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In commemoration of veterans day I found my great grandfathers WW1 journal pics included

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posted on Nov, 11 2016 @ 11:47 PM
A little back story. His name was Joseph Arthur Pedersen and he was a logistics expert in the First Army Division during WW1. The first Army Division is also known as the Big Red One.

His main role during the war since he could read and write was to run between trenches and get accurate counts of our dead and wounded so he could report back to HQ. ANd also to move supplies between trenches like ammo and grenades.

This journal he picked up off a dead german soldier and used it as his own journal. This is why the calendar and some of the other pages are in German.

I obviously never met the man he died long before I was born but he gave this journal to my father when my father was a teenager so probably late 1950's early 1960's

As you can see the cursive he wrote in is very old and not very common to see today. It's extremely hard to read on some pages because apparently according to my father he was in a trench being shelled by German artillery while he was writing some of it. And the cursive he used is not used anymore.

You can see in this last image he gives a body count after a battle. It says in case you can't read it:

Killed: 35
Wounded: 66
Gassed: 24 or 29
Captured or Missing: 10

There are dozens of pages that go on like this and it sickens me to see how high the numbers are by the end of his deployment. And you read that right. During that battle up to 24 men were gassed. It's crazy to imagine the horror of artillery raining down on you spewing toxic gas.

There are also dozens of pages about scouting patrols he went on with small squads and minor engagements none of us prop ever heard about.

In just a few months this little piece of history will be 100 years old if it isn't already. To think its been sitting in my father's safe for prob 35 years now.

Well, I just wanted to thank my Great Grandfather for his service and all other men and women who served this amazing nation.
edit on 11-11-2016 by PraetorianAZ because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-11-2016 by PraetorianAZ because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-11-2016 by PraetorianAZ because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:15 AM
a reply to: PraetorianAZ

Thanks for sharing your Great Grand Dad's Journal. I enjoy seeing historical documents.

Thanks to all Veterans for your service.

posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 01:06 AM
That is amazing, thank you for sharing that. I've always wanted a realistic WW1 movie.

Thank you veterans for all your service.

posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 04:40 AM
a reply to: PraetorianAZ

I used to deal in collectible books, etc. - And military stuff is always popular.

You may want to find a dealer locally or online [there are big military specialists who advertise online] who specializes in this type of item - It could be valuable.

And even if you want to keep it he may give you an idea of how much it is worth and how to best preserve it.

Left loose it will continue to decompose from exposure.

posted on Nov, 13 2016 @ 11:14 PM
This is absolutely incredible that your family has this. I wonder how long before it will deteriorate beyond readability... You should find a university to transcribe it onto their online archives so it can stay with us, in digital form at least, for...a long time at least. I want to say forever, but... Well, who knows? Anyway, I cant seem to read it no matter how much I zoom in, but if it were typed out online or even in an email or private message, I would immediately stop what i was doing and read it nonstop until i finished.

Of course you must include the german parts. If you have the german mans name, it might even be interesting to see if he has any living family. They might like to have access to be able to read the words he wrote... Of course, thats up to you and your family.

Thanks for sharing bud! Even though I couldn't read it, I am still very fascinated by this!

posted on Nov, 13 2016 @ 11:18 PM
Ah... For any others using their mobile device, if you hold-click the image and either download to view later, or go to "view image", the image will be large enough to be able to read it!

posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 12:31 AM
I hate to do this, but I have a small correction...

The casualties you listed... Those were the officers only. 24 or 29 officers from that division were gassed during that battle. Look at the top of the casualties listed. It shows "Off." abbreviated for officers above the first column. The next column is simply titled "men" for the non-officers. Its shows for the same battle, over 1,500 men were gassed... And of course the other stats such as "killed", "wounded" are also much higher numbers.

Another interesting thing i noticed. In one of the battles, he has "wounded" divided into two categories (it was a battle where the number of wounded was very high). He has "wounded sev." (severely wounded) and right below it he has a quotation mark which is shorthand for copying whatever is above it, in this case "wounded" followed by another abbreviation i cannot seem to translate.

I also found to be of interest the list of enemy soldiers and equipment (he calls it "material") captured at the end of each battle. Again, he has them divided between officers and men. In one battle, 5 officers including one Major. and i think it was over a thousand men taken prisoner. 1 anti tank gun, 50,000 pistol rounds, etc... Another battle has them taking 28 officers including a "Lieutentant Colonol",? (not how he wrote it, it was abbreviated) Or maybe it was supposed to be one Lt, and one Col.

Pretty riviting to picture being there. I don't know WW1 nearly as well as WW2, which is one of the reasons I'm so eager to learn more, but, it kind of seems like he was a part of, or witnessed, or was near, some pretty bloody battles... The chemical warfare element is something that, as far as I know, was never before done on such a scale, before or since ww1. There was some of it going on in ww2, but as far as I know, it was not used in battle nearly as much.

Its probably too hard to control, because if the wind changes direction, you're screwed.

It's difficult to imagine, entire football field sized areas or larger of toxic gas, unbreathable air, and you cannot run fast enough while holding your breath to get away from it, and even if you could hold your breath and escape somehow, some of it effects you as soon as it makes contact with your skin. I think theyre called blistering agents. All kinds of nasty stuff.

A little trivia... When i was reading up on members of a offshoot group that split from the Bohemian Grove after a feud involving Randolf Hearst, who was kicked out of the grove after printing something in his newspapers the others didnt approve of, cant remember what it was... Anyway, I saw that Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb was a member of this offshoot splinter group, and then found out that Ty Cobb was a part of the US Armys 1st Chemical Warfare Battalion in WW1. They're known as The Hellfire Boys. They're still around and are incorporated into the US Armys Nuclear, Biological & Chemical (NBC) Division.

posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 10:46 AM
a reply to: 3n19m470

Im glad you liked the journal and were able to translate some of it. I literally have about 40 more pages or so that I didn't post here because it would have made the thread really long. But I took some alright pictures of what he wrote. If you want me to post more I certainly can. The wounded and killed numbers get a lot worse from what you read. Let me know!

posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 10:47 AM
a reply to: 3n19m470

BTW do you know a University or place that would want to transcribe something like this? My family doesn't want to get rid of it or sell it but we certainly would like to share it with the world.

posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:48 PM
a reply to: PraetorianAZ

I'd love to help out, I'm a little busy for the next few hours but just wanted to let you know I will get back to you. Probably later tonight.

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