The Museum of Franco-American Cooperation at Blérancourt


The Florence Gould Pavilion

While debate runs strong about the relative merits of the external appearance of this renovated pavilion, visitors are generally unanimous in their praise of the interior. In fact, the architect, Yves Lion, won the coveted Equerre d'Argent award for his design. Even during the overcast days common to Picardy, the pavilion is luminous.

The purpose of the ground floor and mezzanine display ---which are liable to seem arcane to the unwary visitor--- is to show evidence of the relations between France and America in the world of art. The emphasis is on the Americans, who came to study art in France, whereas French artists in America went with less clear aims.

Starting with the Second Empire and trickling down after the Second World War, there was a real flow of eager young men and women coming to France, and more especially to Paris, in order to study art. Strangely enough, such a rush is unknown in any other field than art. Various reasons should be invoked to explain such an attraction to France: the increasing prosperity of the United States, along with its desire to gain access to the international cultural arena; the promotion of arts in France under Napoleon III and the Third Republic; the urge to go transmitted by those back home who had had the experience.

The Salons existed well before Napoleon III. However, under his reign, the image of France changed dramatically to one of a modern country enjoying renewed luxury, a new home for the arts, and a land of plenty as far as art commissions were concerned. The prestige of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, especially after the reform of 1863, started to outshine that of the Academies in London, Munich or Düsseldorf. Moreover, the bustling building atmosphere in the air pervading Paris from Haussmann on, all the new monumental sculpture then rising from the earth, the respect the art professions enjoyed in France, the attention given to art exhibitions by the media and the public, the stimulation and fraternity existing between art students in schools, all these feelings and events unknown in America were instrumental in making studies in Paris a unique experience, bringing to maturation many young artists from the United States.

Véronique Wiesinger, "Some General Ideas," Paris Bound, Americans in Art Schools 1868-1918 ; Edited by the Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris 1990 ; pp 13-14

There seems to be some aspect of artistic sensitivity which lends itself to various forms of medical service in times of war. Walt Whitman, for example, spent long hours at the bedsides of wounded Civil War soldiers. Is this because their craft concerns, to use 19th century terminology, the "moral" plane? In 1865, Dr. Thomas Evans, official dental surgeon at the French Court of Napoleon III, made this comment:

 ..a benevolent heart may derive some comfort from the doctrine of compensations which seems to exercise in the moral world a no less universal influence than gravity in the physical world. The more the chance of dying or being wounded, with the terrible torture and agony which accompanies it, has become frequent and fearsome in modern battles, the more also has public sympathy been multiplied, and the more also has developed the active and intelligent will to alleviate the ills inseparable from war and to bring remedies: the greater the afflictions, the more noble and ingenious the efforts undertaken to diminish their intensity.

Thomas W. Evans, La commission sanitaire, Dentu, Paris, 1865, pp i-ii.

Evans himself is of great interest to AFS historians, as he was the founder of the temporary field hospital in Paris ---the American Ambulance of 1870--- whose "reincarnation" of 1914 was the parent institution of the Field Service. Evans was also involved in early efforts to favor American university students coming to French universities: a movement which would lead to AFS's first exchange program: the American Field Service French Fellowships of 1919. Since July 1993, the Gould Pavilion boasts a key item from the Evans' collection, his carriage, a symbol of Franco-American cooperation if there ever was one!

[From a well-authenticated article in the Siège de Paris:] On the morning of the 4th of September [...] the Empress Eugénie rose at an early hour in order to perform the urgent duties which now devolved upon her as Regent of the Empire. [...] The Emperor a prisoner in Germany, the flower of the army ignominiously plucked, the Prussians advancing rapidly upon Paris, thousands deserting the city, the troops at hand mostly raw and undisciplined, Montmartre and La Villette in an uproar, surrounded by weak and vacillating councilors, the situation of the Regent was perilous in the highest degree.


The question finally arose, since it was deemed necessary that the Regent should depart for very life's sake, whether anyone had procured a carriage or provided any other way of escape. No; nobody had thought of that, and it was now too late. It was at this moment, however, that the Empress evinced her fortitude and promptitude in action: calling to her the various officers of the household, she gave them her last orders, and then turned to General Mellinet:

"General," she said, "can you defend the chateau without use of arms?"

"Madame," replied the old defender of the Tuileries, "I think not."

"Then, exclaimed the Empress, "all is lost. We must not add civil war to our disasters." [...]

At this point the Doctor began his story.

"On the afternoon of the 4th, Dr. Crane and myself met at the ambulance, the tents of which were just then being pitched, and after arranging some business matters, drove together in the landau to my house.[...] I left Doctor Crane in the carriage in front of the house, informing him I would be back immediately.

Here the speaker stopped and requested Dr. Crane to tell what next came about. [...]

Well, Doctor, I hardly know what to say. I waited there in the carriage over an hour, wondering at your prolonged absence; and I was on the point of going to the house at the end of that time, when Célestine was ordered to drive inside, which he did, stopping at the portico. I then got out and entered the hall, and walked toward the Doctor's office trusting to find him there. Before I reached the door, however, the Doctor appeared, and putting his finger quickly on his lips, bent forward, and whispered in my ear, "Can you guess who is here? and before I could answer, he whispered still lower --- "the Empress." [...]

[Evans continues the story:]

It was a little after five in the morning that the carriage, with the Empress, madame, the Doctor and myself within, left the house. "When you come to the Porte Maillot," I said to Célestine, "and the officer orders you to stop --- do so. But when he comes to the window to examine my passes, whip up your horses, and then go on!"

Arriving at the barrier, the Doctor filled up one window on one side with his head and shoulders, and I the window on the other, in such a way that both the ladies were effectually concealed from observers on either hand. As the officer approached, the horses started as if in affright, and then dashed on. So far, so good.

Passy was our first stopping place, then St. Germain, then Poissy and finally Ventres (so the doctor pronounced it) where we drove into a small lane to rest the horses awhile. I left the party here, and walked to the village, a little way beyond, to find out whether any rumor of the Empress's flight had reached the place, and also, if possible, to procure another carriage and fresh team of horses.


Something occurred to interrupt the Doctor here, for the notes I took at the time break off suddenly, and do not recommence until the party reached the coast. I can, however, recall such incidents as the Empress eating a scanty lunch out of the Doctor's beaver, sleeping in the corner of the carriage covered only by a great-coat, and their passing through villages crowded with men shouting "Vive la République!" and "à bas l'Empereur." At the coast they embarked on the yacht of Sir John [Burgoyne], and set out on their voyage across the channel.

"The water was very rough," continued the Doctor, "and the tide was running full and strong. We cast off, however, and headed for Ryde, whither we had predetermined to go. The night was dark; we couldn't see far ahead; and the winds blew with considerable violence. The sea on was too much for our frail craft. All reckoning was lost by some mistake of Sir John's, and everyone on board was fearfully sick. Farther out on the channel the boat was spun round like a mere feather [...] Hour after hour we sailed on thus, in momentary expectation of wrecking. But after a long, long struggle, the sea abated, lights appeared ahead, and pretty soon we were alongside the wharf at Ryde.".

Louis Judson Swinburne, Paris Sketches, Joel Mursell, Albany NY, 1875, pp 181 ff.

