal and Financial Assistance to Wounded Allied Soldiers—Will Go to Salonika Soon, And From There Will Go With The Serbian Army on Way to Monastir—Attempted to Get In the British Submarine Service But Was Rejected Because He Was Not Born in England—Visited Mount St. Michael.

The following from a letter written by Mr. John “Treat” Daniels, who is traveling in Europe with Miss Tinker, of New York, who is giving personal and financial assistance to wounded allied soldiers, to his father, Mr. Thos. Daniels, is extremely interesting and will be greatly appreciated by NEW BERNIAN readers. Mr. Daniels is now in Paris: 

Since I wrote you last time we have taken a most lovely trip in the oldest part of Normandy. I sent you some cards which I hope you received. The mail is very uncertain these days, though I believe most of it goes through.

When I was in the third grade at school we studied an old geography in which there were one or two pictures that I have never forgotten. One was of the midnight sun and the other showed Mount St. Michael, and my, how I did wish to see the midnight sun and how I did wish to see Mount St. Michael, and now I have seen them both and I can’t begin to explain to you how pleasant was the realization of a desire of such long standing. When in Alaska I saw the midnight sun many nights and had a good chance to watch it and wonder about it and now I have seen Mount St. Michael under the most favorable conditions, for the night that we arrived there, the moon was full and it was bright as day. Believe me, there never was one who could picture that wonderful old abbey aloft in the sky, set high above the most immense old castle walls with their tremendous towers and turrets standing out in the soft moonlight. I just could not go into the hotel and go to sleep, I walked miles on the old walls where the old monks lead their people, threw stones and poured burning oil on their English in 1400 when they tried to take the place. As far as I could see there was not a drop of water the bed of the ocean was as dry as a bone and the white sand shone a level plane as smooth as the floor, when all of a sudden I heard a tremendous roar, here came the tide in a wave fifteen or twenty feet high. What a commotion! What had been a sand plane five minutes before was now covered with twenty feet of water and Mount St. Michael had become an island while I stood there watching the transformation.

Many people are drowned here because they wander too far away when the tide is out and when it comes in one great wave faster than a horse can trot.

Well, Papa, Miss Tinkers’ car is in the shop being made into an ambulance and we are going to start for Serbia just as soon as it is completed which will be in about a month I think. We will drive it to Toulon and will go on a steamer for four days to Saloniki, Greece, and from there we are to go with the Serbian Army all the way to Monastir. It will be great as we will probably be in the midst of a revolution in Greece and that is the most wonderful country to see.

Continue to address my letters to Morgan & Harges Bank and I will be sure to have them forwarded to me will get them down there if we are lucky enough to miss the submarines that the Germans have the ocean full of. Believe me, the Germans are receiving a pounding now and they well deserve it, too.

We hope to get right out to the front down there and I expect that we will see some great doings.

I tried to get into the English submarine service but they would not have me because I was not born in England. They are very suspicious of all Americans because there are so many Germans with American papers.

Am in the best of health and have just been vaccinated for cholera. Miss Tinker had my eyes fitted for a pair of yellow glasses for driving like her own and I have a new outfit of heavy shoes, leggings, chamois vest, sleeping bags, rubber boots and in fact everything that one could need on a trip like this. We even have two little rubber wash basins that we can fold up and put into our pocket for as she said she didn’t want to wash after anyone else and she supposed I didn’t either. She is going to take five days to run down to Toulon and we will see some most interesting country.

The Morning New Bernian, “Fair Edition”, Wednesday, October 25, 1916, p. 7 c. 2-3

 


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Updated: November 20, 2014.