Treasure Chest Thursday: World War I Mementos

Every time I do a genealogy presentation or class, I get to the part about my father having served in World War I and someone will say 'you mean World War II'.  No, I have to explain, my birth was quite the surprise to a 55 year old man and his 40 year old wife, who thought for months she'd just had a really bad stomach ache!  (And of course, the 'joke' is I was a headache for the rest of her life).

So, yes, my father, James Francis Hanlon, born in 1898 in Polk County, Iowa, WAS in World War I; he enlisted at Camp Dodge, Iowa and served in a platoon of black soldiers picking up armaments in the fileds of France that had not discharged during battle.  Being Irish, he was grouped in with those soldiers, in what I can only imagine, must have been a very dangerous job.

I have kept very few mementos  from my family, feeling they should go to my sister's children instead.  I did hold on to this little cup, however.  The story goes dad fashioned it from a bullet casing.  Has anyone else ever seen anything like this?  What war memento does your family hang on to?


  1. My father was also an "older" when I was born, he was in his 60's! My mother was in her 30's.
    I have a few family members that were in WW1 & WW2 but I don't have an mementos from them.

  2. Isn't it great to have an older parent? I always got good grades in history because of that! :-)


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