Letters from Oregon Boys in France
Compiled by Mrs. Frank Wilmot 1918
Mrs. Dan J. Malarkey, of Hill Crest Drive, received from her son, Neil Malarkey, 8th Company, 2nd Platoon, Candidates’ School, the following letter, with a touching tribute to his friend and comrade, Lambert Wood. Since the writing of this letter a cable to his parents stated that he received his commission on October 18th.
Sunday, August 25th, 1918
Another week has gone by and again only time for a short note. Besides these weekly clippings to you, and one short epistle to Jr., I have written nary a letter. Things are going on much as usual with a day in and day out grind and beaucoup book work. I have no idea how I stand in the institution as it seems impossible to find out or even guess. There is no news and no prospects for the future. If I stick it out and land a commission I am liable to be sent to an infantry organization. If I fail and get booted out the same will be my fate, so there you are.
Junior is on his furlough as I suppose his letters have already told you. I got a letter from him just before he started and one from Aisc. He and Wally Greer are together and seem to be having an excellent time wandering about and bickering with the Y. M. C. A. girls. Father O’Hara was here to see me a minute last Wednesday. He is in charge of the Catholic activities in this section and has been over about two months. He had seen the family and father just before he left. I was to have dinner with him last Friday but he did not show up and sent a messenger to the meeting place to say that he was sick in the hospital. I am going to try to go and see him today but doubt if I will have time. I am keen to have a talk with him and get all the latest dope from home.
Had a coincident, a remarkable one, a few minutes ago. Do you remember Mr. Hurley, who was a teacher at Newman and used to be such a good friend of mine? Well, I was in the washroom shaving, and a fellow was in there shaving who looked so much hike him that I asked his name--Hurley, of course --and Mr. Hurley’s younger brother.
I suppose you all know back there by now that Lambert Wood was killed. I learned it first from Father O’Hara just a few days ago. Father O’Hara had come down on a train with one of Lump’s officers, who told of his death behind a machine gun, with his girl’s picture in his hand. It certainly did hit me hard, for Lump was about the best friend I had, and the finest man that ever lived. He had been decorated with the Croix de Guerre and recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross just before his death. The captain of my company here was captain of Lump’s company and left it just two days after Lump was killed. Bod had a short talk about him with Captain Weems who said Lambert Wood was the finest soldier that ever hit France and the finest man he had ever known. I aim going to have a talk with the captain if I get the chance and then write Mrs. Wood a letter. It certainly does make one’s blood boil when such things happen. I know Dr. and Mrs. Wood must be all cut up about it and I sure do sympathize with them.
Well, mother dear, fini pour ajourd’hui. Une autre lettre certes demande.
Your devoted son, Neil
Candidate Neil Malarkey,
8th Company, 2nd Platoon,
Army Candidates, School. A.E.F.