1st Lt. W.W. Martin
Lt. W.W. Martin.
Stationary Hospital No. 11, Rouen, France.
30 July, 1918.
To Dr. J.E. Wright, Kirksville, MO.
Dear Doctor & Friend: No doubt you will be more or less surprised to hear from me and if I remember correctly I promised to write you sometime when I landed “Somewhere in France” Will I am here and at work. Don’t forget that and furthermore don’t think for one minute you have any choice of what work you do or where it is. The idea is to get busy at any thing which presents itself. Do it. Do it. quickly and get it out of the way for something else. You have no idea of the magnitude of the job of evacuating the wounded from the Western front. I have traveled much since leaving U.S. I finally stopped at an American casual Camp in France. Here we were assigned to duty where we needed mostly.
Many American Med. Officers are sent to the British and I happened to be one of them. The English treat officers well indeed but we have to change our method of living to some extent Their mess is different from our tho. They have plenty to eat its prepared differently. Just before I was assigned to them a bunch of American Dentist blew into camp. Mostly young fellows. They reminded me of you so I said to myself I shall drop you a few lines soon so I am just now getting at it I have finished my work so far until something else starts I am now at a Stationary Hospital which is about the same thing as are evacuation hospital in our Army.
We do a lot of all kinds of work here and have a fine force of Med. Officers. There are two other Americans beside myself and I think 3 or 4 Canadian Officers. The Canadian & U.S. men feel as one over here. Tho, the English Officers are fine fellows and treat us fine yet the Canadian is more like us. I can’t write you anything of a military nature as this is all forbidden but I can say things look more favorible for us now the American Army is here with the goods and have begun to demonstrate the same to Fritz. All the Allies speak well of American Soldiers as fighters and especially as marksmen.
The last I heard from home was June 10 so you see we have it pretty tough in this way just now but I hope later to get mail more regularly. I suppose you are still busy as ever yet I know you would like to be with us and I with you were. You may be bet for all I know but we hope to settle up all this fuss before long tho. I imagine we will be over here for a long time yet.
France is certainly a beautiful country and the people enjoy life more than we do. They are almost like one large family They visit at the cafe, restaurant, Hotel & on the streets. There are many things of Liston’s interest here also I have seen many of them and if I live thru this Theater of War I shall be able to tell you many interesting things I have seen and experienced. I wish I could be there for a time at least but I had much rather know when we go home that we have accomplished our mission over here then the world can be at peace. Well I must again get busy for a spell and will finish later or rather when I get the time which may be tomorrow or later.
We had a fine try over. On our boat were many Officers also a lot of army nurses and Enlisted men. The water was smoothe for most of the way. We experienced a few choppy waters. Land looked good to us indeed. You should have heard the men yell and sing as the boat docked seemed to me I never saw a happier lot of of chaps, no wonder some of them had been sea sick for many days. Fortunately I was not sick but its a terriable condition. One fellow near me kept down 3 plates of soup on the whole voyage and was confined to his bed at all times There will however be a happier bunch when we sight our own native land if we are spared to do so.
This trip is certainly a wonderful experience for all who get back. In peace times one can travel very cheaply over here but now things are not so cheap and the French have found out they can get more and they don’t fail to do it What has become of Dr. Ezra? Also Lt. Bigsby and have any more of our Drs. Volunteered? Be sure and write me all the news. Tell all those fellows around there Hello for me and give my regards to all the boys & girls on our floor If any of you find yo hare coming to France Let me know about it.
I don’t know of any thing more I could write you at the present I shall await a reply. Which I hope you will send at once for it takes a long time to make the round trip.
With best wishes, I beg to remain
W W Martin
Msv1_M1. Violette Collection of WWI Soldiers’ Letters. Mudsp Collection V1. Truman State University Special Collections.