June 17, 1918

Trench and Camp

Vol. 1 No. 37

June 17, 1918


Gen. Bell Working For Special R.R. Rates Between Here and N.Y

Cantonment Commander Exerting Efforts to Have 3-Cent-a-Mile Tariff Reduced


            Announcement that Gen. Bell is interceding personally to secure special rates for Upton men travelling to New York has shed a ray of hope through the gloom pall cast over the camp June 10 when the raise in rates to three cents a mile went into effect by order of the Director General of Railroads.

            The fare to New York for enlisted men, nurses, officers and every one became $4.21 round trip to the city, and for several days there was no other conversation topic. Greetings became “Whaddye know about this new fare?” and heads were put together on every camp corner in an effort to solve the financial problem created.

            Every private can figure this new fare into his economy much better than even the Special Trench and Camp Statistician. Jack Kelly, in his cartoon on the back page of this issue, has doped it out pretty accurately. It simply “CAN’T BE DID.” New York might as well be a suburb of San Francisco, as far as availability to men who rarely get a chance to salute a five dollar note uncased are concerned. And the expressions about camp were discouraging in the extreme. Passes to the city are One Glint of Sunshine in the dullest Upton weather.

            With the announcement from Gen. Bell’s office that he will make an effort to secure special rates, cheer is widespread, and it looks as if the cloud might quickly pass.

            One way out suggested was that all passes be constructed to come into the furiough class. According to the new law, soldiers on the furiough at their own expense are charged a cent a mile.

            But a furiough is something over forty-eight hours and most passes are for less than that time.

The day before the new rates became effective, which happened to be Sunday, was the largest visiting day in Upton history. This statement has been made so often by the Trench and Camp that it seems advisable to keep it standing in the composing room. But this was a really, sure ‘nuf record breaker. Twelve excursion trains of fourteen cars each came from New York with about 15,000 people who were talking advantage of the old special fare. Thousands came by motor. A gigantic task was given the military police because many people came without definite directions as to what street and number their friends’ barracks were on, and Major Walker’s men were hard put to it to get everyone located properly.


Upton-Trained Man Writes Back For A Prayer Book

Jewish Soldier in France Tells Rabbi “Atheism Is a Dead Issue.”


            Rabbi Nathan Blechman, camp rabbi, has received a letter from France which, he points out, has some significant statements. That atheism is a dead issue in France is one of the assertions made by the young Hebrew in the letter. He writes: “SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, March 11, 1918. Jewish Welfare Board, Camp Upton, N.Y. Dear Sirs- I have an urgent request to make, which I hope will be granted, and that is, if within your scope of work, to send me an abridged “Prayer Book for Jews in the U.S. Army.” “I had one, but somehow it has been lost, and ever since, being without it, reacts on me as through there was a vital organ gone wrong within me. Simply cannot do without it.”

            “It may interest you to know that after keen observation it has been borne out very vividly to my mind that atheism is a dead issue in this side. Everybody prays, there are no slackers. One thing is certain, after this war religious observance will be world-wide, one of the best results to attain.

            “As to myself, I find comfort in prayer; eased, because with the Almighty’s presence so high, He will not fail to hear my appeal to guide me straight and to take care of those left behind. What wouldn’t I give to attend a Jewish service, to hear a rabbi, Never realized how essential to man these ceremonies are.

            “Expecting an early reply as to the daily prayer book, I am, as ever before, a sincere Hebrew.

            “Pvt. HAROLD BLEIBERG.

            “Company F, 1st Prov. Co., 163d Infantry. A.E.F., France.”

Dr.Blechman said: “I replied with a cordial personal letter and sent him both prayer book and a bible.”


Sixth Battalion Takes Possession of Camp and Makes Welkin Ring


The Sixth Battalion, that spirited outfit which claims to be the livest one in camp, owned Upton one day last week. At least a good-sized chunk of it was theirs. It was Sixth Battalion Day from 2.30 in the afternoon till about 11 in the evening, when the last act in the big vaudeville show arranged by Lieut. J. E. Schuyler had fled before a gale of applause in the Y.M.C.A Auditorium.

