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An American Volunteer with the Royal Flying Corp


Croix de Guerre
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Croix de Guerre
Wow. I'm glad I took a break from writing my essay to take the time to read through all of this. Simply amazing...

 

 

Thank you very much! thumbsup.gif

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Croix de Guerre

"It was the 10th of July when sixteen of us including Wardle were herded together in the rain and marched off to the station where we boarded a train for Karlsruhle. Wet to the skin we sat and steamed for the hour we were en route, and we arrived rather wrinkled and bedraggled at the Europisher Hof in time for lunch. We had meals in our rooms there, not as a mark of favor, but as a means of keeping us in solitary confinement for a few days. The windows were coated with heavy paint, so there was no interests of the outside to detract from one's contemplation, save the noise in the streets and the shrill warning of the air raid sirens that British bombers were overhead."

 

The hotel were Tommy was held still stands and I pulled these photos off the net.

 

http://www.maplandia.com/germany/baden-wur...ropaischer-hof/

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post-3356-1225913160.jpg

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1st AAA Group
A view of Karlsruhle from the hotel

 

 

The hotel is actually in the town of Baden Baden not Karlsruhe. Went to Baden Baden several times. Have seen the hotel before too.

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The hotel is actually in the town of Baden Baden not Karlsruhe. Went to Baden Baden several times. Have seen the hotel before too.

 

 

Thanks for the heads up thumbsup.gif I'm just going by Tommy's own descriptions.

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Croix de Guerre

"Karlsruhle was too comfortable to last. The food was fair, the baths were open daily, and we even had an issue of home-made socks and Red Cross emergency rations. So orders came for twenty-five to move, the majority Britishers the rest the Americans. Our destination was not known, it never was. The trail led to Landshut in Bavaria. The Americans were sent to the ancient castle of the dukes of Lower Bavaria; we to an abandoned army camp on an island called the Zwischer Brucken in the Isar River. This is the same Isar "that rolled so rapidy" in Campbell's poem "The Battle of Hohenlinden".

 

On the Battle of Hohenlinden

 

 

On Linden when the sun was low,

All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow,

And dark as winter was the flow

Of Iser rolling rapidly.

 

But Linden shew'd another sight,

When the drum beat at dead of night,

Commanding fires of death to light

The darkness of her scenery.

 

By torch and trumpet-sound array'd,

Each horseman drew his battle-blade,

And furious every charger neigh'd,

To join the dreadful revelry.

 

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,

Then rush'd the steeds to battle driven,

And vollying, like the bolts of heaven,

Far flash'd the red artillery.

 

And redder still those fires shall glow,

On Linden's hills of purpled snow;

And bloodier still shall be the flow

Of Iser rolling rapidly.

 

'Tis morn; but scarce yon level sun

Can pierce the war-cloud rolling dun,

Where furious Frank and fiery Hun

Shout, mid' their sulphurous canopy.

 

The combat deepens—on, ye brave!

Who rush to glory and the grave;

Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,

And charge with all thy chivalry.

 

Oh! few shall part where many meet,

The snow shall be your winding sheet,

And every turf beneath your feet

Shall mark the soldiers' cemetry.

post-3356-1225984117.jpg

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Tom-

What you & Dennis have done here is invaluable to future generations. I hope our younger collectors (& senior ones too!) understand that. Not only have you taken the time to preserve & display this wonderful group, you've somehow managed to reach back through time & uncover enough information to weave a story of Thomson's daily life. That's a fact that I know researchers everywhere aspire to do.

Now, for the first time, we get an altogether brief glimps into the life of a true American Patriot & pioneer aviator. It's something that I know would make Thomson smile.

 

 

Sincerely,

Chuck

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1st AAA Group
"Karlsruhle was too comfortable to last. The food was fair, the baths were open daily, and we even had an issue of home-made socks and Red Cross emergency rations. So orders came for twenty-five to move, the majority Britishers the rest the Americans. Our destination was not known, it never was. The trail led to Landshut in Bavaria. The Americans were sent to the ancient castle of the dukes of Lower Bavaria; we to an abandoned army camp on an island called the Zwischer Brucken in the Isar River. This is the same Isar "that rolled so rapidy" in Campbell's poem "The Battle of Hohenlinden".

 

On the Battle of Hohenlinden

On Linden when the sun was low,

All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow,

And dark as winter was the flow

Of Iser rolling rapidly.

 

But Linden shew'd another sight,

When the drum beat at dead of night,

Commanding fires of death to light

The darkness of her scenery.

 

By torch and trumpet-sound array'd,

Each horseman drew his battle-blade,

And furious every charger neigh'd,

To join the dreadful revelry.

 

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,

Then rush'd the steeds to battle driven,

And vollying, like the bolts of heaven,

Far flash'd the red artillery.

 

And redder still those fires shall glow,

On Linden's hills of purpled snow;

And bloodier still shall be the flow

Of Iser rolling rapidly.