The day before the declaration of war Dr. Evans called a meeting of representative men of the American colony in Paris. Twenty-five gathered at his office and established a committee called the American International Sanitary Committee. Dr. Evans was named president, with his faithful colleague, Dr. Crane, as secretary. The doctor at once ordered ten U.S. Army regulation tents through his friend and New York lawyer, Horace Ely. What Evans had in mind was to set up a field hospital under canvas, instead of crowding the sick and wounded into churches and public buildings, as was customarily done in Europe. It was decided that the best place to establish the ambulance was in Paris, since the Germans might advance rapidly as indeed they did.

Gerald Carson, The Dentist and the Empress, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983; p. 107

The Evans carriage represents an anomaly in the upstairs exhibits of the Florence Gould Pavilion, even though Evans himself was a patron of the arts in his own right. Not only did he collect works himself or publicize art in the columns of his English-language Paris newspaper, the American Register, but also, he was the founder of the Lafayette Home, which helped provide housing for young American women who had come to France to study art.

If Evans is present, another important American patron of the arts living in Paris, who played a key role in promoting modern art in the early 20th century, is missing: Gertrude Stein. It should be mentioned that Gertrude Stein donated a truck, which she drove, to the Paris Depot of the American Fund for the French Wounded, of which both she and her friend Alice B. Toklas were listed as members in the Annual Report of 1917. During the war, their driving was mostly confined to southern France.

In visiting the museum's variegated art collection, you may note several sculptures by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. It was Mrs. Whitney who, when the war broke out, financed the transformation of the Oratorio at Juilly into an extension of the American Ambulance.

A number of AFS drivers were artists and, in leisurely moments during the war, practiced their discipline: Waldo Peirce, Donald MacLaughlan, Herman Webster, Jack Wright and Victor White, the Irishman whose painting beckons us from over the stairwell to visit the downstairs display!

Victor White. Cappy-sur-Somme. 1915

William Yorke Stevenson, who describes his experience with Section One in his delightful At the Front in a Flivver, writes:

I have been switched on to Victor White's car. He is an artist, and quite a good one, and they let him off for a week or so occasionally to paint war pictures. With true artistic temperament, he leaves his car in a rather sketchy condition, and I spent most of yesterday on my back under it cleaning the gasoline line. His brake does not hold, nor does the high gear, so chasing "blessés" with it is no merry jest. (Flivver, p. 43)

14 April. I spent last night at the advance post at Cappy. [...]

All sorts of jobs fall to the lot of an American Ambulance man ! To-day, I posed with Victor White, the Irish artist, for the French artist, Tardieu. He has a Legion of Honor and other medals and is very well known. White took the part of a French "blessé," and I was the Ambulance man helping him to the car. The picture is to be used as a poster for the advertisement of a "movie" of our Section, recently taken to be shown in America. (p. 51)

However, it would appear that White's painting, not Tardieu's was the one used for this purpose. An inventory of AFS mementos on display at the opening of the Volunteer Pavilion in 1938 and published in the AFS Bulletin of 1939 notes:

Photograph of painting done at front by French artist Victor [sic] Tardieu (original destroyed by fire).

Stevenson's diary entries continue:

May 10. Victor White is cited by the order of the Division "for coolness, efficiency, and bravery under fire." He will get the Croix and everybody is delighted. He was loading two wounded men at Cappy when the Germans turned loose their shells and all the men who were helping beat it for the cellar. Vic finished the job by himself, started his car, and drove the men down out of shell-fire to Cerisy. (p 70)

White and Campbell finally received the decorations to-day. An amusing incident occurred when the General took White (who had been told to stand out in front of the line) to be a mere onlooker and ordered him back. It had to be explained to him that this was the hero who was to be decorated ! He apologized, of course, but it got every one giggling and somewhat marred the solemnity of the occasion. (p 76)


Our picket poste was established at the village of Cappy. To reach the village from Méricourt we passed over a stretch of road marked with the warning sign, "This road under shell-fire: convoys or formed bodies of troops will not pass during daylight." Continuing, we crossed the Somme, at this point entering the English line, and proceeded to the village of Bray. Thence the road wandered through a rolling land for a kilometre or so, again crossing the river and a canal at the outskirts of the village. Cappy lay in a depression behind a rise of ground about a kilometre and a half from the line. In peace times it was doubtless a rather attractive little place of perhaps three hundred people. Now, devastated by days and months of bombardment, and the passing of countless soldiers, deserted by its civil population and invaded by countless rats, it presented an aspect forlorn beyond imagination. [...]

The dressing-station was located in what in peace times was the town hall, or mairie, a two-story brick building having a central structure flanked by two small wings. The building was banked with sandbags which, while not rendering it by any means shell-proof, did protect it from shrapnel and éclats. The central room was devoted to the wounded, who were brought in from the trenches on little two-wheeled, hand-pushed trucks, each truck supporting one stretcher. A shallow trough was built around the sides of the room and in this, upon straw, the wounded were placed in rows, while awaiting the doctor. In this portion of the building was also located the mortuary where those who died after being brought in were placed preparatory to burial. The bodies were placed two on a stretcher, the head of one resting on the feet of another. It was a ghastly place, this little room, with its silent, mangled tenants, lying there awaiting their last bivouac. On one side of the room was a small, silver crucifix above which hung the tricolored flag of the Republic guarding those who had died that it might live. (Robert W. Imbrie, SSU1, AFSH/127-130)

The downstairs display

The bulk of the AFS collections are exhibited in six spaces downstairs in the original foundations of the chateau.

The ambulance awaits you in the room below! As you go down the stairs, you catch sight of the bust of Stephen Galatti ---whose double may have already greeted you in New York--- and of the large AFS memorial flag.

The Ambulance Room

At the bottom of the stairs, turn left

Three major themes are announced by the first objects one encounters: American participation, the French cause and mourning.

A.1: Paul W. Bartlett, Uncle Sam shaking hands with the equestrian figure of Lafayette, circa 1917. Print done after a picture by Eugène Courboin.

What is explicitly referred to is the United States government joining the Allies in 1917, returning Lafayette's favor, as it were. However, what is also implied is volunteer action and particularly that of Americans who said "Lafayette, we are here!" long before 1917.

A.2: An Alsace-Lorraine flag

France's defeat at the hands of the Prussians in 1870 and the loss of the German-speaking provinces of Alsace and Lorraine were in everyone's mind in 1914-1918. In May 1915, Piatt Andrew sent a sprig of a pine tree from liberated Alsace ---a trophy and a souvenir--- back to French ambassador, Jules Jusserand, in Washington.

A.3: Waldo Peirce, Aux Morts, circa 1919. Oil painting done for AFS's Memorial Volume.

In 1921, the AFS Association published its Memorial Volume of the American Field Service in France, "Friends of France" 1914-1917 which included a photo and biographical sketch of each one of the 127 former AFS drivers who had died during the war. The frontispiece of this book was a color reproduction of this painting. Waldo Peirce had been a colleague of Richard Hall ---the first AFS driver to be killed, Christmas 1915--- in Section Three and very much moved by Hall's death.

