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"Hezzie" Goes to War: World War I through the Eyes of a Mid-Missourian

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I've Seen Enough

Destruction and Devastation

"I've Seen and Experienced Enough"

German Souvenirs

"I Have Seen France"

Going Home

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vases made from shell casings
vases made from shell casings

spoon made from cartridges
spoon made from cartridges

German Souvenirs

(no letter #)

March 7th, 1918 Chief Surgeon's Office, G.H.Q, A.E.F., France.

. . .
In a few days I will start, and you should receive within the next week or so, a large box with several things in it. . . .

The war souvenirs are all made by soldiers at the front or wounded soldiers at home. They are made from shells, bullets, etc. The small paper knife is made from a German bullet forming the handle and the shell of a French cut and flattened out shell. The vase I bought from a one soldier in Paris. The single shell with the bullet is a lead pencil when the bullet is pulled out and reversed. All the buttons are German buttons.

German helmet
German helmet

Letter No. 93

France, 14 November '18

. . .
In a few days I am sending you a German helmet. When you get this I would take out the padding that is . . . under the leather. There is something to explode [sic], but after I packed up I thought there might be something poisonous in those small pads. . . .

German gas mask
German gas mask

(no letter #)

16 November '18
no location

Dear Mother and Dad,
I am sending two "captured" German airplanes. Please give one to Mr. Hon. Also I am sending a German Gas mask - this is entirely harmless. Will write a letter tonight or tomorrow.

Your loving son,
Hezzie.

[p.s.] Airplanes made from shells and bullets by French soldiers.

German bayonet
German bayonet

German trench book
German trench book

German cartridge case
German cartridge case

German insignia
German insignia

Letter 104

. . .
The last week I sent you four packages. One of these contained a German bayonet; another a helmet and a leather cartridge case; another a German shell and a circular tin which is made of paper and which the Germans used as a substitute for leather belts; some pieces of schrapnel I picked up on the front; a cake of soap which a British soldier gave me (it was soap given to them by the Germans while the British were prisoners in Germany); the bag which I wrote you about in another letter, a German first aid package of gauze, and a plate-holder which some German officer had left behind. I hope all four packages got thru.

In a few days I will send in a box if possible, an officer's (German) helmet and another cartridge case and more of the white tape.

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A Joint Exhibit
of the
University of Missouri
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Columbia
and the University of Missouri-Columbia
Museum of Anthropology

Acknowledgments and World War I Links