May 8, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Marched 3 miles with packs. Slept 5 hours. Rode in trucks to station. Got on trains. No breakfast.
Left South Hampton 7 p.m.
Convoy of sub chasers.
The French people are sad looking people.”
Robert leaves us in suspense here, but after spending a (short) night at Morn Hill, a rest camp in Winchester, the 140th took a train to Southampton, then boarded a ferry and crossed the English Channel to Le Havre, France.
Morn Hill had been a British Army camp until 1917, when it was transferred to the US as a rest and transit camp for American soldiers.
Corporal Daniel Phillips would be taking this same journey about 10 days after Robert. From War in Words:
We also passed through many towns and villages. Almost every town of any size flourished with industries. We did not stop long in any of them, except a couple of times, long enough to take on coal and water. I noticed the smaller towns were much prettier, the larger and older ones were crowded. They were a mass of old-fashioned buildings of a uniform size and style of architecture. In several places our train traveled over elevated ground, offering me a good aerial view of some city. Thousands of roofs without variation were of bright red tile; tile roofing being popular in England, because of its durability and the lack of wood shingles and other roofing materials. Many of the cities had large factories operating both day and night, turning out war materials. I saw thousands of tons of big shells, stacked like cord wood along the railroads waiting to be shipped to France. There were also artillery of various caliber and steel armored tanks. Great numbers of these passed us on flat cars speeding for some part to be sent to the battlefields.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.