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June 3, 1917 – The Life and Letters of World War I Aerial Observer Lt. Mortimer M. Lawrence

June 3rd


Dear Folks:-

Another week gone by. Soon it will be time to split up into the different branches and have to work harder than ever.

Before I forget it, I want to broach a subject which may make you very angry, and if it does let me know and I’ll say no more about it. Do you think you could stand it to have me come home on the 5:12 P.M. C. & N.W. on Saturday June 16th and stay until 5:20 Sunday P.M.? I think I can get away Saturday at noon and not have to report until Sunday night, but don’t plan too much on it for it may fall through. Before I make any plans, I just wanted to know how you feel about it. In case Ruth’s sister is coming and they are planning on going to Fox Lake why can’t the whole family go up to the Lake too. I think I’d rather like to go up if the weather is good. If you decide you’d like to have me come home don’t let Ruth know about it.

We had some good news Friday. Our pay of $100.00 per month goes through and besides we have an allowance of 75¢ per day for mess and 3 ½ ¢ per mile for transportation down here. I don’t get anything back on my trip to Milwaukee, though. We have signed the payroll for the first half-month and expect to be paid in the course of ten days.

This has been a busy week even if we did have a holiday on Wednesday. It rained most of the day and was generally rotten. In the morning a few of us walked over to Highland Park in the rain just for exercise. I stayed around the barracks all the afternoon on account of the weather. In the evening three of us went to the movies at Lake Forest. We saw Douglass Fairbanks in “Manhattan Madness” and it was the best film I have seen in a long time.

Thursday was rainy off and on but we managed to get in most of our drills. Friday wasn’t so bad though it was pretty muddy.

Saturday morning we had our usual inspection and also a drill in pitching shelter tents of which each man carries ½ in his pack. It rained right up to the time of inspection and then stopped long enough for inspection and then started again as soon as we got back indoors. It stopped again at eleven and, so we had general permission to go off limits as long as we reported back by Taps, I decided to go to Chicago. I went to the Palace to see the N.Y. Winter Garden production the Show of Wonders. It certainly was fine. After the show I went to see a couple of fellows, then had a big dinner at the North American with some of the fellows from here and then came back.

Today has been such a nice day that I haven’t done anything special but just bummed around all day. Saw Mr. Coleman of Lincoln Park. He and his wife were out here looking around and I talked with them for a while.

Received the box O.K. Thank you for sending it. I may send my laundry home this week and if I do will have it in Beaver Dam Friday in time for next Monday.

Love to all,


How is everything at the Lake? Has the victrola gone up yet. Those were some pictures. I am returning them as I am afraid I’d lose them here.

I am enclosing some films taken here. Please have Huebner finish one set and keep them for me. I will pay you when I get home.


Mortimer took this photo of a fellow soldier during training at Fort Sheridan.

Mortimer took this photo of a fellow soldier during training at Fort Sheridan.

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