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(New York Daily News)   Pvt. Edward Ambrose died while fighting in the Great War in 1916. His distraught family was unable to look at the belongings found in his leather case. Until now   (nydailynews.com) divider line 61
    More: Hero, Great War, Pvt, ejector seats, service record, western front  
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18343 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Apr 2014 at 11:37 PM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-15 08:47:45 PM
Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.
 
2014-04-15 09:28:26 PM
Really sad story. Back in the 80s, I was stationed in Bedfordshire which borders Hertfordshire, so I've been in the area where he came from.

/Also visited the American military cemeteries in Cambridge, Normandy and Luxembourg. Didn't go to any from WWI though.
 
2014-04-15 09:37:14 PM
Wonder if those cigarettes are still good?
 
2014-04-15 09:42:10 PM
Only 18 years old. Damn.
 
2014-04-15 09:44:12 PM

Cubansaltyballs: Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.


While you're right (the Victory Medal wouldn't have arrived until 1920 or so), there were no clasps on either the British War Medal or the Victory (as awarded to British and Commonwealth troops).

And that isn't "the shrapnel that killed Pte Ambrose."  They are a couple of souvenir bit of driving-band from a shell, perhaps a near miss.  The RAMC would not have sent bullets or shell splinters to NOK.  Not a chance.
 
2014-04-15 10:09:54 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: Only 18 years old. Damn.


He's a lot older now.
 
2014-04-15 10:55:56 PM

Cubansaltyballs: Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.


*checks UK Ebay
 
2014-04-15 11:12:52 PM
Poor kid.

But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.
 
2014-04-15 11:46:00 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.


Women only recently started getting attractive thanks to evolution and the invention of the camera.

For a long, long time, women were absolutely hideous.

/true story
 
2014-04-15 11:47:53 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: Only 18 years old. Damn.


You were a man by that age back then.
 
2014-04-15 11:49:43 PM
 
2014-04-15 11:49:58 PM
www.bluesbrotherscentral.com
 
2014-04-15 11:53:31 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: Only 18 years old. Damn.


Yeah and at that age my biggest battle was not getting called up to the chalk board while I was sporting a spontaneous boner.
 
2014-04-15 11:53:46 PM
Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.
 
2014-04-15 11:59:44 PM
Was that the same battle Pat Robertson was in? I think it is.
 
2014-04-16 12:00:14 AM
Those things are in remarkable shape for being nearly 100 years old. That story is a great find, subby. Bravo.
 
2014-04-16 12:00:18 AM

whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.


I think the same reason they call it the "Great Depression". It was a depression that affected mainly poor people, while rich people weren't really all that affected by it -- since they were rich and helped crash the stock market for their benefit.
 
2014-04-16 12:03:20 AM

Weatherkiss: whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.

I think the same reason they call it the "Great Depression". It was a depression that affected mainly poor people, while rich people weren't really all that affected by it -- since they were rich and helped crash the stock market for their benefit.


I see. "Great" as in "widespread. "
 
2014-04-16 12:09:21 AM

whidbey: Weatherkiss: whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.

I think the same reason they call it the "Great Depression". It was a depression that affected mainly poor people, while rich people weren't really all that affected by it -- since they were rich and helped crash the stock market for their benefit.

I see. "Great" as in "widespread. "


www.rockymountainjams.com
 
2014-04-16 12:09:50 AM

whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.


Great as in size.  Until that time there had been no war on such a massive scale involving so many countries.
 
2014-04-16 12:10:08 AM

whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.


Because it was the first war with huge casualties and modern armament.
 
2014-04-16 12:14:21 AM

steadyb: whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.

Because it was the first war with huge casualties and modern armament.


They also called it "The War to End All Wars". Sadly, they were wrong.
 
2014-04-16 12:19:22 AM
Saddest part is where the war office refuse the mom's visitation rights because they know he's going to be dead long before she gets there.
 
2014-04-16 12:28:23 AM

silverjets: whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.

Great as in size.  Until that time there had been no war on such a massive scale involving so many countries.


That might be an overly broad claim, at least on the number of countries.  The Seven Year's War (aka "French and Indian War" here in the US) involved about a dozen sovereign political powers and involved battles on five continents.  The Napoleonic Wars also involved grand coalitions of multiple nations.  IMO it was called the Great War because it involved the Great Powers -- between the European powers, Japan, and the US (and even China and Brazil, nominally), the nations involved probably controlled some 80% of the world's land area, mainly through colonization.   Wikipedia is unclear on this topic, although it does seem that the "Great War" moniker appeared at the beginning of the war, before people realized that millions of people were going to die.
 
2014-04-16 12:31:47 AM

Rusty Shackleford: Cubansaltyballs: Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.