            A color presentation opened the Sixth’s celebration. Chaplain William T. Manning of the battalion was responsible for the beautiful stand of colors, the first presented to a battalion here, as far as history can be relied upon. Dr. Manning presented the colors, in full view of the battalion, ranged on it own field, once the 302d Engineers’ drill grounds, to Major Walter Dryfus, commander. Father Lawrence Bracken, Knights of the Columbus chaplain; Dr. Nathan Blechman, camp rabbi, and Dr. Manning blessed the colors.

Field day events took up the rest of the afternoon. A competitive platoon drill, in which the 21st, 22d, 23d and 24th Companies took part, was the feature doin’s. The 24th Company men were adjudged the most proficient, and were awarded the silver cup. For men but a very short time in khaki, the drillers were wonderfully skillful. The first tug-of-war event was won by the 22d Company, the 24th took the second, and the finals proved the superiority of the 22d. An interesting message relay race was captured by the 24th Company, with the 22d, second, and the 23d third. The knock-down-and-drag-off battle royal, which wound up the afternoon, furnished the bulk of the excitement. Lieut. Savoy, who refereed through even the thickest of the fray, finally gave a decision to Pokem and Knockemdown, which was adjudged satisfactory by all the proud wearers of black and blue markings. The officials of the meet were Frederick Schultz, Y.M. physical head, director; G.S. Swem, timer and C.H. Bishoff, judge, and C. Burnham, inspector.

In the evening the batallion gathered in the Y.M. auditorium for the big show. Thirty people from New York and a boxing kangaroo put on the entertainment; Harry Cooper of the Jewish comedy fame, and other capable entertainers helped make it a large evening, with Mr. Eckinroth’s brigade band ably assisting in the efforts. The battalion officers entertained after the performance.


Changes on General Bell’s Staff of Aides


Capt. P.L. Thomas, who has been aide to Major General Bell since last August, has been given his majority, the rank becoming effective June 8. Major Thomas will be acting aide for the present, since it is impossible for a Major General. He is an Ohioan and was graduated from West Point in 1912. Capt. J.F. Crutcher, the General’s other aide, has been trasnsferred to the school for tank corps.  


Atlantic Tide Is Due for a Rise Very Soon

Capt. Glick Spreaks News That “Ole Swimmin’ Hole” Is About to Open


            One of these fine days the first Swimming Battalion will set forth on a hike to Smith’s Point, and after they have made an opening in the Atlantic Ocean for Upton Men, every day troops will be marched to the beach being fitted up for soldiers of this cantonment for an afternoon of sport. It is planned, according to Capt. Frank Glick, who has been a moving spirit in getting the beach, to have the mer hike to the beach in the morning, swim in the afternoon, manoeuvre and drill, stay overnight, swim in the morning and hike back to camp.

            In the last week’s Trench and Camp it was stated that the Y.M.C.A. was fitting up the bathhouses and providing suits. The statement should have been New York War Camp Community Service, as this excellent agency for helping and entertaining soldiers has secured a thousand suits and towels which will be issued for the use of the soldiers free of charge.


Japanese Railway Men Look Over Camp Upton


A party of Japanese railway men recently looked Camp Upton over and were surprised at the fine condition of the civilian soldiers and the splendid efficiency of the American training camp. They have been in this country nearly a year, surveying transportation and getting information which will help enable them to convert Japan’s narrow guage roads to standard guage. The party included S. Sogo, Secretary of the Imperial Government Railways of Japan; S. Noda, the South Manchurian Railway of Japan; Baron Chuzo Mori, engineer of the Imperial Government Railways of Japan; N. Kikuchi, Secretary of Imperial Government Railways of Japan, and Dr. K. Naito, physician in a Japanese railway hospital.


