Ben Byrnes collection of Ralph B. Creamer WWI diaries
2010.001

Summary Information

Repository
The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Creator - Author
Creamer, Ralph B.
Title
Ben Byrnes collection of Ralph B. Creamer WWI diaries
ID
2010.001
Date
1918, June-December
Extent
0.25 Linear feet 4 pocket diaries
General Physical Description note
Overall, very good.
Language
English

Preferred Citation note

Ben Byrnes collection of Ralph B. Creamer WWI diaries, 1918. Coll No. 2010.001. McFarlin Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. University of Tulsa.

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Scope and Contents note

Group of 4 manuscript diaries dated June to December 1918, written in great detail by Ralph B. Creamer (579th Ambulance Sercice, US Army) about his experiences [as a mechanic] in WWI -- from his training at Allentown, Pennsylvania, to his service in Italy, and including the time leading up to the Armistice.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives 2013 September

McFarlin Library
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa, OK, 74104-3123
918-631-2496
Marc-carlson@utulsa.edu

Access

This material is open for research use by any registered reader.

Use and Copyright

This material is owned by the University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections. Unpublished manuscripts are under copyright. Therefore, permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from both the repository and the copyright holder.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchase

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Charles Apfelbaum. Rare Manuscripts and Archives.
  • United States. Army. 579th Ambulance Service.

Personal Name(s)

  • Byrnes, Ben

Subject(s)

  • Special Collections -- Manuscripts -- Creamer, Ralph B.
  • World War I Collection.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Diaries.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives -- United States.
  • World War, 1914-1918.

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Collection Inventory

 2010.001.1.1 Pocket diary 1 1918 Jun 11 - 1918 July 11   15 x 9 x 1 cm Pocket-sized diary, 62p. Mahogony-colored leather cover, gold foredge, with sewn signatures of lined pages. Diary entries are written in brown ink. Ralph Creamer has written "Ralph B. Creamer, Sect. 579 W. S.A.A.S. Amer. Exped. Forces with Italian Army, Italy" written in blue ink on verso of the front cover.

Scope and Contents note

Excerpt from first 2 pages: "June 11, 1918. On which day I said to myself, from now on until I grow lazy I shall keep a record of my doing both good and bad, and thus I began...and then too, it is good to sit down once in a while and think over the deeds of other days--your [---] deeds especially; and so to me the past year was a most unusual one -- one in which boys changed quickly to men -- one in which weaklings suddenly became strong men...."

Excerpt from last page: "I remember back in Camp [---] when some new order would come out how for a time it would knock the very pins from under us, but soon we would find someone or hear something that would help things considerably. This week we were informed that the men working in the garage would not go to the front with their sections but would have to stay here until all the machines were assembled. Since leaving the Englishmen I am becoming slowly reconciled...."

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 2010.001.1.2 Pocket diary 2 1918 July 14 - 1918 October 6   15 x 9.4 x 1 cm Pocket-sized diary, 71p. Black linen-ike cover, dark red foredge, marbled end papers, with sewn signatures of graph paper. Diary entries are written in black ink.

Scope and Contents note

Excerpt from first 2 pages: "Another Book! Another Look!. Italy. Susnday July 14, 1918. French Bastile Day. Genova. '[---]' is a good many [things], although limited almost entirely to all other branches of service than the medical corps but today it was reinstated for a short time at least when I decided to go on pass. I heard that our [crowd] was to parade down-town, so I quietly slipped away with Jack [R---] to the bathing beach. We had a refreshing dip - a good sun bath - some refreshments and forgot for the time being that there was such a thing as the Ambulance Service...."

Excerpt from last page: "We have men in all conditions now - in fact the cars are used for everything from taxis to hearses, so this morning a bunch of us followed a military funeral to the grave. Several [Tommies] saw us and wanted to know if it were one of our boys. I took the camera along and got a couple snaps. We hung around for half an hour waiting to see the finish but it was too much for us - we rode back in the ambulance to our little bungalo [sic] on the rocks...."

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 2010.001.1.3 Pocket diary 3 1918 October 7 - 1918 November 8   15.2 x 10.2 x 1.5 cm Pocket-sized diary, 96p. Gray cloth covers with brown edge trim and brown elastic band closure, with sewn signatures of graph paper. Text block is detached from covers. Diary entries are written in black ink.

Scope and Contents note

Excerpt from first page: "Monday October 7, 1918. Mt. Cavalletto - Italy. Yprieiti. The weariness of many brave hearts was somewhat relieved today when a 'communique' was sent broadcast saying that Turkey, Austria and Germany had accepted President Wilson's fourteen points concerning peace. We saw a lot of [---] jumping around like a pack of field men and wondered what it was all about when one of the overjoyous ones told us. We immediately told our Englishman who gave a wild yell and leaped for joy saying 'We'll be home for Xmas yet' and ran to tell the others...."

Excerpt from last pages: "A good breakfast a little gas and soon we were on the excellent road to Vicenzo. How the old [b---] wagon did fly. [---] air rushing through our lungs made the blood tingle and brought the color into our cheeks. At Vicenzo we went around to the hospital to see Paul Cornell but found that he was released the day before. Jack [P---] was there though and we had a good chat in the corridors. At twelve-thirty we pulled into our headquarters at [Wadnetta] - showed our souvenirs - got a bite to eat - and were sent to cavaletto - so here we are again, back at our first post. Like the prodical [sic] sons we have returned. With all the new accommodations it is not the Cavaletto of old. Yprietti you are not forgotten so soon! Well have you stood the test - well have you won the race - long may you live - Viva Yprietti."

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 2010.001.1.4 Pocket diary 4 1918 December 9 - undated   14.7 x 9.4 x 8 cm Pocket-sized diary, 56p. Brown fabric covers, with sewn signatures of graph paper in memo pad style. Diary entries are written in both pencil and black ink.

Scope and Contents note

Excerpt from first page: ""Say [---] - what about our leaves - have you heard anthing - 'Why yes the captain has them in the office now - he just got them at Vicenza. The crowd is supposed to go tomorrow.' At last! Now if nobody interferes. Hell Creamer, did you hear the good news our passes have come thru and instead of fourteen days they've given us nineteen including traveling time to be sure...."

Excerpt from last pages: "After another feed we walked the streets a little and then lounged around a cafe. Next morning I felt about the same if not a little worse and the quinine - well I took enough to cure a mule. Paul stuck his head throught he door to tell us of a young fire they had in his room about midnight. Paul has a bad habit of throwing cigarette butts anywhere he happens to be. [---] out-of-doors and the stone floors have made this [---] easy habit to cultivate but where rugs are present it is a bad mistake, so the retiring smoke was [---] for the butt set fire to a rug which smoldered away while Paul slept. The night-watchman wkened him and the office fined him [real] money for damages...."

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