AMERICAN AMBULANCE FIELD SERVICE
Section XXXI

Illustrated with Photographs

NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY
LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

1918

TO

SECTION THIRTY-ONE

TO ALL OTHER SECTIONS OF THE

AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE

AND TO THOSE WHO HAVE

MADE THEM POSSIBLE

AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE, SECTION XXXI
at 21 rue Raynouard, Paris
The author is standing the seventh from the right

 

Preface

HE position of the ambulance driver at the front is much the same as that of the grouse in open season: every one has a chance to take a shot at him and he has no opportunity for retaliation. That is why so many drivers entered aviation or artillery at the expiration of their term of enlistment of six months.

This transferring came to an end when the American Government took over the Ambulance Service. From then on, all drivers have been of necessity enlisted men. The old American Ambulance, later called the American Field Service, was a purely volunteer organization, and had no connection with any government. It was made up of American citizens who left civil life, paying their own expenses and furnishing their own equipment, and in many cases their ambulances. These men, feeling that America owed a debt to France, banded together to form the original American Ambulance Service, which they laid on the altar of their devotion to a true and great cause.

By virtue of the nature of his work the ambulance driver must always be in the warmest places, and has a really unusual opportunity to observe by moving from sector to sector and battle to battle what few other branches of the service can see.

I had the honor to be associated with Section XXXI of the American Field Service, and have endeavored to weave my simple tapestry from the swiftly-moving pictures of life "in the zone" and out of it, as they passed before me.

P. D. O.
BOSTON, June, 1918

 

Contents

I. THE WHITE ROAD OF MYSTERY

II. IN ACTION

III. EN REPOS

IV. AT THE FRONT

V. L'ENVOI

GLOSSARY

Illustrations

 

Prelude

HE sweet, clear notes of a bugle come faintly up to me through the cool air of morning, and as the sound dies away I hear the great guns begin their bombardment, the rumbling echoes merging into the matin chimes wafted across the valley from some small church as yet unscarred by Mars.

Reveille, the summons, calls man from his peaceful, prenatal slumber, rouses him and bids him prepare for what the world will send him. Man goes forth to meet the world, and struggles through his allotted time until the bells of God ring for him to fold himself in his soul and sleep.


Chapter One