100 Years ago this week: Marion. She is the true girl alright!

Background:  In September of 1917 My grandfather, John Rodney Jamieson, who we later called ‘Poppa’, enlisted in the United States Army’s 20th Engineers whose primary purpose was to mill lumber and build the wooden structures needed by the soldiers. In November he sailed to France aboard a troop transport ship.  He is assigned to the headquarters unit of Company A and is based at a camp set up inside a bull ring in Dax, France.  Many of the soldiers around him have come down with the Spanish flu.  Here are the journal entries he wrote one hundred years ago this week.


From the Journal of John Rodney Jamieson

Sunday September 15, 1918– Very warm today.  Nothing doing. All of us are resting, reading and writing.

Monday September 16– Nothing today.

Tuesday September 17– Mac says just six more months to St. Patricks day

Wednesday September 18– This seemed the longest day in France.  Hot, sutry, time hanging heavy. Everyone has complained today.

Thursday September 19– Capt. Campbell arrived in camp today for a seven day leave.  Has written that I will be sent to the next training camp and assigned to his company.  It is O.K. with me.

Friday September 20– Lots of mail today (11 letters).  Three from Marion. She is the true girl alright.

Saturday September 21– Doing a little work-mapping- today with Lieut Jameyson.  He is from U. of C. Berkley. Knows Wiskvert(?)

Marion Clarkson Brown- The future Mrs. Jamieson

Friday September 20 Lots of mail today (11 letters).  Three from Marion. She is the true girl alright.

Marion was born in the St; Louis area and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1916.  Presumably that is where she and Poppa met.  Based on Poppa’s journal entries it seems that their relationship became more serious while Poppa was overseas in France.

This picture of Marion Clarkson Brown can be found in the class of 1916 year book of the University of Wisconsin.

Marion was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority while at the UW.

2nd Lieutenant Bruce Jameyson  (1891-1978)

Saturday September 21– ‘Doing a little work-mapping- today with Lieut Jameyson.  He is from U. of C. Berkley.’

The website of the University of California-Berkley contains a memorial page to Bruce Jameyson who obtained a  degree in engineering from that institution in 1917 and immediately joined the U.S. army.  After the end of WWI he returned to U. of C.-B and worked as an professor of engineering until he retired in 1956.  He was also associated with the public works Department where he made engineering decisions for about 100 bridges in the area.

Poppa did not clearly identify the ‘Lieut Jameyson’  he worked with.  However, it is likely that  the link to UC- Berkley and the common theme of engineering means that the distinguished  professor was one and the same.

Meanwhile, on the front lines

The Americans and their allies continue to make significant gains and are now winning battles.   The enemies armies are in retreat and their morale is low,


Next Week: This Little Diary is Over a Year Old!


“The History Place – World War I Timeline – 1918 – A Fateful Ending.” The History Place – World War II in Europe Timeline, www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/firstworldwar/index-1918.html. Accessed 15 Sept. 2018.


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