My grandfather, Willie Benoit (1894-1985), was stationed at a POW camp in Dijon, France during WWI. He never talked about the war itself, but often spoke fondly of the French people and the towns he visited. As a Cajun from Louisiana, he spoke French and was able to communicate with the people he met. When he came home from the war, he brought with him a photograph album, chronicling what he saw and the places he visited, including Paris, Monte Carlo and Le Mans. The album is interesting in that it appears to have been something that was officially issued.
The Photo Album Cover
The cover of the album is embossed as follows:
R.U. 309 M.T.C.
On Foreign Service
With A.E.F. France (A.E.F. means American Expeditionary Forces)
R.U. could stand for release unit or rescue unit. I have searched but cannot find what M.T.C. means. Please leave a comment if you know.
Inside the Album
For each set of pages, the left page has a photo with a printed caption, and the right page has photos that were taken by my grandfather.
My grandfather captioned many of the photos in his album, leaving a wealth of information about his service in France.
My grandfather made notes on some of the official photos, as he did on this one captioned “A village in Chatau Chierry that was wrecked by the Germans in their big drive towards Paris in July 1918.” He wrote, “As it looked when I saw it!”
About Military Monday
We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History.