George Reimherr, Tenor and Bayonet Expert, Shows Some Fancy Work With Sabre and Bayonet


If any more men could have been crowded and jammed into the Y.M.C.A. Auditorium for the recent Athletic Night, a shoe horn, balling press and several tons of talc would have been necessary. They hung pendulous form rafters and climbed on anything available, from shoulders to benches. They peered through the windows and surged around the stage. Any they were there not only physically but vocally. The building rocked with the cheers and bursts of approval as bouts, real fighting with knives and bayonets, pillow fights and other incidental offerings took the stage. It was exhibition arranged by Capt. Frank Glick, cantonment athletic officer, and Frederick Schultz, Y.M.C.A. Camp Physical Director, and both of these fixers were there to run the show off in fine fashion. Capt. Glick officiated as referee of the events, and Mr. Schultz as announcer and master of ceremonies.

Erio Dudley, the new and increasingly popular director of camp singing, took hold of the crowd for a few preliminary tunings-up in vocal expression, and although there was a perceptible coldness at first to his efforts, within a few minutes he had every voice in the house working overtime.

Pillow and Steel Are Weapons


A pillow fight with the comedy diversions opened the evening. Cornell Joseph and Harry Truax, both of the 24th Company, Depot Brigade, crossed feathers first, with Joseph taking honors. Vincent Vuno, 24th, got in some telling soft blows against Monow Frank, 24th, in the second scrap, and in the final skirmish Joseph won the honors of the evening best two out of three.

Private George Reimherr, the tenor singer and sword expert, came in for the lion’s share of the glory in the next event, which set the house on edge and produced round after round of applause. It was real fighting George exemplified, and the weapons contrasted strangely with pillows. Sabres, bayonets and trench knives were bits of steel adroitly manipulated by George, who was at one time world’s champion sabre expert and has met ‘em everywhere. His skill with the sabre, bayonet and knife was simply uncanny, and his rabid footwork and clever lunges were too much even for his skilled opponent. Oscar Straus, N.Y.A.C., present holder of the world sabre title. The first go was with sabre against sabre. The second was a bayonet exhibition, the third was sabre against bayonet, and the fourth and last was a regular trench, no man’s land scrap, with bayonet against trench knife.

Leonard Exhibits Again

 Boxing was the meat course of the evening’s menu, and led up to the return of Ben, Our Own World Champ Lightweight, Benjamin Leonard, came back on his home stage again after the successful tours by which he raised thousands for soldier athletic equipment, and proved that  his old form is still with him. Young Eddie, 30th Company, lightweight champion of Connecticut, and Young Herman were his opponents. In the 122-pound class Jen Mase seemed to yield a bit to Joe Donano. Both are of the 10th Company. Mickey Devine, 21st Company, and Nathan Rosenblum. Quartermaster Corps, opposed each other in the 135-pound division, and Devine proved the aggressor. A wonderful bout was the draw in which Frankie Daily, 31st Company, fast becoming camp famous and bantamweight champ of the army, mingled elbows with the Dutch Brandt, 34th Company. The going was fast and furious, and clever boxing was the order throughout the argument.

There couldn’t have been a more wonderful wind-up to the big evening than the Exhibition staged by our old friends and comrades, Ritchie Ryan, lightweight champion of Upton, and his side-kick, Eddie Grover. Both of these Motor Truck 826 boys have won fame on the largest circuits for the four-round exhibition with K. O.’s. The house full of soldiers simply slid into insanity as the bout progressed. The knockouts were as pretty as any you could order in any fighting parlor, and both of the Truckers kept in to the finish.


Camp Chaplains And Evenings At The Camp Chapel

 For any man who desires to see a pastor of his own faith.

Nathan Blechman (Camp Rabbi), Jewish Welfare Bldg., Wednesday and Friday. Lawrence Bracken, (Catholic), No. 1806 Lincoln Avenue, Saturday.

D. Stanley Cools (Methodist, Episcopal), No. 1402 Fourth Avenue, Wednesday ans Saturday.

Clarence M. Eddy (Baptist), No. 1505 Third Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday.

Paul F. Heckel (Lutheran), Base Hospital, Wednesday and Saturday.

John F. Kerr (Presbyterian), No. 1806 Lincoln Avenue, Monday and Friday.

William T. Manning (Episcopal), No. 202B Third Avenue, Wednesday and Saturday (7-8 P.M.)

