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WWI Trench Art Owned by Dr. Goodsell - PART 3

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World War One23 of 686World War 1 Canadian Kitbag, containing Cymbals, Triangle from my attic!WWI Trench Art Owned by Dr. Goodsell - PART 2
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    Posted 2 years ago

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    WWI Trench Art Owned by Dr. Goodsell - PART 3

    In this last part we look at the letter. This is a hand written letter by Goodsell in 1918. It describes an artillery shell that exploded nearby, while they were leaving to board the hospital train in Paris. Lt Brown took a fragment of the shell and gave it to Goodsell. The letter is written on an envelope.

    There was other pieces in this group. Another piece of trench art out of this group was sold by the family a few years ago.

    It should also be noted that in this letter he describes the shell as being from Big Bertha, which is not the same as the shells in this group. The shells in my posts are French and in the letter its a German round they are referring to.

    Big Bertha, was a German siege howitzer built by Krupp AG in Essen, Germany and fielded by the Imperial German Army from 1914 to 1918.

    Here's my translation of the letter. There's 1 word I couldn't read after Paris, and the others with ? marks I believe I got right. He ran out of room and signed it on the back side.

    "Portion of big Bertha shell received from LT image Brown Nashville Tennessee he secured the portion of shell in Paris ???? July 1918. The shell fell Within 2 blocks of hospital train no. 54  His train near a French hospital Just outside the walls of Paris and  Knocked a hole in the ground 4 or 5' deep. It was near the post Gillette(?) metro Station. We heard the explosion and immediately ran over. No one was injured. The fragment(?) Of shell was given to me by Lt. Brown while I was with him on his no. 54 hospital train.
    John W. Goodsell"

    Dr. John W. Goodsell, Member of 1908-09 Polar Expedition He was the surgeon. There's some great articles about how the egos of Goodsell and Peary clashed.

    Doctor John W. Goodsell (1873-1949), a native of New Kensington, Westmoreland County, joined Peary on his final expedition which culminated in the raising of the U.S. flag at the North Pole on April 6, 1909. Goodsell served the expedition as a surgeon and scientist collecting biological samples. He also managed one of several dog sled teams. Goodsell recorded the ethnographic history of the Smith Sound Inuit, the native people of northern Greenland, who were an essential part of the expedition’s staff. His early scientific investigations of the flora and fauna of this region were considered significant contributions to the global scientific community

    Robert Edwin Peary Sr. was an American explorer and United States Navy officer who made several expeditions to the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for claiming to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909.

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    1. WillSol WillSol, 2 years ago
      I had an ashtray made from a 105mm howitzer shell casing. One of the local Vietnamese interpreters had it made for me. It had the lines from an old vaudville song "Ain't We Got Fun" stamped on it. I think my brother snuck it away from me many years ago. It wasn't exactly trench art, but at least I was recycling in 1969.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Neat letter-- a shame that the shrapnel wasn't retained by the family.

    3. jscott0363 jscott0363, 2 years ago
      This is really great!!
    4. dav2no1 dav2no1, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the comments.

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