Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Story of Raymond: A World War I Soldier & Eloise Charge

Detroit Free Press, October 29, 1922 (enlarge)
There's a perfectly good explanation for why I couldn't find this story in a blog post but did inside the archives: I'm a scattered-brained fool! This is an amazing story and I stored it away like a demented squirrel only to forget it for 5 years or so. Which is ironic since I now pop an article up, scrawl a searchable synopsis across the page and then neglect archiving the results. But enough of my haphazard processing.

Raymond, as the story is told by Howard Bowman, a Free Press writer who had served with Raymond and written other articles concerning Eloise, signed up for the war in 1917 and served admirably. Unfortunately, during one battle against the Germans in which Raymond, Mr. Bowman and a man named Clancy took part they were bombarded. Raymond suffered shell shock and Clanchy, the ever-brave Irishman, later fell in battle after saving the life of a downed captain named Knight.

5 years later Bowman was working the newspaper beat and was walking the wards with Supt. Bennett and Mrs. Jeffries, the head of Wayne County Supervisors when he spotted Raymond among the wounded and debilitated. He was reading an upside down newspaper (I can actually read upside down text so I'm not looking sidelong at Raymond!) and didn't recognize his former comrade. Even after some pleading and the mentioning of some specifics Raymond still had no recollection of the man before him or the past that had forsaken him.


Diane Gould Hall said...

Sad in one way and not in another. He didn't have to remember all the bad things that happened.

the said...

If given the choice I'd rather remember.