What do airplanes have to do with Aunt Daisy? Living in Alsace-Lorraine on the Western Front during the war, and rebuilding Vitrimont after German bombings - she had first-hand experience with these planes, even writing about visiting the airbase near the forest of Parroy. She also knew a few fliers. One pilot married Ethel Mary Crocker and flew over the Vitrimont church on her wedding day "dropping" flowers. More on this gentleman in a later post - for now if you're interested - Aéroplanes of the first world war - believe me your first bike had more metal parts!
This rare war film footage from 1914 to 1917 records aviation before the US officially entered the war and highlights the planes in use with names reflecting early pioneers and designers in the industry (see more airplane WWI history and list below).
Madeleine Marie Louise Chevrillon Saint-René Taillandier was a woman of letters and French philanthropist. Sister of André Chevrillon and niece of Hippolyte Taine, she married the diplomat Georges Saint-René Taillandier. In 1920, Edith Wharton asked her to translate her novel The Age of Innocence.
Nothing is more fun than digging around the Internet and finding a research gem! This week there have been plenty. Today's find comes from the National Archives, a virtual treasure trove of fun. I was looking for footage of Nancy, Luneville and Vitrimont during World War I. Well I found it! And in a search for General DeBuyer I also found Daisy and Herbert Hoover visiting the Citroen Munitions Plant. She was referred to as Madame La General.
So I found what I didn't know I was looking for ... film of Daisy! It's silent, so don't fiddle with your volume. It starts with an overview of the lunch break, then pans to show the VIP table of visitors at about 1:10.
In 1919, Daisy and Ethel Mary Crocker helped organize Postes de Secours in 18 villages around Moislains, Arrondissement de Péronne, Somme, Hauts-de-France. They also founded and endowed a pouponierre (rough transaltion - childrens nursery / orphanage).
Most of the Somme was occupied and devastated during the war, 1914 - 1918. These four years were even spoken of at times as “the crucifixion of Picardy”. Albert, Péronne and Montdidier were reduced to a pile of rubble. 28,000 hectares of land and 381 villages were included in the red zone, a zone that was considered to be uninhabitable, but as the villagers returned, provisional housing usually in the form of wooden or corrugated iron huts, quickly began to be built. The area was in great need at the end of the war.
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