On the way up to Glen Brook recently the 8th Grade stopped off at the Knights of Columbus Museum’s award-winning World War One exhibit in New Haven, Connecticut. There in the lobby was an American “Doughboy,” the nickname for the nearly 2 million American soldiers who served in Europe from April 1917 until many months past the Armistice of November 11, 1918, helping the Allied Powers win The Great War, fought from 1914-1918 in Europe. The soldier explained the food rations, equipment and uniform to the students, who were especially impressed with the gas mask. Poisonous gas warfare began in 1915 and both sides had to develop protective gear. A few days later an 8th grader asked Mrs. Beardsley, “That soldier looked familiar, who was he?” “Ah! did you recognize Mr. Wittkofski, my husband, one of our chaperones from our 6th grade Glen Brook trip?” came the reply. “He interprets the role of his great uncle who served in the only American unit on the Italian Front!” The 8th graders had an excellent learning experience at this beautiful museum, which so excellently complemented their studies of modern history this year.
The American Doughboys were well-equipped with condiments and metal cans for their saltine crackers, as well as the foldable “E-tool” for digging hasty foxholes and even trenches.