WWI DISPATCH December 11, 2018

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.

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December 11, 2018

December 27 deadline

Time is running out to purchase the US Mint World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar

On December 27th, the U.S. Mint will close sales for their new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. But before they do — Have you seen the great new resources that the U.S. Mint has provided, to help tell the story of the coins, and of their background? The Mint’s program webpage here has some great new features to check out. Click here to find out more about the Mint’s resources and opportunities for Christmas giving of the WWI Commemcorative coin..

Coin Display

You can also  purchase the limited edition US Mint WWI Commemorative Coin in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor. This will make a great collectible Christmas gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you have already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at hereSupplies are limited.

However you purchase your 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar, proceeds from the sale go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.

“It was really about authenticity”

Brent Burge

Rarely in our lifetime will we see a tribute to the veterans of World War I that is as unique, or as vivid, as the new documentary film, “They Shall Not Grow Old”, directed by noted filmmaker Peter Jackson. The film project, which is an official  WW1CC commemorative partner, utilizes original 100-year old combat imagery that has been treated with 21st Century digital technology in restoration, colorization, visual-effects, editing — and sound. The original footage was silent, so all aspects of sound were addressed in the film’s overall sound design. The results are extraordinary, and have been heralded as a true milestone in filmmaking by critics. The film’s sound achievements came from the remarkable talents of Brent Burge (left), the film’s Supervising Sound Editor. A legend in the world of sound editing for film, Burge was interviewed recently for the WWI Centennial Commission Podcast. Click here to read a detailed transcript of the Burge interview, and find out the extraordinary process to bring authentic sound to silent film from WWI.

Great Uncle Willie gets his Purple Heart 100 years after his death in World War I

William James Williams, Jr.

In his soon-to-be-released documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” based on actual World War I film footage, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson explained that his grandfather had actually fought in the war. He offered this explanation for why he had taken on the project. “I think it’s great if we can just pause for a moment and think about them for a bit because they are part of our family, part of us. We still carry their DNA … let’s pause in our modern lives for a second and think about what they went through,” he told Britain’s Forces TV. It’s a quote Poway CPA Robert Knight invokes to explain why he requested a Purple Heart award ceremony for his great uncle William James Williams, Jr. (left), 100 years after he died during a German U-boat attack in World War I on the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa. Click here to read more about how the ceremony for Great uncle Willie came about..

“Many of the issues that surfaced because of the war have never gone away”

Steven Trout

Dr. Steven Trout (left) is a professor at the University of South Alabama, where, he leads a unique organization — the Center for War and Memory. The Center is an interdisciplinary team of scholars committed to advancing the study of war remembrance in all its forms — including public memorials, civic rituals, works of literature and film, television programs, and web sites. The Center hosts speakers and conferences, offers online scholarly materials, and serves as a resource on all matters related to war commemoration. World War I Centennial Commission intern Lee Febos was able to talk to Professor Trout about the Center, his work there, and his thoughts on World War I in America. Click here to read the entire thoughtful and wide-ranging interview about how “remembrance is itself a kind of battlefield with warring forces and winners and losers.”

Google Doodle pays tribute to Edith Cavell, heroic World War I nurse

Edith Cavell doodle snip

A British nurse who risked — and ultimately lost — her life to help British and French soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium in World War I was remembered with a Google Doodle on December 4. A pioneer of modern nursing, Cavell was in Belgium in 1914 when war broke out. She immediately returned to Brussels, where she pledged to treat casualties of all nationalities — regardless of their allegiance. She simultaneously became involved with an underground group that sheltered French and British soldiers. Together, they helped around 200 men to escape occupied Belgium. But disaster struck in August 1915 when Cavell was caught, arrested, and charged with treason. She confessed to a German military court and was executed on October 12, 1915, despite an international outcry. Click here to read more about Clavell and her legacy.

