May 9, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Arrived at Le Havre, France 3 a.m. Marched about 3 miles to Rest Camp No. 1.
They sell beer + wine in camp.”
Chaplain Edwards in From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry:
The channel was not rough as we had feared it might be, and on Thursday, May 9th, 1918, just as coffee was being served, orders came to march down the gang-plank. We were on the wharves of Le Havre. At last we were in France. The harbor was crowded with ships flying flags of every nation save those with which we were at war. Camouflage of every color of the rainbow, laid on in the oddest patterns, covered these ships. As we marched out to British Rest Camp Number 1, we met a large Red Cross hospital train bringing in wounded. The sight sobered us, and increased our desire to get to the front.
We soon made ourselves at home in the camp, and were supposed to remain within its boundaries. But often the American soldier is not where he is supposed to be. It was our first opportunity to see France, and some of the 140th can give a very complete description of Le Havre.
Corporal Phillips in War in Words:
As soon as we were dismissed and had our packs put away in the tents, we turned our thoughts to locating food and something to drink. We first discovered a British canteen over in the British quarters where lunches and beer could be bought. The beer, of course, we sampled, but it failed to come up to our expectations. While I had been sampling the beer at the canteen, several of my buddies had snuck uptown and found they could buy a lot of good wine for very little money. There were both red and white wines. They bought some of both and found them very pleasant drinking, having slightly intoxicating powers. The boys bought a few extra bottles and poured the contents into their canteens to bring to us left in camp, for proof of what they found and had. We all thought the wines were very good, so from that time on, the beer was not so popular because the wine had everything we desired.