soldiers at mail call [location and people unidentified] [Physical copy: 8"x10", b&w ; SIL-NPM file "No Neg # -- US Army Postal Service"; Other numbers: 232685; Other numbers:  SI Neg. # P-1382]

The Ten Commandments for World War I Mail Orderlies

From Afloat and Ashore to The Service Record, camp newspapers kept soldiers informed about the home front, political questions of the day – including those relating to the war itself – progress of their training, and the conducting of the war abroad. Also, they carried articles on what it was like to leave home by both recruits and draftees, the initial excitement of training, the drudgery of camp life, attitudes toward officers and fellow soldiers, the clash of arms, and news about the enemy. Camp personnel, places, and events are described with a richness that brings new credibility and perspective to scholarly research.

This little item ran in the April 26, 1919 issue of The 51ST Pioneers

Ten Commandments (for mail orderlies)

  1. Thou art a Mail Orderly, as such thou shalt serve thy buddies officiently, giving them the best service thou art capable of.
  2. Thou shalt not be the one responsible for the delay or nondelivery of mail for buddies both present and absent—past and present.
  3. Remember thou thy fellow soldier loveth his letters as thou loveth thine.
  4. Thou shalt search every record and endeavor to forward mail for those who are absent.
  5. Thou shalt have the TOP publish an order to obtain the addresses of those who are absent.
  6. Thou shalt cause all soldiers served by you who have lost the in mail to write to their former organization and to the Central Post Office.
  7. Thou shalt not return mail to the Central Post Office for soldiers who were in your company until thou hast exhausted every means to forward it to the addressee direct.
  8.  Thou shalt indorse all non-deliverable letters returned to the C. P. O. with the cause of non-delivery.
  9. Thou shalt keep a record or the addresses of all soldiers transferred from the company.
  10. Thou shalt above all be honest, faithful and give SERVICE, and treat all soldiers as thou wouldst have them treat you.

Our collection, America and World War I: American Military Camp Newspapers, addresses a topic and period that continues to be of the widest interest and importance to scholars, students, and the general public – America in the World War I Era. Camp newspapers make important original source material—much of it written by soldiers for soldiers—readily available for research.

Source: The 51ST Pioneers – April 26, 1919

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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