Growing Up in the Trenches: Fritz Draper Hurd and the Great War

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Department 1



On February 18, 1919, Second Lieutenant Fritz Draper Hurd supervised recreational activities for the men of the 103rd Field Artillery. The men breathed easy; they tossed a football and even engaged in a little gallows humor with a “gas mask race,” at last finding a use for the once fearsome yet no longer needed device. The Great War was over, and the men of the 103rd Field Artillery were content to lob footballs instead of shells as they awaited their discharge papers.

In 2012, Hurd’s alma mater, Gettysburg College, acquired the veteran’s diary, a scrapbook documenting his wartime achievements, and the transcript of a memoir an aging Hurd dictated in 1976. Supporting these three items are remarkable pieces of Western Front ephemera: an unopened first aid kid; the musette bag he used as an officer; a trench knife complete with brass knuckles on the hilt; letters; pamphlets; photographs; and a beautifully knitted pair of socks. Taken together, the collection offers a glimpse into a coming of age story typical of an average American college student during the First World War. [excerpt]

Required Publisher's Statement

Original version is available from the Adams County Historical Society at: http://store.achs-pa.org/category-s/1828.htm

This item is not available in The Cupola.