While you're right (the Victory Medal wouldn't have arrived until 1920 or so), there were no clasps on either the British War Medal or the Victory (as awarded to British and Commonwealth troops).

And that isn't "the shrapnel that killed Pte Ambrose."  They are a couple of souvenir bit of driving-band from a shell, perhaps a near miss.  The RAMC would not have sent bullets or shell splinters to NOK.  Not a chance.


Pvt Ambrose seems to have acquired his share of bling in his short time alive, even excluding the victory medal.  What's that cross-shaped one in the middle of the box? Almost thought it was an Iron Cross at first, until I realized the shape wasn't quite right.
 
2014-04-16 12:43:37 AM

Cubansaltyballs: Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.


He probably didn't leave his obituary in there either.
 
2014-04-16 12:46:26 AM
For those interested, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast is currently covering WWI. He's already done two (3 hrs each) and I don't think he's left 1914 yet.  Fascinating shiat.
 
2014-04-16 12:51:40 AM
All they had to do is wait two more years.   I mean,  what's another two more farkin' years at this point?
 
2014-04-16 12:59:56 AM

GonzoNihilist: All they had to do is wait two more years.   I mean,  what's another two more farkin' years at this point?


Asking for 2 more years may be a bit of a stretch for the 82 year old nephew, at that age I don't think I'd even buy green bananas.
 
2014-04-16 01:10:59 AM

phillydrifter: AverageAmericanGuy: But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.

Women only recently started getting attractive thanks to evolution and the invention of the camera.

For a long, long time, women were absolutely hideous.

/true story


She looked as if she had a touch of the "crazy", too.
 
2014-04-16 01:19:55 AM
I see he had some rolling papers with him.  Imagine that, I had some, too, when I was in the Army.  Just shows how little things changed, between 1916 and 1970......oh, he was smoking tobacco.  Never mind.
 
2014-04-16 02:39:06 AM

whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?


Really? You're smarter than this.
 
2014-04-16 03:15:17 AM

whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?



www.delish.com
"Because it was gr-r-reat!"
 
2014-04-16 03:56:18 AM

Rusty Shackleford: Cubansaltyballs: Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.

While you're right (the Victory Medal wouldn't have arrived until 1920 or so), there were no clasps on either the British War Medal or the Victory (as awarded to British and Commonwealth troops).

And that isn't "the shrapnel that killed Pte Ambrose."  They are a couple of souvenir bit of driving-band from a shell, perhaps a near miss.  The RAMC would not have sent bullets or shell splinters to NOK.  Not a chance.


Nope, not the one that killed him, but probably the near miss that partially deafened him (according to the obit).

You're right, though: you generally only get to keep the fragments from the ones that don't kill you if that's what floats your boat (and then it depends on the surgeon). No service sends home your personal effects and says, "oh by the way, here's the bullet/shrapnel that killed your kid/spouse." The military can be pretty damned callous, but even they aren't THAT cold. Damn.
 
2014-04-16 04:47:16 AM
He saw London. he saw France...
 
2014-04-16 04:51:48 AM
The bit about "too painful to look at" is a fabrication, a bit of narrative. I love fiction, but not stuck in my news stories.
 
2014-04-16 07:13:02 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Poor kid.

But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.


Reminds me of a traditional British song, "Gladys, your forehead is the size of the full moon".
 
2014-04-16 07:15:26 AM
He had extraordinarily precise and correct handwriting. I've seen many samples of handwriting while doing my genealogy research but even though people wrote far more carefully and leisurely pre-electronics, there was still a lot of illegible scribbles. He learned his lessons well and dutifully even by pre-WWI standards.

The British Government (National Archives) recently published the diarees of troops who died during World War II (they couldn't return these to their families because of security issues) so you can multiply this time capsule by many millions.

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war/

The Royal Post Office did amazing war work--delivering millions of packages and letters both ways from the trenches of a brutal trench war. Nowadays the people at the front have cellphones but in the Great War they had a postal system that delivered mail six days a week, three times a day. The postal services of the other countries in the war also worked logistical miracles but the UK was the first and best with mail service starting in the 1840s.
 
2014-04-16 07:24:09 AM
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25716569

I guess it's only 1.5 million pages of Diaries but sorry for the typos.
 
2014-04-16 07:32:06 AM

phillydrifter


AverageAmericanGuy: But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.

Women only recently started getting attractive thanks to evolution and the invention of the camera.

For a long, long time, women were absolutely hideous.


They were also in greyscale, which does nothing for the complexion.

And don't get me started on daguerrotypes.
 
2014-04-16 07:49:51 AM

brantgoose: The Royal Post Office did amazing war work--delivering millions of packages and letters both ways from the trenches of a brutal trench war. Nowadays the people at the front have cellphones but in the Great War they had a postal system that delivered mail six days a week, three times a day. The postal services of the other countries in the war also worked logistical miracles but the UK was the first and best with mail service starting in the 1840s.


