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Scrapbook-diary documenting two years spent by a female singer performing for U. S. soldiers stationed in France during World War One. Compiled by Beulah Chase Dodge.
France, 1917-1919. This large 12” x 14” scrapbook contains 100 pages chock-full of diary entries, photographs, official documents, programs, postcards, pamphlets, letters, newspaper clippings, menus, travel vouchers, schedules, dog tag, autographs of Queen Marie of Romania, and more. The contents are in very nice shape. The handwriting is small and dense but legible. The pages are starting to brittle and have edge-wear that affects the text in a few pages. The first two leaves are disbound; all of the rest have had their binding holes reinforced and been reinserted into the album. The album cover has minor wear. Ms. Dodge, who was originally from Syracuse, New York singer and performed in the theater around the turn-of-the-century while she was in her twenties and thirties. When it became clear the United States would be sending soldiers overseas to fight in World War One, she volunteered her services to deploy along with them as a YMCA worker where she and her group, The Liberty Quartet, performed in tents and in the open wherever doughboys were assigned. This is a treasure trove of material with detailed notes about almost all of the attached ephemera and Dodge’s writing provides exceptional insight not simply into the life of an American female service worker deployed with the American Expeditionary Force, but one who performed for the doughboys, often close to the frontlines. While Dodge’s narrative is without doubt the heart of this album, highlights of its other contents include * Dodge’s YMCA National War Work Council international identification certificate and U.S. YMCA dogtag; * Dodge’s Armee Americane Ordre de Service and several YMCA Movement Orders; * Dodge’s Authorization to wear the War Service Chevron; * An “Official Citations” card presented by the 2nd Division; * Dodge’s Certificate of Release and Honorable Discharge Certificate; * Dodge’s passport; * Photographs of The Liberty Quartet; * Seven photographs of the “Y” Girls Baseball Team playing a game; * Many photographs of soldiers and service workers; * Two photographs of Dodge singing for soldiers on atroopship heading home; * The pamphlet, “Experiences in a Camp Canteen” containing reminiscences of the service workers who opened the first YMCA canteen in France; * A YMCA Songbook; * Dodge’s colorful luncheon place card autographed by Romania’s Queen Marie; * French bread ration tickets and ; * Victory editions of the Paris edition of the New York Herald and the Continental edition of Daily Mail. Very scarce. Detailed journals of World War One YMCA or Red Cross workers for even short periods of time are uncommon, and 100-page diary-scrapbooks documenting two-years spent by a female YMCA entertainer traveling throughout France to entertain doughboys are simply otherwise non-existent. As of 2016, nothing similar is for sale in the trade nor listed in OCLC, and there are no auction records for similar items at ABPC, Rare Book Hub, or WorthPoint.
      [Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2016-11-26           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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