Pat and Bert

October 11, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“No doubt I am a Dad now. I wish I could hear from Nora.

Took some snapshots of Pat + Bert.”

Again, imagine how this would have felt. Robert’s son was born almost two weeks ago and he doesn’t know if it’s happened, if his wife is OK, if the baby is a boy or a girl. Just brutal.

Sadly, Robert doesn’t tell us when or how he found out about his new baby son. It will be two months before the diary mentions it again and more than a month before Robert jr. is mentioned in a letter.

Under the assumption that Robert’s buddies were also privates in Company B, he could be talking about Patrick Colliton or Patrick Greene. Fortunately, I’ve done a version of this investigation previously and I think this is once again his fellow St. Paul boy Pat Greene. I don’t know if they knew each other before the war, but they were at Camp Dodge together, shared a tent at Camp Mills, and went to church a few weeks back.

“Bert” seems to be Bert Brown, a Missouri boy who was also a private in Company B.

And of course it goes without saying that I would pay dearly to see those photos he took of Pat and Bert, especially if he had handed the camera over to one of them for just one shot of Robert.

*Update* And then my parents mentioned that they have an old photo album; maybe I’d like to look through it? And here are Pat and Bert:


Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

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