Jackson poster ad

Only two dates in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” to select cinemas on December 17 and 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Historian Corner: Professor Joanna Bourk on WW1’s Legacy of Pain and Fear

Joanna Bourk

In December 7th’s WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 100, host Theo Mayer spoke with Professor Joanna Bourk (left) about the steep impact of military wounds, both mental and physical, on both the men and women who carried them, and the widespread and lingering effects of the psychological health of individuals and nations alike in the years following the war. and society at large. Click here to read a complete transcript of the interview,

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

In December 7th’s WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 100, host Theo Mayer spoke with Dr. Glyn Prysor and Peter Francis of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a British organization dedicated to honoring the war dead of Great Britain and the Commonwealth nations from the First and Second World Wars. Click here to read a transcript of the interview.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Commonwealth headstones instead of crosses

Episode #100
Highlights: The Aftermath – Part I

Host: Theo Mayer
Part I of a special 2-part series examining the immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing.

  • Preview of coming attractions – Host | @00:25
  • The immediate aftermath – Mike Shuster | @04:15
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Dr. Glyn Prysor and Peter Francis | @07:50
  • War, wounds, pain and fear – Professor Joanna Burke | @18:00
  • Coming Home – Jonathan Casey | @26:40
  • Hello Girls the Musical – Cara Reichel and Peter Mills | @33:00
  • Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” – Brent Burge | @42:10

Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War

By Susan Werbe

Susan Werbe is back with another remarkable performance! WWICC featured Werbe for her 2014 The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth, a multi-media theatre piece. It has evolved now to include music as a way of introducing women’s writings. This week at WWRite,

Werbe talks about her latest piece, Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from The Great War, a song cycle based on women’s writings from both sides of the conflict and set to contemporary music. Read this moving post about the premiere performance in New York at WWrite!

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

The Army Biscuit

A remarkable WW1 attic find, the complaints of a war-time goat, and soldiers’ dental health: read about the despised Army hard tack biscuit at Behind Their Lines.  

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise


Black Full Zip Fleece Vest

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your warm American pride with this Made in the USA full zip fleece vest. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “Doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago. Vest features: Black with white Doughboy embroidery. 100% spun polyester, 12.5 Oz. Premium anti-piling fleece. Vest has full zip front with two side seam pockets. Men’s sizes available S – 2XL. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. 

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Hello Girls snip

The “Hello Girls” Off-Broadway musical production, an official World War One Centennial Commission Commemorative Partner,  is currently playing at the 59E59 Theatres in New York, NY through December 22nd. The show is garnering both big audiences and good reviews, including one in The New York Times. If you’re in (or going to be in) New York City this month, you don’t want to miss this show. Click here to find out more about the play, its creators, and how you can get tickets to catch one of the final performances.


Peter Jackson’s amazing WWI documentary…
100 year old film in 3D
and Color

They Shall Not Grow Old Jackson Vertical Banner

Event Register red

you can help - shop using amazon smile

100 cities 100 memorials

Poppy Seed Side Ad

Doughboy MIA

Pershing Sponsors

Founding Sponsor

founding sponsor pritzker military museum and library

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Clyde C. Handley

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

Clyde C. Handley

Submitted by: Benjamin Woodard

Clyde C. Handley born around 1894, Clyde Handley served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Clyde C. Handley was born Mar 21, 1894, to Jefferson and Ella Handley. He lived and worked on a farm in the Culloden area. He was inducted into service on May 25, 1918. He trained at Camp Lee, Virginia, before being shipped overseas on Aug 6, 1918, on the MADAWASKA. He was transferred between several units but ended up as a Private in Company C, 131st Infantry Regiment, 33rd Division, American Expeditionary Force, US Army.

According to a Private in his company, “During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, in our action east of the Meuse, Company C was occupying a position on the bald hill about a kilometer north of the Bois de Plat-Chene. On October 11th at about 3:30 PM. I was returning with other stretcher bearers from the rear when, upon reaching a point in the ravine between Bois Plat-Chene and Bois de Chaume, the enemy began to shell the locality heavily and we entered a dug-out for protection. Before we emerged from the dug-out to continue, Pvt. Handley and Worden of our company passed along with a supply of water which they were carrying to the front.”

Read Clyde C. Handley’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.

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