This collection is comprised of 8 letters written by John Barr to his girlfriend, Ethel Mae ("Polly") Trueblood, of Cleveland, Ohio, during his World War I service with the YMCA near Paris in 1918. In these love letters, Barr discussed his experiences near the front, his negative opinions of the Germans, and the nature of his daily work.
Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, October 2011
Scope and Content:
This collection is comprised of 8 letters written by John Barr to his girlfriend, Ethel Mae ("Polly") Trueblood, of Cleveland, Ohio, during his World War I service with the YMCA in Paris in 1918. In these love letters, Barr discussed the nature of his daily work and his experiences. Despite being located near the front and witnessing some of the horrors of war, he maintained a positive attitude, and optimistically told Polly, "One has to be here to fully realize the importance of winning the war. And we are going to win" (June 27, 1918); however, he did not brook any tolerance toward the "Jerrys," "Boches," and "Huns," whom he often disparaged in his letters. Along with his descriptions of life in France and frequent proclamations of love and hope for the couple's future, he responded angrily to reports of strikers in the United States, questioning their loyalty and reinforcing the importance of men in the American Expeditionary Forces. In the letter of September 14, 1918, Barr attached a clipping from the June 7, 1918 issue of Stars and Stripes, featuring an article about war refugees captioned "Helpless Victims of the Hun."
Biographical / Historical:
John Presley Barr traveled to France on May 14, 1918, to assist in the YMCA's work with the American Expeditionary Forces, and worked in Paris throughout the summer of 1918.
2005. M-4439.4 .
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Rules or Conventions:
Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
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