A.4: "Hunk o' Tin" is a model-T Ford ambulance, identified as belonging to Section Sanitaire U [SA] Thirty, registration number 141858, American Field Service car number 270. Section 30 was formed in July of 1917 at the AFS training camp at May-en-Multien. As frequently the case, it was made up of boys from the same school:

If the markings on the ambulance are typical, they do not jive with the records, so it is far from sure that this particular vehicle saw action serving hospitals behind the Verdun area with Section Thirty. Moreover, the color, olive drab, is that of the ambulances once they had been militarized under the American Expeditionary Force, their original color having been battleship gray.

What is sure is that it was shipped back to the United States and was guarded preciously by Ed Seccombe in his garage in Derby, Connecticut. (Ed had driven car number 27 in Section Two, and then in its continuation as United States Army Ambulance Service 626).

Ed Seccombe and friend in Derby, Connecticut

I was glad to get your letter and it is good to know that you still cherish the memory of the old Field Service. Probably many do, but there is little evidence of it. I hoped years ago that we would have another Bulletin, and a fresh directory of the members. I sent Miss MacDonald many a letter with items for it, and she promised over and over again to put the material together.
I hope the old ambulance is not too much of a burden for you. One of these days, we shall find some war memorial building, in which we can house the souvenirs of the Field Service in which it can occupy the central place. At least I hope so. I have the old section flags and many other souvenirs, which I shall gladly hand over. And Waldo Peirce has a room full of old wood signs in Paris, that he is keeping for the same purpose.

So if you can keep the ambulance, I hope that you will do so, until the opportunity comes.

letter from A Piatt Andrew to Ed Seccombe, dated 4 Nov 1929

On page 5 of the Bulletin of the American Field Service Association, published in New York in March 1935:

For the Field Service Room at Blérancourt we are planning to take back to France the ambulance that was sent over here during the war, to serve as a model for the ambulances for the U.S.A.A.S., and that Edward Seccombe (SSU2) has been taking care of for us up in Connecticut.

Ed shipped it to Blérancourt as attested by receipt number 122, stamped August 18 1938, from the Normandie, French Line, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. "Received from American Field Service for shipping 1 Ambulance." The receipt bears the handwritten address: Musee du Louvre, Paris, France, Musee de La Cooperation France Am, Blerancourt, Aisne, France.

It turned out that the hole left in the side of the foundation wall was not large enough to allow the "Hunk o'Tin" to pass. Miss Morgan's local mechanic took out his tools and sawed the ambulance body into several pieces in order to fit the vehicle through sideways! Given the shipping date, the ambulance must have arrived only a day or two before the inauguration, and there was not time to find any other, less violent solution to the problem. In any case, the operation proved to be a success.

The story is told here that when the Museum was planned, the French Government sent out word to the military automobile service parks to send in some specimens of the petites voitures américaines. Not a single specimen could be found. All had either been broken up, remodelled or sold to private individuals. Not more than eight years ago the writer saw on the streets of Paris, one of these voitures, which had been regenerated to serve as a delivery cart. But is was only summarily disguised. It seemed to be running pretty well at that date.

However, one of the ambulances had long ago been taken to America and preserved in the hope that some such appropriate and permanent resting place might eventually be found for it. It had been for some years under the good care of Edward N. Seccombe, SSU 2, at Derby, Connecticut, and when the time came for its to be shipped to France, Seccombe had taken great pains to see that it was put into the best possible shape.[...]

The old ambulance itself happily arrived from Le Havre in very good time. We had to get a mechanic and a carpenter in the village to take it to pieces, as the space the masons had left in the wall to pass it through was not big enough. Once in, she was put together again, and we put blocks under her axles so that the tires were just off the ground, and there she sits. Her success was enormous and you should have seen the old ambulanciers leaping about and on her, arranging the curtains, trying the steering wheel, winding the klaxon, arguing about what model it was, and generally making sentimental fools of themselves.

Bulletin of the American Field Service, June 1939, Blérancourt

The ambulance centerpiece stands between symbols of the leading spirits of the American Field Service: Stephen Galatti and "Doc" Andrew. It is flanked by tokens of its identity--- on the one side, a statement of accomplishment, the memorial flag, the back flap of a Section One ambulance; on the other, damaged radiators reminding of danger and death, a film showing the "boys" in action. In the back, panel emblems evoke the different sections and their personalities, a small spur corridor is devoted to the design and financing of the Field Service ambulance, to AFS's parent organization, the American Ambulance, and to pioneer Section Three ---whose members included both Stephen Galatti and artist Waldo Peirce.

A.5: The bust of Stephen Galatti

Stephen Galatti was born in Monmouth, New Jersey on August 6, 1888, the son of Greek immigrants, Paul Stephen and Angélique (Kessisoglov) Galatti. He attended preparatory school at St. Mark's School.

Robert Thayer, an AFS stalwart of the early high school exchange program days, attributed Galatti's all-absorbing interest in young people to his experience at St. Mark's school.

Stephen had followed his older brother John to St. Mark's and also like John and his father before him, Steve had gone to India to seek his fortune. The war came, however, and he had gone to France with the Ambulance Service.

As a foreigner in the United States (his father was Greek and his mother was, I think, Russian) he was tremendously impressed and very much moved by the way the American boys at St. Mark's School had taken him in. He had suddenly found his place in the world and this acceptance made him feel the importance of young people being without prejudice, and getting to understand the point of view of somebody with an entirely different cultural background.

R. Thayer, quoted in W.P.Orrick, The First Thirty Years of the AFS Programs, New York, AFS Archives, 1991, p 63

In 1910, Galatti graduated from Harvard College, where he was quarterback of the football team. He then joined Ralli Brothers, East India Merchants, for whom he worked from 1911 to 1914, employed in their New York, London and Calcutta offices.

In 1914, Galatti left Ralli Brothers and, at the outbreak of World War I, joined the American Embassy in London where he stayed until November. In 1915, he joined the Field Service where he was assigned to the Section Three, the Harvard Unit calling itself "Alsace Reconquise".

Not long afterwards, Piatt Andrew drafted Galatti to "quarterback" AFS headquarters operations.

After the war, Galatti returned to the United States where for several years he coached the St. Mark's football team. Meanwhile, in 1919, he joined the banking firm of John Munroe and Co., working in their New York and Paris offices until the company was dissolved in 1930. From 1930 to 1954, he was with the New York stockbroking firm Jackson and Curtis (later Paine, Webber, Jackson and Curtis).

In 1925, Galatti married Grace S. Montgomery with whom he had one child, Stephen, Jr. Nine years later, his wife died. He never remarried.

In 1939, as the world moved into another war, nothing was going to keep this former quarterback on the sidelines. He would remain in New York, however, and fight the war from Beaver Street. AFS Headquarters would trade the company of the Eiffel Tower for that of Wall Street.

When he first came into the picture, all during the war, he was a broker at Paine Webber, and didn't get to our office until after the markets closed. So he came at three in the afternoon and stayed until seven or eight or nine or ten, during the war, whatever was necessary.

