Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 32° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Mother receives letter home from Red Cross ambulance driver at the front of World War I

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokesman-Review published a letter from a Red Cross ambulance driver at the front in France, written to his mother.

“Maybe you think that my head has been turned by the glory and glamour of this war, etc.,” he wrote. “Let me tell you that although there is a lot of that rot in the newspapers, there is none in France. I have heard two bugles since I have been here and both those were warnings to the people that a bomb-dropping airplane was overhead. There are no pretty drills and no dress other than service uniforms. Everyone’s single thought is to do his duty for France, from the smallest kids to the oldest here.”

The ambulance driver was staying in a French home, presided over by a 75-year-old French woman with four sons fighting in the war, and another one who had been killed. When asked about the war, she told him, “We must put Germany down where she will never again be a menace.”

“This is not a bombastic slogan to hide a selfish policy,” wrote the driver. “It is in the heart and soul of the French people. There is no hatred of the Germans as there is in England. The prisoners here are treated exactly as the French poilu. They all have the same food and do the same work.”

He concluded by saying he felt “like a new man already and I feel that I am doing something far, far better than what I ever did at home.”

From the city council beat: A crowd of “patriotic citizens” urged the council to delay a $130,000 downtown sewer project.

They did not object to the sewer. They simply felt that, until the war was over, the money would be better spent on war bonds. The council agreed and delayed the project for a year.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.