Of course the British were the best.  They already had nearly 80 years experience delivering mail under the worst possible conditions.
 
2014-04-16 07:53:31 AM

Weatherkiss: whidbey: Why do they call it the "Great" War?

History shows it was a petty stupid war that dragged pretty much all the main political powers into the thick of it.

Not to mention the erosion of freedom of speech in America. "Clear and Present Danger" my ass.

I think the same reason they call it the "Great Depression". It was a depression that affected mainly poor people, while rich people weren't really all that affected by it -- since they were rich and helped crash the stock market for their benefit.


Wow, that's an amazing amount of stupid in two posts.

Whidbey, you really can't figure out why they called it the Great War?  Do you suppose when they called it the "Great Fire of London" they intended praise and approval?

And Weatherkiss, a bunch of rich people who owned stocks crashed the market, thus driving the value of the stocks they owned to zero "to their benefit"?  What on earth are you babbling about?
 
2014-04-16 07:57:35 AM

Aigoo: Rusty Shackleford: Cubansaltyballs: Well, someone added the WWI victory after he died and after the war ended, so I'm not sure "no one looked at it" can be quite accurate. Also, not sure why there aren't any battle or operational clasps for the medal.

Still a cool story.

While you're right (the Victory Medal wouldn't have arrived until 1920 or so), there were no clasps on either the British War Medal or the Victory (as awarded to British and Commonwealth troops).

And that isn't "the shrapnel that killed Pte Ambrose."  They are a couple of souvenir bit of driving-band from a shell, perhaps a near miss.  The RAMC would not have sent bullets or shell splinters to NOK.  Not a chance.

Nope, not the one that killed him, but probably the near miss that partially deafened him (according to the obit).

You're right, though: you generally only get to keep the fragments from the ones that don't kill you if that's what floats your boat (and then it depends on the surgeon). No service sends home your personal effects and says, "oh by the way, here's the bullet/shrapnel that killed your kid/spouse." The military can be pretty damned callous, but even they aren't THAT cold. Damn.


Usualy not even that. (Anymore) I was in Iraq in '04 and we were not allowed to bring home shrapnel, fragments, or casings. Of course I smuggled home some of the shrapnel from the mortar that almost killed me. Customs MPs went through our stuff with a fine tooth comb before we left country. We had to take all our crap to a big parking lot, open it up and dump everything on the ground for them to go through. They opened all the containers and checked everything, and then said "okay, pack it all back up and put this seal on it." I just had my shrapnel (and some Iraqi sand, which was also a no-no) in some old 35mm film containers in my pocket, and just tossed them into my footlocker after they were done searching it.

/Some girl had bought 20 or so fake Rolexes. They'll let you slide with a few, but confiscate large numbers. They said "This is too many. We are taking them" She asked if she could just keep 2 (like most everyone else was doing) and they said "nope" and even took the one on her wrist.
 
2014-04-16 07:57:44 AM

Englebert Slaptyback: phillydrifter

AverageAmericanGuy: But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.

Women only recently started getting attractive thanks to evolution and the invention of the camera.

For a long, long time, women were absolutely hideous.


They were also in greyscale, which does nothing for the complexion.

And don't get me started on daguerrotypes.


I think you mean DOGerrotypes.

AMIRITE?!
 
2014-04-16 08:19:12 AM

phillydrifter: AverageAmericanGuy: But you see his girlfriend? WOOF.

Women only recently started getting attractive thanks to evolution and the invention of the camera.

For a long, long time, women were absolutely hideous.

/true story


arthistoryfacts.com
Not sure if serious.
 
2014-04-16 08:50:43 AM

cynicalbastard: Not sure if serious.


He was clearly being sarcastic, but... is that supposed to prove him wrong?
Ironic.
 
2014-04-16 09:05:55 AM

Gawdzila: cynicalbastard: Not sure if serious.

He was clearly being sarcastic, but... is that supposed to prove him wrong?
Ironic.


Compared to the Land Whales or the skeletal 35 going on 70 methheads you see at Walmart every day, I'd hit her like we were sworn enemies.
 
2014-04-16 09:13:04 AM

zimbomba63: I see he had some rolling papers with him.  Imagine that, I had some, too, when I was in the Army.  Just shows how little things changed, between 1916 and 1970......oh, he was smoking tobacco.  Never mind.


How do we know it's tobacco?
 
2014-04-16 09:19:53 AM
His grandchildren will be grateful to get those things.
 
2014-04-16 09:33:27 AM

"THE FINAL INSPECTION"

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his soldiers and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."


 Author: Sgt Joshua Helterbran

 
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