Charles S. Wyckoff (Congregational), No. 1602 Fourth Avenue, Tuesday and Saturday.

At any other time the chaplain may be found in their quarters.


Upton Boulevard.

Episcopal (Communion)-Sun. 7.30 A.M.

Lutheran (Communion)-Sun., 9 A.M.

Christian Science- Wed., 7.30 P.M.

Jewish-Fri., 7 P.M.; Sat., 10 A.M.


Jewish Services


            Friday, 5.45 P.M.-Red Cross Building. Base Hospital, Rabbi Blechman, Jewish Welfare Building. 10th Street, 7 P.M.-Mr. Yellen and Cantor Ochsenhandler.

Camp Chapel 7 P.M.- Rabbi Blechman and Rabbi Alexander Lyons of Brooklyn.

Saturday, 10 A.M.-Camp Chapel, Rabbi Blechman and Rabbi Lyons.

J.W.B. Building, 10 A.M.-Mr. Yellen and Cantor Ochsenhandler.

Red Cross Building, 12.15 P.M.- Rabbi Blechman.


Brother Joe Thinks Rats Intend Taking an Ear off

Mess Sergeant Who Trained Here Writes of Rodents and Traveling Kitchens


            This is hands across the sea from one Mess Sergeant brother to another, and it makes Herman Maeder, 11th Company, Depot Brigade, feel he should be at his brother Joe’s side in France, especially to help combat the rats. Brother Herman has been longing for some time to see things as they are on the other side. Here’s the letter he received recently from Joe, Mess Sergeant, Company H, 308th Infantry, somewhere in France:

“Dear Herman: Am safe after traveling three weeks. I enjoyed the trip over very much and am in the best of health. I wish you were here to see how we cook in those traveling kitchens. Nothing like the old camp. We were in a place then, but we didn’t realize it. We are now sleeping in barns and believe me the rats walk all over your face. I won’t be surprised if I wake up and find myself minus an ear some morning. As for French girls, I haven’t seen anything yet under forty. Your Brother, Joe.”

Coming voluntarily to do his part in making camp life brighter, Sam Lash of the Lee Lash Studios was warmly received recently in strong renderings of Service’s “Bill the Bomber.”


Between Jazzing and Vaudeville, There’s No End of Merriment in Camp

By Sergt. Syd L. Gross


Words are too numerous for me to tell in detail of all the feature programmes arranged and held at the various barracks and welfare huts. Your scribe will, therefore, in as brief a space as possible, begin by mentioning the all-ready popular Dark town Follies Troupe show, which is so patriotically demonstrating it’s up-to-the-minute spirit by it’s voluntary services in filling the lonesome soldier with joy after his day’s drill.

Mr.Irwin Miller, the manager of the performance, is responsible for the splendid way in which this show has put over popular music, dancing that makes an impression, and “pep” that would make an audience of soldiers feel at home in “no man’s land.” Mr. Miller is ably supported by Mr.Henry Jones, who is known as the man who knocks ‘em over with laughter. Also Brown and De Mont, the team with a reputation of always pleasing their audience with a singing and talking act. The balance of the cast is composed of twenty singers and dancers, every one a riot.

The Darktown Follies Company turned the base hospital into a palace of Joy Saturday afternoon, when they entertained our nurses and convalescent boys with two hours of solid fun. And so they glided through the week by appearing at the School for Cooks and Bakers, Cantonment Headquarters Detachment and the 33d Company, 152d Depot Brigade, where the recruits were shown their first camp entertainment. The way those recruits were amused would convince one in a minute that their transformation from civil life to soldiers was going to be an easy one.

First Sergt. Sam Levy of the 33d Company, 152d Depot Brigade, is planning another surprise to the officers and enlisted men of the Depot Brigade. He is hard at work arranging a big time vaudeville show at the Y.M.C.A. auditorium to be held within a very few days. Sergt. Levy has the support of Capt. E.S. Bentley, commanding the 33d Company, and from general appearances, which are mingled with interest and enthusiasm, this show will be a treat. Announcement of the date will be sent to the various companies of the Depot Brigade. Our own soldier boys will furnish the talent, and when our celebrities get together they are in comparable. A farewell reception was given the 341st Baking Company e.t. The B & C mess hall. Serge T. J. Dennis prepared a dinner of substantial foods, while the Darktown Follies Company entertained.

