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William Garren First World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWI 3, Folder: 24-26, Folder: 1-3
Identifier: 2017-682-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains written correspondences from and books based on M. Eng. William I. "Will" Garren, USA during the First World War. In the letters, he describes the work he is doing building light rail trains, life in France, updates about the war, asks about news from home, checks in with family, requests for supply boxes, and discusses the eventual end of the war. There are two books, one titled "The Leatherman-Cronk Story of Two Innocents Abroad in the 21st Engineers, Light Railway, World War One" and the second titled "The Education of Alfred Chandler, or Innocents Abroad". The Leatherman-Cronk book details the experiences of engineers Les Leatherman and Earle T. Cronk during the First World War. The book contains stories about their enlistment and training, embarking to France, their experiences building railroads in a warzone, and the eventual armistice. The book was gifted to William Garren on December 30, 1963. The Alfred Chandler book contains a narrative based on letters sent by engineer Alfred Chandler to his wife. In it, Chandler recalls his trip across the Atlantic, his arrival in France, and stories about his experiences during the war.


  • Majority of material found within 1917 February 25 - 1920 May 5

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

Master Engineer William I. Garren, United States Army (b. 1893) was born in San Francisco, California. He became an architect and eventually volunteered with the 21st Engineers to serve overseas with the American Expeditionary Force. He served in France between 1917 and 1920, constructing light rail trains and railroads.


.24 Linear feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains written correspondences from and books based on Master Engineer William Garren, 21st Engineers U.S Army Corps of Engineers, during the First World War.


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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Alper A. Garren Trust, donated by Jon B. Eisenberg, Trustee.

Finding Aid for the William Garren First World War correspondence
Lee Feldman
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