Skip to main content

Wendell B. Thomson First World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWI 5, Folder: 3-4, Folder: 1-2
Identifier: 2017-112-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains seven letters that PFC Wendell B. Thomson wrote to his sister and mother while serving in France during the First World War. There is also a letter from a Sergeant Howard Welch that appears to be addressed to the husband of Thomson's sister.

The letters describe Thomson's trip to France and events and places in France. Letters of interest include a letter written on November 11, 1918 in which Thomson writes about the end of the war. Another letter from September 5, 1917 has portions cut out by a censor.


  • 1917 September 8 - 1919 November 11

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Private First Class Wendell Bretney Thomson, American Expeditionary Force (1/25/1893 - 12/25/1979) was born in Xenia, Ohio and grew up in Winchester. According to a biography of Thomson in the book "History of Ohio, Volume 3" by Charles B. Galbreath, Thomson's father, Nathan Richey Thomson, was a lieutenant in Company I of the 30th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The biography states that Thomson attended the Mueller School of Business in Cincinnati in 1911. He later taught at a rural school and was a postal clerk before enlisting on June 20, 1917 at age 24. Thomson served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France as a Private First Class and with the United States Army Ambulance Service.

According to the biographical entry, Thomson sailed on the San Jacinto on August 7, 1917 and arrived at Saint-Nazaire France on August 20, 1917. Among the battles he participated in were battles in French Lorraine and Mount Kemmel in Belgium. The book notes that for his service, Thomson was awarded the French Croix-de-Guerre.

He arrived back in the United States on the USS Pueblo in March of 1919 and was honorably discharged on April 7, 1919.

Information from the donor indicates that Thomson died on Christmas day 1979 in Cincinnati, Ohio.


.05 Linear feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains seven correspondence from PFC Wendell B. Thomson, AEF to his sister and mother during the First World War. Also included is one letter from Sgt. Howard Welch which appears to be addressed to the husband of Thomson's sister.


This collection is arranged by material type, author, and date.

  • Series 1, Correspondence from Wendell B. Thomson
  • Series 2, Other correspondence

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jim Eiswald, grandson of letter/postcard recipient.

Finding Aid for the Wendell B. Thomson First World War correspondence
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States