Eugene Griffith ("Gene") Bryan was born at Ludlow, Livingston County, Missouri on September 15, 1895. He was the sixth of eight children born to Alfonzo and Mabel Jones Bryan. On April 17th of 1918 he was married to Nettie Cox of Hamilton. A few days later on April 26th of the same year, he was inducted into the Army at Chillicothe. Army serial number: 2178191. In June he was transferred to Camp Upton, Long Island, New York and soon went overseas with Company C, 314th Engineer Battalion, 89th Division, A.E.F.
In one of his letters written on July 6th, 1918 he begins "Somewhere in France". He mentions they "were twelve days on the water" and traveled on the steamer Carpathia. He goes on to say, "It was the old boat that rescued the survivors of the Titanic." [The Carpathia was torpedoed and sank during another voyage a few days after the date of the letter.]
My Grandfather spent time in France. In letters he mentions things about the sights, cathedrals, and buildings. He wrote about finding a sewing machine and repairing torn clothes. He mentioned that dental services were not available and he suffered as a result. A Catholic nun nursed him back to health after a serious illness. Although he was not Catholic, she gave him a crucifix. I now have this crucifix and his metal "identification Disc". It is only stamped with his name, serial number, and "U.S.A."
He returned to Missouri after the war. His civilian working life was on the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad or "Burlington Route". He started as a brakeman and retired as a conductor. He soldiered in a foreign land and after returning, spent most of his life in Brookfield, Missouri. That's where this soldier and railroader is resting in peace today.
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