W. Hooten, quoted in W.P. Orrick, The First Thirty Years of the AFS Programs, AFS Archives, NY 1991, p. 64

Stephen Galatti heads the AFS, he runs the AFS, he is the AFS. It was his sincere belief in the ambulance service that revived it... Records made overseas, victories in the red-tape battle of Washington, and the smooth functioning of the AFS offices at home are all due in some measure to Stephen Galatti's personality. He is a true altruist, giving his all and getting in return only the knowledge that an ideal can be put to practical use. [...]

Always the dynamo that made the whole thing run, Stephen Galatti was at its center. "In a single day," Joan Belmont wrote, "he has been seen conferring with a mysterious bigwig from the inner sanctum of the State Department, interviewing a shy prospective volunteer, taking messages over the telephone, carrying cold drinks up from the near-by lunch counter, and, being the last to leave the office for the day, turning out the lights and locking the windows. He refuses to have a separate office; instead he sits at one corner of the vast room that is AFS HQ NY. In front of him and all around him typewriters clack in his ear, phones ring in every direction. A steady stream of ambulance drivers, old and new, stagger in under loads of duffel, greeting each other with shouts worthy of any desert army... Mr. Galatti does not live in spite of these disturbances but with them. He says he likes to know what's going on..."

G. Rock, The History of the American Field Service, 1920-1955, New York: Platen Press, 1956, p. 587

In a war he functioned beautifully because he had very good people running the headquarters in Cairo or Naples, Calcutta, Bombay, wherever they were; and what he did was really to keep track of everything, and keep the money flowing. He would sit there with his little pads and pencils and keep track of everything, but he was always thinking. [...]

He was remarkable in the student program too, because he did know every person in it. He couldn't tell you whether they were in this school or that school, but he was absolutely great if a problem developed with a student. His instinctive kindness and intuitive sweetness knew how to handle the situation. He would solve the problem just like that. That was his great, great talent. [...]

When we started the Field Service Scholarship program, he still came at three and would stay until seven or seven-thirty. [...] Steve didn't have any money until after his mother died --- he really had no money, and he just spent all his time at the Field Service. He did nothing else but raise money. That was his other gift: he was an incredible fund-raiser. [...] It is interesting that everyone who was associated with him and the scholarship program agrees that people did what Steve wanted them to do. This is true of volunteers, of staff, of Trustee members and directors, and of donors. Once you had shown an interest in AFS, you were hooked for life.

William Hooton, quoted in W.P. Orrick, op.cit., p 64

On October 11, 1969, Galatti's bust was unveiled in a ceremony held at the Museum at Blérancourt, with AFS President Arthur Howe, and Jean Auba, President of AFS France.

For the moment, everyone is gathered on the large lawn in front. Between two flagpoles with flags flying, the bust of Mr. Galatti. The youngest returnees don't know much about him. Simply that he came to France in 1915, founded the AFS scholarships in 1946 with the means at hand, died a few years ago. They still don't know why the old timers, when they speak of him, often have to clear their throats in a vain attempt to hide their emotions.

Gérard Sautereau, "Blérancourt, samedi 11 octobre 1969, Inauguration du buste de M. Stephen Galatti" AFS France, n° 11, January 1970

A.6: Doc's uniform

As the representative of the Field Service, Piatt Andrew frequented a good many high government officials and military brass. As a volunteer, he had no rank although, thanks to his friend Robert Bacon, he carried the title "Inspector of Ambulances" Nonetheless, Doc was always impeccably dressed, whether it be in the modified Anglo-French uniform worn by the American Ambulance drivers in the beginning, or whether it be this regulation U.S.Army colonel's garb. While AFS dress was often inconsistent, Doc was always to be seen in white shirt and perfectly tailored clothes. In fact, to judge by his love of disguises and fancy dress parties in the privacy of his home in Gloucester, one might conclude that Doc was fond of the sort of costumery and ceremony that his military friends excelled in!

In any case, the independent "acting" ceased with the militarization of AFS in late 1917. This uniform is proof of Doc's willingness to cooperate with the U.S.Army, even though it had first ignored him: he was promoted from his initial rank of major to that of lieutenant colonel.

A.7: Eugene Paul Ullman, Hospital room of American Ambulance of Juilly, 1916. Oils. A donation of the artist's grandson.

While the stories of both the extension of the American Ambulance at Juilly and of the colonial troops, such as the Zouave portrayed here, are intriguing, it is the "missing person" of the story who is most interesting to an AFS pilgrim: the artist's son and the donator's father! Eugene Paul Ullman was one of those American artists, like those whose works are displayed upstairs, who came to France to study art and who did quite well. His son, Paul F. Ullman was a member of the first AFS section to come to France in April 1940.

wall with windows

A.8: Statement of Accomplishment

This presentation includes a copy of the letter which Marshal Joffre wrote as an introduction to the 1920 3-volume history of the American Field Service in France, an enumeration of four points through which AFS felt its contribution had been of worth, and the emblems of three of its units.

translation of Joffre's letter:

 Paris, 28 March 1919

It is through acts that one recognizes true friends. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

What other words might one inscribe in the frontispiece of this book "Friends of France," a true breviary of heroic charity and joyful self-denial.

In leafing through these pages I seem to hear the voices of those thousands of French wounded picked up on the banks of the Marne by the ambulances of the "American Field Service," taken down the slopes of the Hartmannsweiler, pulled out of the mud of Flanders, snatched from the hell of Verdun. May it be permitted a friend of America to here be their spokesman and tell these "Friends of France," these hardy volunteers of the avant-garde, the infinite gratitude of his country.


The insignia represent units 1, 14 and 2.

A.9: The Memorial Flag, AFS in France in 1914-1918

The stars stand for the 127 AFS drivers who died during the period of the Great War. The AFS drivers also remembered their fallen comrades in a scholarship program dedicated to them (begun in 1919 and merged with the AFSIS in 1955).

In order to provide an enduring memorial for the one hundred and twenty Field Service men who gave their lives to the Cause, and in order to perpetrate among future generations of French and American youth the mutual understanding and fraternity of spirit which marked their relations during the war, an organization has been established, known as the American Field Service Fellowships for French Universities. This organization proposes to award fellowships for advanced study in France to students selected from American colleges, universities and technical establishments and fellowships for French students in American universities. These fellowships will, when endowed, be named after the men of the American Field Service who died in France; and it is intended, if sufficient funds can be obtained, to name a fellowship in memory of each one of these men.

A.10: Canvas back of SSU1 ambulance, decorated with Indian head

The choice of the Indian Head emblem will be discussed below in the section devoted to the units whose insignia are displayed on the back wall. Above all, along with Victor White's painting of Cappy, this relic of a Section One ambulance represents AFS's beginnings:

wall with radiators

In the room with Hunk o' Tin are several radiator fronts, punctured and battered by shell fire, which belonged to the cars of the Field Service's first casualties. One is from the car in which Richard Hall was killed, on Christmas Eve of 1915, in Alsace, the other is from the car driven by Roswell Sanders of Section 4 at Verdun the night that he was showing a new recruit, Edward Kelley, the ropes.

