My sister sent me this picture just this week. It's small (2"x3") and worn, but it is the most interesting "military" picture I have. (I am hoping Scott Lee can work his magic on it. The man is holding a cat.) The picture is labelled "Christmas in France, 1917." The man sitting on the right is John Mason, who later married my grandfather's sister Irene Auger. Uncle John kept a diary during his army service. There is no entry for this day, but here are some from that time:
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1917-- First instructions in rifle grenades, hand grenades, bomb throwing, bayonet practice & machine gun firing. Taught by French officer just out of the trenches. Walked 10 miles to the rifle range.
Wednesday, Nov. 21--Was transferred to company headquarters to learn telegraphy. Am in training with Signal Corps.
Thursday, Nov. 29--Had turkey for dinner. Spent a pleasant day.
Monday, Jan. 15, 1918--Went to the trenches. Walked 30 miles.
Tuesday, Jan. 15--Lecture. Feet are swollen and sore.
Tuesday, Jan. 22--Caught a message from the Eiffel Tower, Paris, by wireless.
Thursday, Feb. 7--Landed at Soissons at 6 a.m. This town was held by Germans last October. Air raids occur twice daily here. We were given a farewell by a French band. Walked 4-1/2 miles to a rest camp just back of the lines. We sleep in caves.
Saturday, Feb. 9--3 a.m. left for 3rd line trenches. Walked 4-1/2 miles. We stay here 5 days and our home is in old stone houses which have been destroyed so there is nothing left but the cellar and the roof that is full of holes. At. 10:30 a.m. I saw a French aeroplane cross the German lines amidst heavy shell fire 3 times.