As the weather turned cold in the autumn of 1917, patriotic women on the American homefront worked hard to keep their boys in the service warm by knitting and making winter clothing.
One of the lucky recipients of these efforts was a young soldier from Elizabethville, Pennsylvania training for war at Camp Hancock, Georgia. Corporal William I. Graeff wrote a thank-you note to his hometown Red Cross Auxiliary, with special gratitude for his sister’s work in the organization.
The following letter was published in the Elizabethville Echo on December 6, 1917.
A Soldier’s Gratitude
A letter recently received by the Secretary of our Red cross Auxiliary, from Corporal Wm. I. Graeff, Co. A. 107th, M.G. Battalion, Camp Hancock, Augusta, Ga., reads:
“In this manner I wish to thank the kind ladies of the Red Cross Society of Elizabethville for the sweater which I have received. Thankful to know that there are kind friends in my hometown who believe in doing their bit for the soldiers who are now trying to save their country.
I surely appreciate the sweater, and especially more so because my dear sister knitted it. Tell her I will always think of her, no matter where I may be, as the one who did something great for her brother to keep him warm. With my very best wishes to you all and hoping that the good work may continue, and may God bless you all, I thank you.”
Corporal Graeff served with machine gun battalions throughout the First World War and was slightly wounded in action in August 1918. He survived the conflict and returned to Pennsylvania in 1919.