A.11: Richard Hall

At midnight Christmas Eve, 1915, he left the valley to get his load of wounded for the last time. Alone, ahead of him two hours of lonely driving up the mountain. Perhaps he was thinking of other Christmas Eves, perhaps of his distant home, and of those who were thinking of him.... The next American to pass, found him by the roadside halfway up the mountain. His face was calm and his hands still in position to grasp the wheel. A shell had struck his car and killed him instantly, painlessly. A chance shell in a thousand had struck him at his post, in the morning of his youth. (Waldo Peirce , AFSH, I/306)

A.12: Edward Kelley

Kelley was a passenger in the car of Roswell Sanders who wrote:

As we neared the village of Marre, two shells landed about 150 or 200 yards away from us, and I turned to Kelley and said, "As these are the first shells you have seen, they sound pretty good, don't they?" and he answered, "Yes, if they don't come too close." Not more than twenty minutes later, when we were in the village, a shell landed directly in front of the car---not more than three feet away. (Roswell Sanders, SSU4, AFSH, III/158-159)

William Yorke Stevenson of Section One later reported:

William W. Wallace [...] told Roche and me the story of the accident. Kelley was new. He had been at the Section only five or six days and had not even been assigned a car. Indeed, one of the most pathetic things about it was that his mates did n't know his first name, even, and I had to get it from their Lieutenant. He was taken by Sanders as orderly to see the advance post at Esnes, on the side of Hill 304, near the Mort Homme. There had been nothing doing there for a month or more. In fact all the fighting was on the right bank, around Fleury and the Froide-Terre. So that, barring the customary shelling, it was practically a quiet Sector. Well, they got within a hundred yards of the "abri," when the shell burst on the road about ten feet in front of the car. It blew in the radiator, but otherwise did not injure the car. Kelley received the charge full in the head. Sanders was only hit by three small "éclats," two of which cut his cheeks and neck. The third entered his mouth, and breaking his left teeth lodged in the left side of his skull, where it still is. The force had been checked by the steering wheel which was first hit by all three "éclats." Sanders was able to stop the car and walk about halfway to the "abri" calling, before he fell. Gooch, who had arrived a few minutes before, heard a "brancardier" shouting for a stretcher and got one out of his car. Not until he actually got a lantern and saw Sanders, did he know that any of our men had been hurt. He asked Sanders about Kelley and Sanders gasped out, "Kelley's dead," and then fainted. (Flivver, p. 227-229)

A.13: certificate of service, ambulance n° 511-4, section 17.

April of 1917 saw the formation, at rue Raynouard, of Section Seventeen, and its departure for the field. As Chef came an old Section Eight man, Neftel, forever to be known as "Nefty." From all the ends of the States were gathered the members of the new group, from Nevada to Virginia, from Texas to New England. Their most common bond withal was that they sailed from home, the most of them, on St. Patrick's Day [March 17th] and that they were "all in it" before we declared war. The twenty ambulances were a memorial to Dr. Charles Goddard Weld, of Boston. (James W.D.Seymour, SSU17, AFSH, II/155)

 .. the Second Battle of Verdun was on, and we who had lived for it through June and July saw only the edges of it in August. But labor there was in profusion for every one. All cars worked all the time. One slept by snatches when one could, wherever one chanced to be, and ate spasmodically of what happened along, or went unfed; and always mud upon mud, or dust thick on dust. Day after day, night after night, of loading blessés in one's car, of tearing along swirling, crowded roads, dodging between camions and around swaying caissons, sliding past trudging lines of Boche prisoners in sunset dust-clouds, on and ever on, for the hospitals were far away. Then to unload the poor groaning burden into the cool, spacious salles de triage at the various places---Fleury or Froidos, Ville or Rarecourt; and hurriedly to crank up and sag wearily, hastily back to take another trip and another load and yet another---to keep the current of evacuation flowing easily and rapidly. (James W.D.Seymour, SSU17, AFSH, II/169-170)

A.14: VCR monitor

This is for screening a copy of AFS's 1916 film, Our American Boys in the European War.

Easter Sunday, April 23, 1916.

More moving pictures were taken to-day of our Section. The films certainly should boost the American Ambulance. Although they are not faked, of course, only the most thrilling stunts we do were taken. They can't, for instance, depict the endless car-cleaning the fumigating, and many such dry details. Being Easter, we were treated to eggs, not only at headquarters, but even here at Cappy. (Flivver, p. 57)

In the journeys of our speakers through various parts of America with the moving pictures which the French Army had taken of our men on duty, the interest in and knowledge of events in Europe varied much less than might have been expected. Wherever there was little enthusiasm it seemed generally to have been the result of even less first-hand information. Although publicity and businesslike preparation for showing the pictures naturally increased the size of our audiences, the proportionate returns seem to have depended more on the sympathy and revelation of the pictures themselves than on the size or type of audiences. [...]

The press notice and publicity resulting from these pictures lent a keen impetus to recruiting. Harvard, Cornell, California, and many other colleges, and cities throughout the country, contributed large numbers of men and cars. The first section of men to go across as a unit was sent by Leland Stanford University, and sailed directly after the German declaration of unrestricted warfare, two months before this country entered the war. (Henry Sleeper, AFSH I/45 & 47)

A.15: poster

Our American Boys in the European War, Victor White, Ambulance Driver, 1916 SSU1, American Ambulance. A variant on the oil painting hung upstairs, the poster was produced in large and small sizes. It shows an ambulance loading up at a field poste de secours. It is marked SSU (U=USA) as opposed to SSAA (AA=American Ambulance).

the Ambulance Sections

These panels symbolize the individual "sections sanitaires". As of September 1, 1914, the French Army Automobile Service had 25 such sections, all of them French. This number rose to 120 sections by January 1, 1916, including the first four AFS sections. By the end of April 1917, there were 193 (AFS grew to 33 sections by November 1) and 206 at the end of the war. After November 1, 1917, the United States Army Ambulance Service raised 81 sections. (See: A. Mignon, Le service de santé pendant la guerre 1914-1918, Paris: Masson; vol. IV, p. 375.)

six ambulance side panels with section insignia
(from left to right, top row first)

A.16: SSU 70. "Yes I spick Englich" mascot of the French bathing girl done by George Hall of section 70 on the side of the section's White Truck.

A.17: SSU 1 w/ Indian head

July 20, 1916. Tardieu has designed an Indian head as the "Convoi's" emblem for the squad, taking his lines from the regular Indian on the $5 gold-piece. This lends a real "ton" to the cars, the head being stenciled life-size in red, black, and white on the sides, and, as one might say, it puts Section "One" on the map. (William Yorke Stevenson, SSU 1, in Flivver, p. 145)

A.18: SSU 2 w/ star and crescent

The Islamic emblem marks the section's service with the Moroccan Division. Later, after militarization, the section was renamed SSU 626 and assigned to another Colonial division.

