Highland News Leader

Cooks to truck drivers, Highland men filled every role of military service in World War I

Eugene “Gene” Iberg (in back) and Edmund Matter in their World War I fatigues. The photo is from the Edmund Matter (1894-1955) collection, courtesy of his granddaughter, Elaine Fehrer Thompson of Fairview Heights.
Eugene “Gene” Iberg (in back) and Edmund Matter in their World War I fatigues. The photo is from the Edmund Matter (1894-1955) collection, courtesy of his granddaughter, Elaine Fehrer Thompson of Fairview Heights. Courtesy photo

“Bulgaria, another defeated European power, signed the Treaty of Neuilly on Nov. 27, 1920. Bulgaria lost some west and south territory, loosing western Thrace to Greece and South Dobrudja to Romania… The situation in the region was further complicated by the need to reward the Allies and to create countries large enough to act as counterbalances to Germany. As a result, self-determination was applied selectively and only when convenient or practical. This tactic smacked more of Old World diplomacy, than New World order…

“In establishing the League of Nations, the treaties had also created a new mechanism for the resolution of international disputes. The League’s mandate system had given the first indications the days of former colonialism were numbered. However, the treaties left much unresolved and many unhappy. In the post-war years, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Russia and Germany all sought to revise them, first by diplomacy, then force… (Quotes from History of World War I, by Marshall Cavendish from Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library.)

(A future column will be Turkey, the “Sick man of Europe,” because of its crumbling empire.)

Now back to Pass in Review by Pvt. Allan C. Huber:

“Otmar N. Raeber, 27, the son of Nic. Raeber, enlisted on Dec. 17, 1917, and by May 21, 1918, was in France as a cook for Base Section Hospital No. 1 of Nantes, France, where he remained until being discharged May 8, 1919.

“Pvt. Fred L. Riedlinger, 29, the son of Fred Riedlinger, was called May 24, 1918 and was sent to Camp Shelby, Miss., 38th Division. He was in France by Oct. 21, 1918, with Co. B, 325th Infantry, 82nd Division. He was discharged May 21, 1919.

“Pvt. Charles F. Rochelle, 23, the son of John Rochelle, was called Feb. 23, 1918 and sent to Camp Zachary Taylor, Ky., then transferred to Co. A, 335th Infantry, 84th Division. He was in France by Sept. 19 and was transferred to the 91st Division. He saw action on Flanders front in Belgium, near Audenaarde, from October until Nov. 11. He remained in France and was discharged Feb. 8, 1919.

“Cpl. Leo Ryan, 23, the son of James Ryan, was called Feb. 24, 1918 and sent to Camp Zachary Taylor, Ky., and assigned to Co. A, 333rd Infantry, 33rd Division. By June, he was under English instruction at Amiens, France. He was transferred to the 33rd Division and saw action on Amiens sector, Albert’s front, and the Verdun sector west of the Meuse River. He was then with offensive at Meuse-Argonne and Troyon-Sur-Meuse sector, October of 1918. He was in the Army of Occupation at Burglingster, Luxemburg, and was discharged May 31, 1919.

“Leo’s younger brother, Pvt. William J. Ryan, 22, was called Feb. 24, 1918, and sent to Camp Zachary Taylor, then to Camp McClellan, Ala., and assigned to Co. E, 113th Infantry, 29th Division. He was in France by late June and saw action on Alsace sector in August 1918. He was discharged June 27, 1919.

“Pvt. Edmund G. Schildknecht, 17, enlisted on March 19, 1918 and was transferred to Motor Truck Co. and was in France by May, 1918. His overseas duty was transporting supplies to our troops. He was discharged June 12, 1919.

“Sgt. Arthur L. Schmetter, 22, son of Mrs. Herman Schmetter, was called Feb. 23, 1918 and sent to Camp Zachary Taylor and assigned to Co. A, 335th Infantry, 84th Division. He remained in his division but was transferred to Co. A, 309th Engineers. He was in France by Sept. 25, 1918 and his unit was employed in construction of various kinds. He was discharged July 18, 1919.

“Sgt. Edward D. Schnurr, 24, the son of Joseph Schnurr, was called Sept. 19, 1917 and sent to Camp Zachary Taylor, Ky., and assigned to Co. B, 333rd Infantry, 84th Division. He was in France by Sept. 15, 1918 and made company supply sergeant. He was discharged July 15, 1919. (He had worked at C. Kinne & Co. store before being called, and when he returned after the war, he became a partner and was in charge of the shoe department for Kinne’s. Maurice Gutzler remembers Ed was still a partner He and Wayne Gutzler purchased the grocery department in 1957, later becoming the Tomboy Grocery Store. Other C. Kinne & Co. partners were John B. Menz, Harry Schneider, Gabe Loyet and Stogie Buehlmann.)

My column of Aug. 31, 2016, covered Pvt. Alvin Schoeck, who died of Spanish influenza, which developed into pneumonia at Camp Grant, just north of Chicago.

My next column will be about Anderson and Dugger cemeteries additional old tombstone recovered and reset, plus the open house to be held at the Highland Home on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. There is still some room in the Highland Home Museum, Art Hall and North Farm Room, where we can display your ancestors’ farm pictures and yours. So please give me a call at 654-5005 if you have photos or other memorabilia available. Please hurry, so we will have your farm or many types of art available for viewing that day. We are hoping to have it all completed near the end of winter and will have a grand opening at that time.

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