Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Continuing the Search at the United Kingdom’s National Archives

Last Wednesday, I ventured out of central London, where I’ve been studying this semester through the Boston University London Internship Program, to pay a visit to the United Kingdom’s National Archives in Kew. My goal was to see whether the archives have any documents or photographs of our two ambulance units, the 524 and the 525, or of Katherine Baker, Institute Class of 1892. Although both our ambulance drivers and Ms. Baker served with French army units, we remained hopeful that the British Army may have retained some artifacts from when these French units crossed path with British soldiers, since […]

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Saturday, May 26th, 2018

A Surprising Wealth of Information at the BDIC

The Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine sits on the slightly secluded campus of Unitersité Paris Nanterre. It’s a bit difficult to find using public transportation, as the archive itself is nestled into the university’s library building, but the trip was certainly worth the effort. Julia Stevens (‘20) and I arrived at the archive not quite knowing what to expect. After receiving our researcher ID cards and receiving some help from the staff, we began searching through BDIC’s archives for information on Katharine and Frances Baker, Bucknell sisters who served as dedicated volunteer nurses, and Service Sanitaire unités 524 and 525, […]

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Monday, May 29th, 2017

Thomas Agnew: A Bucknell Ambulance Driver

This Memorial Day Weekend, there was one particular veteran who I sought to remember and honor. I have been researching the life and service of Thomas Wesley Agnew, class of 1920, since the winter. I chose to follow Thomas’s story because he was a volunteer in one of two Bucknell ambulance units that served in Europe. Furthermore, Thomas had graduated exactly 100 years before my expected graduation in 2020, a fact that made him seem more “real” to me. Over the past two days, we have visited two locations where Thomas served. The first was located in Samongneux, where French villagers were evacuated […]

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Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, the Bucknellians in World War I team visited the Meuse-Argonne American cemetery to attend a special ceremony and visit the graves of two Bucknell veterans who rest there. Despite the heat, there was a surprisingly good turn out of both French and American attendees. The ceremony, performed in both French and English, featured invocations, blessings, and addresses from numerous public figures, including the Chargé d’Affaires at the American embassy in Paris, Ms. Uzra Zeya. The most moving part of the ceremony was, in my opinion, the playing of Taps and the National Anthems for both the United States and […]

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Saturday, May 27th, 2017

La Butte de Vauquois

This afternoon our guide, Dr. Thomson, took us to Vauquois, a rural French village on a hill turned World War I battle site. Dr. Thomson explained to us that the hill had originally held a small community, but the desolation caused by artillery shells, mining, and trench building caused the hill to significantly shorten and become too dangerous for habitation. Because it was in close proximity to the Argonne Forest and relatively accessible, Vauquois was a combat site for the entirety of the war. When the mobility of the early 1914 battles gave way to the permanence of trench warfare, […]

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Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Honoring Katherine Baker’s Legacy

We were fortunate enough to spend our first full day in Paris honoring the work and legacy of Bucknell Institute alumnae Katherine Baker, class of  1892. Ms. Baker had served in Paris as a nurse during the First World War, where she traveled with French troops and worked in dangerous conditions that would lead to her death later in life. She was awarded a the rank of corporal (a rare appointment for those not in the military) and multiple awards for her tireless, passionate service to the French troops. Additionally, as we learned today, Ms. Baker also assisted Henri Rollet, a French attorney […]

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