Section Two, now Six-Twenty-Six, was attached to the 48th Division, made up of zouaves and Algerians on August 17, 1917, and stayed with the same Division right up to the time of going home. (Edward N.Seccombe, SSU2, AFSH, I/275)

It stayed in line until September 1st, when the lines were established in front of Coucy-le-Château. As the lines advanced, we had postes in Nampcel, Blérancourdelle, Blérancourt... (ibid, I/276)

A.19: SSU 4 w/ black cat

Members of the Section 4 remember during this period the frequent gas attacks made by the Germans on the French batteries between Vacherauville and Bras, and the difficulty of driving through the gas at night wearing a gas-mask. Several of us were gassed finally, having served in the Verdun sector continuously since June, and outlived there five other sections, Section Four was relieved on October 22, 1917, and given a rest which it had richly earned, and its last month's work closed in a fitting manner a long and honorable career as a member of the American Field Service. How honorable this career was is best illustrated, perhaps, by the fact that when the Section was finally relieved, Lieutenant de Turckheim, its French Commander, received four Croix de Guerres "to be given to four of the most deserving members." "But I returned them," states that officer, saying that "all had done so well that it would be unfair to pick out any four." (Charles H.Hunking, SSU4, AFSH, I/435)

Note the typical donor or memorial plaque.

A.20: SSU 18 w/ croix de guerre and fourragère

August 31st was the red-letter day in the annals of Section Eighteen, when between seven hundred and eight hundred blessés were handled and the cars kept in motion almost constantly. The men performed their work efficiently and thoroughly, and the wounded were removed from the poste de secours just as rapidly as they could receive the necessary attention and be placed in the cars. Section Four furnished ten cars which worked in conjunction with Section Eighteen during the major portion of the attack, and they are entitled to the greatest praise for the aid they gave us. [...]

But the principal event and the climax of the Section's career was the conferring upon it of the Croix de Guerre, in recognition of the work done at the Verdun attack described above. (Ernest R. Schoen, SSU18, AFSH, II/205-208)

A.21: SSU 14 w/ FF and sequoia

Section Fourteen was the first section of the Field Service to come from the Pacific Coast, and in recognition of this fact, which was significant of the extending interest throughout the States in France and the war, the departure of the Section from Paris was marked with considerable ceremony. (Joseph H. Eastman, SSU14, AFSH, II/85-88)

A.22: Bernard Naudin, AFS diploma in the name of Henry M. Suckley

French volunteer soldiers ---there were 17,000--- in the American War for Independance were held to be the forerunners of AFS's "paternalistic" helpers: the American drivers are portrayed as bigger than the French soldiers. The shield at the top is that of the American Ambulance, a heraldic element which, over the years, metamorphosed into first the globe and then into the AFS logo of today.

Henry Suckley, who is pictured with Steve Galatti (on the wall opposite the map of the United States with ambulance donor symbols) when both were in S.S.U.3 in December of 1915, later accompanied Unit Ten to Albania where he was killed by an airplane bomb.. In this commemorative display, Suckley is remembered as another AFS martyr.

The Ambulances

A.23: Map of the United States, decorated with AFS section flags, prepared by Harry de Maine for the 1938 pavilion opening, showing ambulance donations by state. Harry de Maine, an Englishman, worked at AFS headquarters throughout AFS's time as a volunteer service, 1914-1917.

Money for the purchase of ambulances was donated by individuals, by institutions such as schools, by fund-raising campaigns. The ambulances bore brass plaques with the name of the donor or an inscription which the donor requested. They were numbered and reports on their service were sent back to the donor(s).

A.24: photographs:

---the first ambulances at the Ford plant in Levallois-Perret
---the inside of an ambulance viewed from the rear
---wood ambulance bodies
---interior view
---side view of ambulance
---ambulance cemetery
---new ambulances workshop
---Kelley's ambulance
---chassis repair shop

The American Ambulance
engravings by Caroline and Frank Armington

Artists doing paramedical work during the war, Frank Armington and his wife, Caroline, both worked at the American Ambulance. In the catalogue raisonné of the Armington work, Caroline and Frank Armington, Canadian painter-etchers in Paris, Peel: Art Gallery of Peel, 1990, Janet Braide and Nancy Parke-Taylor write:

Although Canadian by birth, Caroline and Frank Armington made their reputations in France. Studying and working in Paris for nearly thirty-five years, they became firmly established in the artistic community in the Latin Quarter. This part of Paris was home to many of the artists, writers and musicians who frequented its art schools and cafés. The Armingtons were drawn to the Académie Julian and Académie de la Grande Chaumière, as were so many other expatriates who were "serious" art students. Indeed, Paris boasted so many foreigners that the Armingtons lived most of their lives relatively confined to the "American colony." [page XIV]

Having initially continued to travel during the First World War, the couple by 1917 were staying close to Paris. Refusing to leave France, both the Armingtons assisted with the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris, Frank working as an orderly, and Caroline as a nurse. The ambulance unit was organized by the American expatriates living in Paris, including many of the Armingtons' friends from the American Church. Among them was the Canadian poet Robert Service, who served as an ambulance driver and stretcher-bearer, and who afterwards would use these experiences in his writing. These activities and institutions perhaps provide some indication of both the size of the American "colony" at the time, as well as the somewhat insular nature of this group. Frank documented this involvement with the American Ambulance Hospital in eight etchings, all created in 1915. [page 41]

Caroline attended both public school (Broddytown School) and high school in Brampton, and as an adolescent travelled to Toronto on Saturdays to study in the studio of J.W.L. Forster, the established portrait-painter. Forster was a cousin of Caroline's father, and while in Toronto Caroline often stayed with another relative, Albert Irwin Forster. Although this extracurricular education relied upon the assistance of her relatives, Caroline's parents did not support her artistic studies financially. According to members of the family, this was most likely due to her parents' disapproval of Caroline's eagerness to be an artist. They could not condone this choice as a profession for their daughter, much less her idea of going to Europe to study art.

In order to earn her own living, Caroline took on two of the jobs then available to women. She taught in Halifax, and then became a nurse-in-training at the Guelph General Hospital. This latter vocation was to be a convenient means of support, for Caroline worked as a nurse in Toronto, New York and Paris. [p.17]

The American Ambulance, Paris, prints are: Two Heroes of Algiers, edition of 50; Glimpse of the American Ambulance, Neuilly- sur-Seine, Paris, possible edition of 26; An International Conference, edition of 60; Ward '77', three states, edition of 60; Altammar, edition of 80; Fend l'Air, edition of 80; Moussa, edition of 80; and The Mother's Visit, edition of 80. (Etching Record Book of Frank Armington, numbers 152 to 159, all dated 1915.) [page 78]

A.25: 2 engravings by Frank Armington: the dog called "Fend-l'Air"

23rd December, 1914

Our preparation for Christmas, music and decoration, are getting on better than I could have believed. Still I must interrupt them for a moment to note down a very original arrival: that of a Sergeant of Zouaves and his dog "Fend-l'Air," who, for a time, was called "Tue-Boches."

Their story has been told in the papers with the addition of far from accurate details. It is quite pretty enough to stand by itself. I am going to give it as I heard it from the Zouave this morning. If there are gaps in it, it is because I did not want him to talk too much; he is very weak still.

It was on the 12th December he was wounded, at Roclincourt, near Arras, in a trench, or rather a branch of a trench, on the first line. Branches are the passages which connect the trenches. A bomb burst near him, killing his neighbours and covering him with earth, the displacement of air having made the planks that supported the wall give way. Badly hurt, three-parts covered with earth, with no one near him but dead comrades, he was giving way to despondency, when his dog, which had not left him during the course of the War, came up to him, eager to do what he could and uttering the most loving lamentations.