Patrick McGowan, 13th Company, 152d Depot Brigade, was hurt about the face and head last week by a fall from a wagon which mixed him up with the heels of the hard-tails. He was taken to the Base Hospital and is recovering.


Yellen Has High Hopes for Welfare Work Here

New Head of Jewish Organization at Upton Is Heavily Freighted With Pepper


Jack Yellen, the new head of the Jewish Board for Welfare Work in camp, has become well settled in his new position, and is already figuring on how the board’s plans may be enlarged and its effectiveness strengthened.

Mr. Yellen comes here from Camp Cody, Deming, N.M. There he had 250 Jewish boys. Here he has 3,000. Thus he comes from the smallest Jewish work to the largest.

His achievements at Cody were not confined to the Jewish Welfare Board, as he organized a large soldier minstrel troupe which played the principal cities of the Southwest, and conducted a sort of entertainment bureau through which talent was secured by the Y.M.C.A., Knights of Columbus and other organizations.

For the work here, Mr. Yellen has high hopes. The present building is proving inadequate to the needs, and within the near future a comfortable addition probably will be built to take care of the larger and larger number of men, of all creeds, who frequent the hospitable headquarters on Tenth Street.


Company Nights In Demand


The week hasn’t enough nights to suit the 2nd and 3d Battalion men these days, for they have so much talent desiring expression that they must show it to the world at Camp Upton. Jim Grunert, the Social Secretary of Hut 35, is trying to be neutral in regard to which company has put on the best show, but as each one is seemingly better than the last it is hard to tell how he will come out.

At the 7th Company Show Saturday George Estes and Robert Downing divided honors on the singing, Wendal was as much at home on his hands as most folks are on their feet, and Camp Upton Houdini, Scribner, entertained with his magic tricks, while Perry accompanied all the acts and the picture following in a most pleasing manner. Bob Erie of the 9th was also on deck with come stick twirling, and Leopold Abrams from the 11th, formerly with the Marlboro Hotel Review, sand a comedy number.

On Monday night the 12th Company acrobatic entertainers de luxe, John Rothany and Frank Mileno, were on the bill and surely brought down the house. Marris Tarish of the 12th, author of “Goodby, Dear Old New York Town” and other recent song hits, played during the picture, and Saul Cohen, better known in vaudeville land as Charles Adams, entertained with his dialect songs in his droll manner to the huge delight of the crowd.


White’s Getting Married


Yep-it’s true. Whitie Kuhlken, Acting Sergeant of 226 Barracks, is going to get hooked up this week. A little bird whispered. This army life was too slow for him- he wanted some real war, he said.

The lucky bride is Miss Ella Anderson, a former star of the comedy stage. Whitie himself used to hit the boards, they tell us, before he took his present job with Uncle Sam.

The boys presented the couple with a most unusual gift, long to be remembered. Well, here’s luck, Whitti.


Judge Morschauser To Do Work In Advocate’s Office


Chief Justice Joseph Morschauser, who recently established a naturalization court here, has taken up quarters on Headquarters Hill and will be in camp for three months, doing voluntary naturalization and other work in connection with the Judge Advocate’s office. His secretary, William A. Smith, will act as his assistant. Justice Morschauser has taken a house in Patchogue for the summer. His son, Capt. Joseph Morschauser jr., is intelligence officer of the Depot Brigade.


On Winning Prizes


The First Company, Depot Brigade, won the prizes for the most artistic style of decoration for their company buildings. Up to the present they have not received any prizes, owing to the fact that there has been no money appropriated for such expenditure, but Major Payson says there is some satisfaction in winning anyhow.


Christian Science


Services are held at church headquarters, Upton Boulevard, Wednesday, June 19, 8 P.M.

Subject: “G-d, the Preserver of Man.”

Golden Text: Psalms 1v., 16-”As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me.




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