London, Paris: October 15, 1918.
Unbound. Four typed pages. Near fine with folds from mailing. A short narrative dated October 15, 1918 written by A. Allen Woodruff as a "report back home" describing his time stationed with the Navy during World War I. After a preamble remarking on his decision to write down his war experiences and the lack of letters from his family and friends, he begins his war story: “Upon reporting to the Naval commander at the port of debarkation 'somewhere in France' my original orders were completely changed and I was ordered to travel on to the supreme authorities who hold forth 'somewhere in England.'" Before his change of order he spends time in Paris where he “met about a half a dozen Yale men” he knew. One of these men introduced him to a restaurant and the owner’s nieces whom he found “interesting” and “tres jolie.” After describing a raunchy “ballet” and time spent at a casino he concludes “so much for Paris.”
Following Paris he reports for duty in London where his commanding officer is a childhood friend: “I did not stay in London very long. I was anxious to get a little nearer to the naval front, and therefore when Harold asked me where I wanted to go I chose this place.” Before leaving London he does some sightseeing at Kew Gardens where he writes, “it is a favorite strolling place for the wounded Tommies and I had tea with several who had been fighting so long it seemed like their regular job.” Of his job he writes, “I have been pretty busy and a great deal of energy is consumed in figuring out plans and schemes of organization ... as Duty Officer in the Operations Department I get all the advance dope, and moments of excitement come much more frequently here than they did in Boston. I cannot tell you what is being done ... I am a censor myself and I know the rules, so there is no use trying to give you even a tiny bit of information for you to nibble on.” He concludes with “my latest news from the front is that Austria and Turkey have accepted President Wilson’s programme. It’s too good to be true so naturally I don’t believe it.”
A brief but interesting narrative describing the activities of a Naval officer during World War I.