"It is not true that he dug me out, but he revived my spirits. I began to disengage my arm my head, and the rest of my body; and, seeing this, he began himself to scratch his best all round me and then to fawn upon me and lick my wounds. The lower part of my right leg was torn off, the left struck in the calf, a splinter of shell in the thigh, two fingers gone and my left arm burnt. I dragged myself all bleeding as far as the trench where I waited for an hour for the stretcher-bearers. They took me to the dressing-station at Roclincourt, where they took off my foot with its boot; it was held on only by a sinew. From there I was carried on a stretcher to Anzin; then in a car to another dressing-station, where they cut some more off me; then to the hospital at Houvin-Hauvigneul, where I stayed five or six days. An ambulance-train took me after that to Aubervilliers, from where I came here. My dog had been present at the first dressing, and came to meet me at Anzin; he was allowed to be with me at the hospital and in the ambulance train."

At the Aubervilliers station they were obliged to be separated; seeing how serious the case of the poor Zouave was, the military surgeon ordered his evacuation to us.

"May my dog go with me ?" asked the wounded man.

Much touched he was, the surgeon could not take it upon himself to send a dog to the military hospital.

"But what will become of him ? and how shall I find him again ?"

The lady at the head of the canteen promised to keep him and to take care of him.

"Thank you, Madame; but hold him well in, or he would burst himself if he couldn't follow the ambulance."

In fact it was not without difficulty that, after the two friends had said farewell to each other, the one that was left was held back.

More than one of the nurses were moved to tears at the sight.

The editor of a newspaper writes:

"Safely tied-up in the canteen-van, overwhelmed with dainties he would not touch, he stayed there two days. Having forgotten to ask his name, they ingeniously called him Tue-Boches.

My little Tue-Boches! Dear Tue-Boches, eat your soup. Your master is going on well ! you'll soon see him again ! Here's a bit of sugar. . .' But Tue-Boches kept silent, refused everything, like to die of grief.

The whole canteen was in despair; they could not stand it,

'Come, Tue-Boches' said the directress, 'we, will try to get you back to your friend.'

And they went to the American Hospital and, told the story of the saving of the Zouave; and the dog, duly combed and washed with the most refined antiseptics, was admitted to the hospital where he found his master and his appetite once again. Admired by all, resplendent and happy, Fend-l'Air never quits the bedside of his recovered friend. Both are doing wonderfully well; they will shortly go back to the Front to become once more together, as heartily as before, valiant Tue-Boches."

These last words, to be perfectly correct, require a few little alterations. It is quite true that Fend-l'Air is admired and looked after as if he were a King's dog, but not that he is perfectly happy, nor that he spends the whole of his time with his master. It is not true, either, that his master is already well again, nor that, with a foot amputated, there is any question of his going back to the Front. Fend-l'Air understands all this, and during the short visits he is allowed to make every morning, after a tender and discreet greeting, he knows perfectly well that it is best to sit very quietly at the foot of the bed, his eyes fixed on his sick friend.

Félix Klein, Diary of a French Army Chaplain, London: Melrose 1915, pp 271-274

[Tue-Boches = "Kills-Germans"; Fend l'Air = &nbp;Breaks Wind"]

A.26: 2 engravings by Frank Armington: Sergeant 3d Reg Natives Rifles, Aïtammon Achour Benamor

The appeal of North Africa to artists like the Armingtons centred on the picturesque and the exotic. In contrast to the early-to-mid-nineteenth century Orientalism of Delacroix and Ingres, the Armingtons' depiction of Arabic locales focused on less dramatic and more commonplace scenes. [...]

Frank was particularly intrigued by the people of the region, making several portrait and character studies. Employing the capability of drypoint to create rich, velvety lines, Frank's figural works attempted to convey the sense of mystery and exoticism of his sitters. (Armington book, p 34)

I have already spoken of an English soldier who wears the Military Medal, and we have an Arab sergeant, with a serious, refined face, who won his at the farm at Soupir by an act of devotion of which this is the official specification:

"Aïtammer Achour Benamor, sergeant in the 3rd Regiment of native skirmishers. In the fight of the 6th November, his lieutenant having been mortally wounded, in a zone swept by the enemy's shrapnel, did twice cross this zone, and succeeded in bringing back the body of his officer, though himself seriously wounded in the knee." The wound, due to an explosive bullet, is one of the worst that have been tended here. Achour Benamor will take long to recover. (Klein Diary, p 234)

A.27: engravings by Frank Armington "Moussa," Senegalese Rifleman, knitting

15th November, 1914

I think I have not said anything about our black patients; yet we have had a large number, especially during the last few weeks. They were much in September and October, foreseeing that they would have to be sent back when the cold weather came. They are truly the brave soldiers every one calls them, and ferocious enemies of the Germans. Every one of them has, as he calls it, "zigouillé" at least five or six, and the terror they inspire in the enemy is well justified. "Those Germans, they're no good."

But, apart from this hatred and their patience in suffering, which are common to them all, according to their country, race or tribe, they display very marked differences. The blacks who come from Northern Africa are almost as civilized as their Berber or Arab compatriots.Those from West Africa and the French Congo, on the contrary, along with some pretty intelligent there are others very primitive indeed.
The least civilized of our negroes at the beginning of his stay (for since then ...!) was certainly the Soudanese Moussa Senoco, from the village of Chibougo in the Bambarra. His entrance was sensational. As the small bone of his leg was broken, he could not be put into the large bath the evening of his arrival, and was, not without resistance, washed on his bed. But he found some means of compensation; for when he had been well scrubbed, he took a cup from the table, filled it from the basin, and, before they knew what he was about, swallowed the contents at a draught.

It had already been a job to undress him, but when they wanted to dress his wound he roared like a wild animal; he bit the nurse's hand badly, and must have taken us for Boches. We had all the trouble in the world to prevent him tearing off his bandages. Nothing could induce him to lie down in bed; he spent several days sitting up against the pillows and bolster, with hanging head and his long arms reaching to his feet.

Taken the next morning to the operating-theatre for the draining of the wound, he looked curiously at the tube of ether and put it to his nose himself ; it had only to be held there.

While he was asleep all went well, but the awakening was terrible. In spite of all that could be done he tried to get up, and furious at being prevented, he seized the chair and threw it into the middle of the ward. They were obliged to remove the table or everything on it would have gone out of the window. When meal-time came, he ate very little and that with evident distrust, but he kept on obstinately calling for "Champagne! Tea!". the only words he knew except three or four coarse expressions which the Colonials might well keep to themselves. At any opposition he flew into furious rages.

With a view to taming him, they brought another Soudanese to see him. He wanted to bite him. Thinking that perhaps this might be a member of a hostile tribe, a second experiment was tried, and he was removed into a ward where there was a model negro, the good, sedate Maciga, from Boubou Keita, in the neighbourhood of Bafoulabé.

This proved the beginning of salvation for our young savage. Maciga, who was moreover a corporal succeeded in quelling him, made him by degrees listen to reason, and aided by the gentle firmness of the nurses, brought him round to actual docility.

From that time progress has been rapid, and nowadays there is no nicer patient than Moussal. So far from wanting to bite you when you come near him, he is the first to say bonjour to you and to ask how you are. He lies in his bed in European fashion, and even makes a charming picture with his peaceful black face between the white sheets and the red chechia.

