My Grandfather’s World War I Diary

Picture courtesy of Poynette Area Historical Society

At the time it was called the great war or the war to end all wars.  Today we know it as World War I.  It started on June 28, 1914 when  the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated.  

Under the administration of president Woodrow Wilson America resisted entering the  war until April 6, 1917 when Congress declared war on Germany and  joined allies Britain, France and Russia in the war.

Young men signed up for the armed forces in record numbers for patriotic reasons or because they were lured by the adventure of war.  My grandfather was one of them.

John Rodney Jamieson was a young man with a degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1917 when he made the decision to join the United States army.  He would serve for three years in the  20th Engineers regiment of the US army.  He kept a record of his experiences.  He wrote a sentence or 2 nearly everyday in a pocket calendar.  

It has been a century since my grandfather Rodney made the decision to go to war for America.  This is intended to be an account based on his journal of  experiences published exactly 100 years after he wrote of them.


5 Replies to “My Grandfather’s World War I Diary”

  1. Hi, I am a french retired engineer (63) working on the presence of the Forestry units (10th & 20th Engineers, Canadian Forestry Corps) in the Département of Les Landes, southwest of France.
    Do you know in what Batallion or Company number your grandfather had served? Perhaps was it in the pineries of les Landes?

    Thanks for your reply.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I haven’t completely read his diaries yet so I may not be able to provide any information. I have pictures that he owned that appear to be of the engineers working in various locations. One is labelled ‘3rd Co Concale’. One is labelled 1st Co Mees and another is 16th co Argosse. Hopefully I will have more information to share soon.

  3. I have find the name of your grandfather in the AEF Roster of the Dax Forestry District. The Forestry District headquarters of Dax (Landes) were located in and outside the bull ring of the town, close to the river Adour. This District was comprising the units located at Candale, Mees, Arengosse, Saint-Avit and Houeilles.
    So definitively, your grandfather was in les Landes, but I don’t know in what company and battalion.

    1. I appreciate the information that you are sharing. I do not claim to be a historian or an expert on WWI so the information you are sharing has been educational for me.

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