Personal Experiences in World War I 1974-1980ohrc085

A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews at Indiana University Bloomington


Finding aid created by: Finding aid prepared by the staff of the Center for the Study of History and Memory with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access, 2000-2002


Creator Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory
Title: Personal Experiences in World War I
Dates: 1974-1980
Quantity: 9 interviewsAudio files, transcripts, and collateral materials
Abstract: This collection of interviews contains experiences remembered by World War I veterans nearly sixty years after the war. Topics range from transportation to Europe, training, and the quiet after the armistice to weapon description, recreational activities, and opinions about the French. In general, little detail is given about specific battles, but there are descriptions of being gassed, fired on, and seeing dead and wounded soldiers.
Location: Interviews are housed in Franklin Hall, Room 0030B. Copies of interview transcripts are also held by the IU Libraries University Archives. Contact archives@indiana.edu for more information. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for Documentary Research and Practice office.
Language: Materials are in English
Repository: Center for Documentary Research and Practice

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains nine interviews conducted over seven years. The interviews range from 35 to 140 minutes. All interviews consist of audio tapes and typed transcripts.


Restrictions

Usage Restrictions: The archive of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Audio files may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the audio interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s).


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript; if digital audio and no transcript, cite time when quote occurs].

Acquisition Information

Oral history interviews conducted by the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory from 1968 to the present, with particular focus on the history of twentieth-century America and the Midwest.


Table of Contents


76-014 Axsom, John V. December 1, 1975
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 14 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 35 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
John Axsom, born in 1896, discusses his experiences during World War I. In general, he does not seem to remember much, and most memories about his experiences are told by his wife. They mention the draft allotment, the ship ride overseas, the food, and the few places he was stationed.
76-013 Blackwell, Frank, Sr. December 17, 1975
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 28 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 60 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
Frank Blackwell, born in 1886, was a blacksmith in an artillery unit during World War I. He was in charge of horseshoeing over 200 horses that were used by the battery. He speaks about the wages, the ship ride to Europe, blacksmithing, the occupation of Germany, and the armistice. Although he was rarely in the trenches or front lines, he does mention flying shells and a visit to the front lines to look around.
76-016 Crider, Alva February 12, 1976
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 34 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 80 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
Alva Crider, born in 1893, was drafted into the army in the fall of 1917, and sent by rail to the East Coast to board ships bound for France. He describes life in the trenches, standing guard, sleeping, and eating. He also discusses an instance of friendly fire when a guard shot a returning soldier. After the armistice was signed, they spent a few months closer to Paris marching and training before being discharged and sent home.
80-028 Hampshire, Robert S. March 22, 1980
CreatorHowey, Timothy 38 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 80 minutes; no index; photocopy of enlistment
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Robert Hampshire, born in 1903, was in the 8th Field Artillery at the tail end of World War I. He talks about being ready to leave for the Philippines, but instead being stationed in Hawaii. After the war, he worked odd jobs in Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois including the carnival and the building of the International Harvester plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He discusses the mislabeling of the nineteen twenties as "wild", and gives his opinions on presidents Hoover and Roosevelt.
76-015 Jones, Floyd November 20, 1975
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 37 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 80 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
Floyd Jones, born in 1891, was a member of the 27th Engineers during World War I. He speaks about building railroads and working on other construction projects while being subjected to enemy fire. He also describes his feelings of seeing wounded comrades, being in battle, and dead Germans. Finally, he discusses free time activities such as visiting other cities or gambling, and also mentions bringing home war souvenirs.
76-012 Nikirk, Homer February 26, 1976 November 7, 1974
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 43 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 75 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
Homer Nikirk, born in 1896, was in the 18th Infantry during World War I. He was wounded several times in battle and speaks about those experiences. He describes the trenches, mustard gas, German prisoners, and the various aid groups, such as the Salvation Army.
76-032 Romine, Robert April 6, 1976
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 21 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 50 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
Robert Romine, born in 1896, was a machine gunner in Company B, 123rd Machine Gun Battalion. He describes the gun, and how they would shoot and advance out of the trenches each night. He also talks about the German gas shells, weather, dead soldiers, battles, and the armistice.
76-017 Smith, Hobart November 20, 1975
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 58 pages; 3 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 140 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Content Note
Hobart Smith, born in 1897, was a member of the 67th Artillery Brigade, 42nd Rainbow Division. He enlisted in August of 1917, and talks about his enlistment, the ship ride to France, battles, gun operation, the armistice, and his pension. He tells many stories about his experiences ranging from the French girls to being gassed, and seeing wounded and dead soldiers.
76-033 Utt, Robert April 15, 1976
CreatorMartin, Charles E. 19 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 50 minutes; no index
Access Status
Restricted: Interviewer wishes to be contacted prior to publishing and requests appropriate credit in citation.
Scope and Contents
Robert Utt, born in 1909, was in the 136th Heavy Field Artillery. The unit spent most their service guarding German prisoners in France. He talks about training on the artillery, riding the boat overseas, and his time at the prison camp. He describes the cold weather, lice and fleas, and the theft of supplies by the German prisoners.