 

'Tis morn; but scarce yon level sun

Can pierce the war-cloud rolling dun,

Where furious Frank and fiery Hun

Shout, mid' their sulphurous canopy.

 

The combat deepens—on, ye brave!

Who rush to glory and the grave;

Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,

And charge with all thy chivalry.

 

Oh! few shall part where many meet,

The snow shall be your winding sheet,

And every turf beneath your feet

Shall mark the soldiers' cemetry.

 

Tom, the above photo is of Landshut Fortress, Moselle. A long way from the town of Landshut in Bavaria! There is a very nice castle in Landshut though, Burg Trausnitz. thumbsup.gif

 

Btw, I lived in Karlsruhe. The city was a transfer point for Allied officer POW's during WWI who were processed there and then sent out to various POW camps in Germany. Both Rastatt and Baden Baden are an easy drive from Karlsruhe.

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Croix de Guerre
Tom, the above photo is of Landshut Fortress, Moselle. A long way from the town of Landshut in Bavaria! There is a very nice castle in Landshut though, Burg Trausnitz. thumbsup.gif

 

Btw, I lived in Karlsruhe. The city was a transfer point for Allied officer POW's during WWI who were processed there and then sent out to various POW camps in Germany. Both Rastatt and Baden Baden are an easy drive from Karlsruhe.

 

Thanks for keeping me straight,,I've never been to Germany and I'm just going off of Tommy's own descriptions of the events. :huh:

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Croix de Guerre
Tom-

What you & Dennis have done here is invaluable to future generations. I hope our younger collectors (& senior ones too!) understand that. Not only have you taken the time to preserve & display this wonderful group, you've somehow managed to reach back through time & uncover enough information to weave a story of Thomson's daily life. That's a fact that I know researchers everywhere aspire to do.

Now, for the first time, we get an altogether brief glimps into the life of a true American Patriot & pioneer aviator. It's something that I know would make Thomson smile.

Sincerely,

Chuck

 

Thank you for your kind words Chuck, I really appreciate it!

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Croix de Guerre

"The commandant of the camp was 100% Hun and he did all he could to make our three weeks sojourn unbearable. Exhausting his own resources, he called on the medical staff to send over a doctor with serum and blunt needles to innoculate us. I had nine innoculations - with what and for what I do not know. Our orderlies were Italians, the poorest lot of servants we ever had. We could not trust them for they were hand in glove with the Germans. Our fear was that we might be held here for the duration and when orders to move were recieved they were met with a cheer. Equipped with boxes of limburger cheese and sausage, we set off with light hearts for Ingolstadt and Fort Prinz Karl, where we spent the happiest days of our prison expirenece."

 

PS If you want to know anything more about Inglostadt or Fort Prinz Karl, ya'll just ask 1st AAA Group! w00t.gif

post-3356-1226008691.jpg

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Croix de Guerre

“When we arrived at Ingolstadt late that evening, the officer in charge had no notion what to do with us, so we were herded into a soldier’s canteen near the station while he did some telephoning. After an hour or so he returned and ordered us aboard a local train that rambled out into the country with apparently no objective in view. After miles of this, we alighted at a county way-station, where there wasn’t even a cow in sight. Off we started on a dusty road and walked and walked and walked, becoming more mystified as to our destination and more ill humored at every step.

 

Suddenly, we came to a turn to the left and in a moment were brought up before two huge iron doors. These swung open and in we marched. To the left was a small brick house with a single ray of light from a window. At first we saw nothing else and then gradually our eyes made out a moat and a drawbridge, and across this, a formidable pile of masonry. I thought to myself that here was a place where we could be forgotten, where we could die of dry rot and none would be the wiser.

 

But all my imaginations were in vain for as soon as we crossed the moat and entered the cavernous mouth of the fort, we were greeted by overjoyed comrades, French officers who were happy to see visitors from the outside. They mustered over a hundred and some had been here over two years, while one man had been captured eighteen days after the war began! We ate first and talked second; and such food! Hot chocolate, biscuits, chicken and rice. “

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Croix de Guerre

I've gotten a little ahead of myself so here are a few photos from Tommy's time at Karlruhe. The notion of a photographer taking pictures inside a POW camp is a bit of a novelty but this was a different day and time. The Victorian attitude towards prisoners of war and the concept of an enemy honoring the code of Officers and Gentlemen are difficult for many people to fathom in this day and age.

 

This first picture is Tommy at "Offizer - Kreigsgefangenlager Karlsruhe" He sent this to his fiance Ruth Sanders and noted "I should have smiled".

post-3356-1226026560.jpg

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Croix de Guerre

This next picture is of Tommy and "some friends of the Royal Engineers"; They are identified as H.F. Sharp, Robert H. Reay and F.J. Slattery of Ennis Ireland

post-3356-1226026739.jpg

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