Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

On 5 Days Leave to Paris


Some time during the latter part of April, 1919 Cpl. Edington had 5 days leave and went to see the sights in "Gay Paris". From the two post cards below we see that he states he is on 5 days leave and both are dated 23 April, 1919

This American Red Cross Post Card is addressed to Mrs. Neva Denison of St. Johns, Michigan. Neva is Cpl. Edington's 1st Cousin on his mothers side of the family. Cpl. Edington's and Neva's mothers were sisters and their maiden name was Parker.

This American Red Cross Post Card is addressed to Lena Howard, Cpl. Edington's future wife, of Ionia, Michigan. It is dated 4-23-19 and is marked Soldiers Mail and postmarked 25 April 3 PM.

This is the front of the above two American Red Cross Post Cards. Both have the same front to them. The caption reads:

"General MAGIN, Commander at Chateau-Thierry. To the American Forces: "I am proud to have fought with you for the deliverance of the world".

A, portrait by J. F. Bouchor Official painter to the French Armies

Paris Post Card entitled Napoleon's Tomb. Cpl. Edington visited there as this is his hand writing at the bottom of the card. I can also remember him telling how that you had to look up into the area where Napoleon's Tomb was from yours knees. Grandpa said that Napoleon wanted all the world to look up to him after his death.

Entitled "1 PARIS - La Tour Eiffel - A.P. - The Eiffel tower". This post card has Grandpa's handwriting on it. At the first level he has marked "800 People" the next level is marked "Cafe & Dance Hall". The elevator can be seen half way up the tower and is marked "80 People". At the highest level he has marked "1000' high". I'm assuming that Cpl. Edington did visit the Eiffel Tower.


This is an American Red Cross Map of Paris. Cpl. Edington had this with him as he toured the sights of "Gay Paris" on his 5 days leave.

Below are some photo's of weapons being displayed in the Place de la Concorde in Paris France. When I first scanned these photos I was not sure what they were of. Photo's 1-6 were obtained from those left by Cpl. Edington. I sent copies of these photos to Dr. W. F. Atwater of the Army Ordinance Museum (Army Ordinance Museum, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen Maryland 21005-5201 Phone 410-278-3602) for identification. He did give an identification of each photo and each of his comments are listed with each photo.

After further investigation into the history of these photo's I have come to the conclusion that they were taken by Cpl. Edington during his 5 days leave to Paris during April, 1919. Several clues lead me to this answer. First of all his 5 days leave is supported by the above Red cross post cards with the date and he states he is on 5 days leave in Paris. Second, it's April and none of the trees visible in the 6 photo's show that no leaves are out, so that this could be April. Also all the people in the photo's are wearing coats and this could also be April as it would still be cold out. Third, the lamp post visible in the photo's all seem to be of the same type. This did not seem important until after I had scanned in the other post cards of Paris that Grandpa had. The 6 photo's are all of the same area and seem to be in a wide open square and the photo's show overlapping views. Some of the views of each of the 6 photo's are seen in the backgrounds of the photo's. The original size of the 6 photo's was 3" x 2" and I scanned them at 400 DPI and enlarged them in order to see details. When looking at these on the computer using Adobe PhotoShop all the hidden details come to life. One post card was entitled "79 Place de la Concorde". All the backgrounds to the 6 photo's match exactly to this post card. I believe that the sand bagged structure noted in photo 3, 4 and 6 is the ornate fountain in the center of the square. I was able to confirm that a display of War Trophies did take place in the Place de la Concorde while conducting a NAIL (National Archives Information Locator) search on the internet. The search turned up a 35mm motion picture entitled "SCENES IN PARIS, WAR TROPHIES 1919". In the NAIL search results it states the scope and content of the film. "Crowds inspect captured German equipment: tanks, cannons, field guns, railroad guns, and gun carriages displayed on the Place de la Concorde and in the Hotel des Invalides. U.S. ordnance personnel crate German ordnance materiel for shipment to the U.S. 42cm guns are carried on railroad flatcars to Beaune." The NAIL control number of this film is NWDNM(m)-111-H-1355. Being that Cpl. Edington does not appear in any of the 6 photo's I'm lead to believe that these 6 photo's were taken by Cpl. Edington in April of 1919 during his 5 days leave to Paris in the Place de la Concorde. I will give descriptions of each photo along with the comments of Dr. Atwater with each Photo.


Photo No. 1

Dr. Atwater Identified this as an 155mm GPF Gun. This gun was of the type used by several units of the American Army. The 56th Regiment Coast Artillery used these guns and were tractor drawn with 75 hp Holt tracked vehicles. These guns were French and during the war the Americans used French or British Artillery as they had none of there own. The 155mm GPF or "Grande Ponteé Filloux" was a weapon designed by a French officer Col. L.J.F. Filloux, before the First World War. The shell weight of these guns were 97 lbs. and could fire its round 19,650 yards. The bore diameter of the barrel is 6.1 inches. I can remember Grandpa telling how he carried these shells that weighed 95 pounds up to the guns. He told how two men would carry the shell up to the gun for the gun crew. In the photo 3 service men can be seen all of them look to be American Doughboys. The elevation mechanism can be seen clearly. The steel wheels are consistent to other photo's I have seen of the same type 155mm gun.


