Monday, September 14, 2020

Roy Love Berkshire WWI Veteran

 Roy Love Berkshire was born December 26, 1895 in Chauncey, Petty Township to Elmer and Ada BerkshireStella was his older sister, and Lawrence, his older brother.  His younger siblings were Mary, Raymond and Vera.

 On May 22, 1918, the Lawrence County draft board received a call for three skilled workmen to be sent to various places and called for volunteers.  Roy who was an acetylene welder, with the Indian Refinery, left for Ft. Meyer, Virginia as a volunteer.

 By August 13, 1918, Roy was in France with Co. C, 49th Engineers fighting WWI. According to the World website the Engineers “were in charge of repairing the devastation of the war to expedite troop movements such as surveying, bridge and road repair, constructing buildings, maintaining communication liens, removal of land mines and booby traps, digging trenches and constructing shell, gas and splinter proof shelters, providing clean water and constructing or removing barbed wire. They also launched gas attacks, built hospitals, barracks, mess halls, stables, target ranges, and repaired miles of train tracks. Roy sent the following letter to his brother, Lawrence.

  Dear Brother and Family: Will scribble you a few lines this morning hoping this will find you all OK as I am.  Am feeling fine. How is the world serving you by this time? Had you begun to think I never was going to write? Lawrence, it sure takes some time to write to everybody.  I haven’t heard from the folks since I left the U.S. Got some letters from my girl after I got on board ship, and five she had sent to the camp over there.

Well, Lawrence, how are your crops and everybody else’s? How are all of Uncle Mell’s? Would love to see you all and have one of those old-time chats, but O, MY! I can tell you a great deal more when we whip the C____ out of those Damn Germans and we all get back.   Won’t we have a roaring old time for once?  And won’t there be many a sad heart made glad?

     Lawrence, is Mamma worrying about me? Tell me if she is.  I want to know it.  Don’t none of you worry, for I am coming back all right.  The papers look good, my girl said.  Had a very good trip across.  Saw lots of sharks and whales, I guess they were.  I tell you, it is a good way across.  I always had a desire to cross the pond and I still have the same desire.

     Have you been down to see the folks, since I left? If you haven’t, you ought to go.  Papa told one of my friends that if they didn’t hear from me and I couldn’t hear from them, he was going to send me a cablegram.  Go and look at the calendar and you can see when I left home, if you remember the date—I know I do.

  I was weighed the other day and I have gained quite a little.  I weighed 172 lbs. and I will be so fat when I come home you all won’t know me, and I will be so tough that I can climb a thorn tree with a wild cat under each arm.

 I am going to write Mack McCarty.  He is over here somewhere. I got a letter from Earl Cox the other day.  He is over here, too.  You know he boarded at our house.  Would sure love to see them.  I haven’t seen a fellow that I knew since I enlisted. Think I would go “buggy” if I ever do.

I will close for this time. Now you write and don’t wait to get my letters. You have more time than I have and don’t be afraid to use it plentifully.  With lots of love to all, I am, your loving brother, Roy L. Berkshire    Co. C, 49th Engineers, A. E. F. via N.Y.

 Continued tomorrow