June 13, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Clothing check in A.M.
Went to Arches to see Leut. Kitter about a transfer.
Leut. Ware put me on a wood detail for going.
There are 30 of us up in the forest. Have a deserted house to live in. Wrote to Nora.”
So the poor guy goes to visit another unit and maybe asks if he might transfer, and somebody tells his lieutenant on him? Still, Robert didn’t seem too upset about it. I think he liked being in the forest, even if he had to gather wood.
As usual, I tried to find out more about Lieutenants Ware and Kitter. No luck on the latter, but there was a Lt. Russel Ware and a Captain Ralph Ware, who was promoted from Lt. for heroism during the Meuse-Argonne battle.
Why would they have a clothing check, you ask? You really don’t want to know. From First World War.com:
Lice were a never-ending problem, breeding in the seams of filthy clothing and causing men to itch unceasingly.
Even when clothing was periodically washed and deloused, lice eggs invariably remained hidden in the seams; within a few hours of the clothes being re-worn the body heat generated would cause the eggs to hatch.
Lice caused Trench Fever, a particularly painful disease that began suddenly with severe pain followed by high fever. Recovery – away from the trenches – took up to twelve weeks. Lice were not actually identified as the culprit of Trench Fever until 1918.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.