Since he began to improve, he whistles the bugle calls between his teeth, eats sweatmeats, looks at pictures and palavers with Maciga

If his hurt prevents him from going out, Moussa none the less receives visits. I don't speak of the interest taken in him by every one who enters the ward to fulfil some duty or to see any other of the patients; no; Moussa receives visits from personal friends, compatriots.

To be quite truthful, it must be put in the singular! Moussa is visited by Baba Konaté, an educated and well-bred negro, with the air of a real gentleman, who is at present a servant in the Protestant Missions in the Boulevard Arago.

Baba Konaté always arrives here armed with tobacco, apples, lozenges and boiled chestnuts, which make him still dearer to our negro patients. A native of Grand-Bassam, he can make them all understand him by speaking Bambarra, which is the most widely spread tongue in French West Africa, except Yolaese. He told me so himself, for I, too, am in Baba Konaté's good graces, thanks to a hospital-attendant who discovered it and introduced me to him. And through Baba Konaté, I have made friends with Moussa Sénoco, Maciga, Kata, without mentioning Akodou Toudé, Ona Couami, Kodé Kamara.... But I don't like to boast (F. Klein op.cit., pp 220-224)

The Lycée Pasteur as a war hospital

A.28: sketches by Frank Armington: Lycée Pasteur as American Ambulance

A.29: 3 photographs

---Lycée Pasteur with ambulances
---Orderlies loading ambulance
---American Hospital ambulance (loaded)

standing glass display case

A.30: Félix Klein, The War seen from an Ambulance, 1915, English translation by M. Harriet M. Capes: Diary of a French Army Chaplain, by Abbé Félix Klein, London: Andrew Melrose, Ltd, 1915 (quoted above)

A.31: photo album showing surgery in classrooms

A.32: menu cover (dinner of Jan 1st, 1917)

A.33: handmade postcard, made from rubberized cloth of hot air balloon

A.34: medal honoring American Ambulance on one side, Red Cross on other

A.35: hat insignia of American Ambulance, 1914-1918

A.36: uniform of American Hospital driver (in glass wallcase)

The uniforms of the drivers of the American Hospital, of the American Ambulance and of the American Ambulance Field Service followed a logic all their own. Purchased by the drivers themselves and tailor-made at the best establishments, they were easily confused with the official garb of Allied military officers.

March 19. I had some fun to-day. I put on the uniform and, for a time felt like an awful ass strutting about the streets in it, but it gets one a lot of privileges: half price at theaters, half price for such drinks as you are permitted, i.e. wine, beer, but no hard liquor, except between 11 A.M. and 2 P.M. and 5 and 9 P.M., and one must not be seen in uniform on the terraces of cafes. All drinks must be taken indoors. Also etiquette has it that if any sort of spree is contemplated one must dress in civilian clothes.

Incidentally, as the "cocottes" scorn any one not in uniform and are not permitted any alcoholic liquors whatever, the whole system works very well in keeping the men straight. The fun referred to above was due to the fact that our uniform is almost identical with that of the English officers, unless one is close enough to note the Red Cross insignia on the cap and buttons. Hence you can strut along the Boulevard and be steadily saluted by all the raw "Tommies," of whom there are legions. At first it nearly took my breath away; but I managed to pull a solemn face and to salute stiffly back, although I started to use the left hand and I heard one of them remark about it. (Flivver, pp 19-20)

Section Three

A.37: 2 photographs:

---left: Henry Suckley & Steve Galatti of SSU3 in American Ambulance uniforms
---right: the Reconquered Alsace Section

On February 12, 1916, Stephen Galatti, '10, wrote from Paris as follows:

"Harvard is playing an important rôle in the work of the American Ambulance Field Service. There have been seventy-three Harvard men so far associated with it, and, as it happens, the largest proportion have been with the Section working in Alsace. This Section was sent there in April, and after ten months service has been transferred to another army. While there, it had the opportunity, owing to the character of the country, to become the pioneer in evacuating wounded over those mountains by automobiles, the little Ford cars replacing mules, as fast as an extra few feet could be added to the width of the paths. In June, during an attack, the Section proved that an efficient evacuation of wounded could be made over one mountain road, and later, in October, and again in December, at Hartmanswillerkopf was able to cope with the difficult conditions. In the period between these attacks the daily service over many mountain roads, covered with mud, snow, or ice, was performed regularly, and reduced the hours of transport for the wounded in one run from five to two hours, and in others from three to less than one hour."

M.A. DeWolfe, The Harvard Volunteers in Europe, Cambridge MA, 1916, pp 115-116

A.38: 2 ink drawings (section three in the Orient)

---left: section 30, Monastir

It was at the end of this year that we received the first tangible evidence of the fact that our Service was one that the French felt they could count on as really being a part of their army and not simply an auxiliary service. In September, 1916, the French Automobile Service asked if we could send a section of our light cars to the Balkans, it being their opinion that the evacuation work in that difficult region could be most efficiently done by one of our sections. The request addressed to us to send a section so far away from the base was also an indication of the confidence in which the personnel of our Service was held, although at that time we were only serving six French divisions. It was a request which we felt we should meet, primarily because the men of our Service felt very keenly that wherever the French Army must go, we should go. The French Army had accepted us and permitted us to participate in the greatest battles. Could we refuse, which was technically easy, to go to the Orient because it was not a popular assignment? Section Three did not think so. Their Section Commander, Lovering Hill, and the French Lieutenant, Dérode (who could have refused on account of ill-health), were as eager as the men, many of whom had been with the Section since its formation eighteen months before.

Twenty-four hours after the agreement had been made, the Section arrived in Paris, having made the trip from Lorraine. Extra cars and a supply of spare parts for at least six months were furnished out of the stock which had been ordered for just such an emergency. Not many days later, the order came for the departure of the Section, and that night at a freight station in the outskirts of Paris the men boarded the train which was to take them and their material to Marseilles, the first lap of their long journey. The departure of Section Three marked the inevitable closing of a chapter in the history of the Service. It was a chapter of intimate association made possible by the throwing together of less than 200 young men of the same education and ideas at a time when there seemed little hope that their countrymen would take up the cause they had made their own. (Stephen Galatti, SSU3 & HQ, AFSH, I/67-68)

---right: "piggyback"

A.39: 2 photographs: SSU3 at Trehkopf with and without snow

A.40: 2 photographs

---top: artist Waldo Peirce is the one in the middle

I ran into Waldo Peirce in the chateau, with Foster, who is going to Serbia with the Rockefeller "Foundation." Peirce had a close call at Nouvelle Fleury. A piece of shrapnel got him in the chest, but was deflected by his heavy leather pocket-book which was filled with papers and money. Peirce says he's never going to be without money hereafter; he does n't care whose ! He's shaved his beard and lost about twenty pounds. I hardly recognized him. Cartier tells me that when Waldo's wife wrote asking him when he was coming back, he did n't answer; then she cabled requesting a reply; so he wired back--- "Après la guerre" (Flivver, p 141)

---bottom: Waldo Peirce using ambulance as easel, drawing charcoal of place where Richard Hall was killed.

The AFS Collections: Indoors, continued