Photo No. 2

The guns in the foreground seem to be that of Field Artillery probably that of horse drawn 75mm type. On the bridge can be seen 6 German airplanes. On the original photo the details get lost but after scanning and viewed using Photoshop all the planes show the German Cross on the wings.


Photo No. 3

This photo was identified as an Renault Light Tank by Dr. W.F. Atwater of the Army Ordinance Museum. The original photo was not in the best of shape as the years had taken it's toll on it. It still held some hidden details after I scanned it. On the right side of the photo can be seen a gentlemen wearing a dress hat looking into the drivers compartment. The Tank itself is camouflaged and is armed with a Machine Gun. Behind the Tank is a small white sign that reads "40 hp Charleger Assault Tank" Dr. Atwater noted that Charleger is a French word meaning; Char or Tank in English, Leger or Light in English. So "Charleger" translated means "Light Tank" According to the Web Site "Trenches On The Web" the French Renault Tank FT17 was listed as having 16mm armor and armed with a 37mm machine gun. Top speed of 5-6 mph and weighed 6.5 tons with a crew of 2. Behind the sign is a curious structure that is covered with sand bags and surrounded by a temporary picket fence. Hung on the sand bags are German Army helmets. In Photo No. 6 this same structure can be seen. It appears to be quite large and must be of some importance as why would it be sand bagged? Photo 5 also shows this structure but not as visible as in photo 6.


Photo No. 4

German 17 cm Naval Gun as identified by Dr. W.F. Atwater. This is a German 17cm Naval Gun used by the German Army. It had a range of 25,700 yards and could be fired at a rate of 1 round a minute. Shell weight was 141 pounds. In this photo many details show up. Most noteworthy was the lamp posts that I used to compare to those in the photo of "Paris November, 1918" that I got off the web. The Man in the foreground looks to be that of an French Policeman, maybe he is a Paris policeman. Note his flattop hat with a badge on the front and his mustache. Behind him can be seen a French Soldier and a woman dressed in a long coat wearing a wide brimmed hat. In the very farthest background on the extreme right side of the photo can be seen the sand bagged structure covered with the German Army helmets again. To the left of this is the bridge with the German airplanes on it. As to the gun the camouflaged paint job seems to be just daubs of light paint over the whole gun like polka dots. Behind the gun can be seen another French soldier who appears to have his head in a bandage. Behind him is at least 3 American Doughboys.


Photo No. 5

According to Dr. W.F. Atwater this is a German 21cm Langer Müser (long mortar).The Langer Müser could fire using a 1914 projectile 10,260 yds., and 11,155 with the 1896 projectile. The bore diameter was 8.3 inches with a shell weight of 261 lbs. This photo again shows the sand bagged structure on the left side in the background and to the right of this are the airplanes on the bridge. In front of the gun on the right side note the young child holding the hand of the women. It appears to be a mother and younger child and to the right of them is a older boy and a gentlemen maybe the father. The father figure appears to be pointing to the gun with his walking cane. He is wearing a derby hat and looks as if he is telling his family that this gun has fired its last shell at us. The women is wearing another wide brimmed hat and her overcoat has what looks to be fir collar on it. Standing at the rear of the gun are 3 men one of which is wearing a beret hat. Behind them there is a barrel of another gun visible. It looks to be another large caliber gun.


Photo No. 6

German A7V Tank "Strumpanzerwagen" as Identified by Dr. Atwater. Many persons can be seen milling around in front of this tank and it is hard to see the tank. No doubt everyone is trying to see this new weapon that has made its debut in this War. Many children can be seen with their parents. Also again the sand bagged structure can be seen in the right side background. This is the best view of the whole structure. To the right of this is the bridge with the German airplanes. To the left of the A7V Tank is another unidentified large caliber gun. The German A7V's armor is 30mm thick and it's weight was a whopping 32 tons. It had a crew of 16 men and a top speed of 8 mph. Its guns were one 57mm gun and 6 Machine Guns. For its day this was a most impressive weapon and many are marveling over its looming features. Its appears that the family in the center of this photo is the same family that appears on the right side of photo 5.


Photo No. 7

This is the post card I used to confirm that photo 1-6 were of the displayed war trophies in the Place de la Concorde. You can see clearly the fountains and the Egyptian Oblisque in the center of the scene. Also visible in this post card can be seen St. Madeleine's Church. Post card "161 Paris" shows the church close up. St. Madeleine's Church is directly in line with the fountains and oblisque following the street that leads next to the Hotel des Invalides.


Photo No. 8

161 PARIS Eglise de la Madeleine - A.P. - St. Madeleine's church.


Date this page was last updated 15 December 1999

If you have research comments or additional information on this page e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell

Personal Biography. page.     •     Service Timeline.
State Side Training and Sailing for France.
Training in France and on to the Front to defeat the Hun.
Duties after the War.
Voyage home.
Links page.   •   Site Map  •  Sign the Guest Book