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Charles Joynt Was In Telegraph Construction Work Overseas

      Charles Joynt who arrived home from overseas on Thursday, will take his old position as operator in the Milwaukee depot. He went across early last spring. He was in the signal corps and spent the summer and fall months constructing telegraph lines through France. The Americans found it necessary to build lines of their own in order to haul their trains promptly. The lines extend from Breit to Tours, Bordeaux, Marseilles and other important places. They will now be taken over by the French government. The French have good railway tracks but they are not strong enough for the heavier American cars. Their locomotives are large but their cars do not carry over ten tons while American cars will bear several times this weight.
      Mr. Joynt found the French people quite hospitable but he soon became tired of trying to make them understand English. He spent considerable of the winter 100 miles south of Paris. In January he had a furlough and took a trip into the Pyrenees mountains, which are close to Spain. American soldiers were not allowed to cross the border into Spanish territory. Mr. Joynt spent a day or two at the resort where Harry Thaw attracted so much attention but he assures us that he did not try to put on any of Thaw's
       The winter south of Paris was very mild. Farmers did not gather their vegetables and grass re-mained green. There were one or two light falls of snow but the beautiful remained only a day or two.
Mr. Joynt had more freedom than was allowed the ordinary soldier. He was permitted to go about in the various places he visited and he had good opportunities of studying the customs of the people. He often attended services in the French churches. He liked their music and found the interior of their edifices beautiful. French priests, like Americans and those in other European countries celebrate mass in Latin but their accent is different. They seem to be earnest, eloquent preachers but of course he could not understand them.
       Although he had no experience with cooties, Mr. Joynt was required to take all that was coming to him in two delousing machines in France and one in New York. He says this is an experience that the American soldier really enjoys. Those wishing to learn particulars should consult him. Of course he
is glad to be back. He feels well paid for his experience abroad.


~source: The Emmetsburg Democrat; Emmetsburg, Palo Alto Co., Iowa, 9 April 1919


~ Transcribed by Cathy Joynt Labath for 'Iowa in the Great War' IAGenWeb Special Project, August 2006. [note: Charles Joynt is Cathy's First Cousin twice removed]