Date Original



Letter from Harrell Burke in England to his family in Arkansas.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jasper Harrell Burke served as a clerk for the Army Mechanical Repair Shops, American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I from January 1918 to June 1919. He enlisted as a private and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant by May 1919.


Somewhere in England
Dear Home Folks
It is Hard for me to
realize that I am in a foreign
country many miles away
from that good old U.S.A.
I am in an American Rest
Camp. We fellows were pretty
tired all right after our long
ride across the Pond.
The first day we were in
camp we did not have to
do any thing. But to day [sic]
we have had to do some
drilling. This morning we
took about a 4 or 5 mile
hike. this afternoon we went
out and drilled for a little
while. Then we came back to
our huts. Then we are not
very tired at that. So Army
life is not so bad after all

[on the side of the page}
What day did you
all receive my messages
of course we would all be glad
if it were over and we were
at home. And something
else we found was the army
rations. Real war breat. The
bread is a sort of a brown on the
order of Rye bread. We do not get
quite as much to eat as we did while
in America but what we do get
is good and substantial food
I have not felt Hungry since
I have been here. Went over to
Y.M.C.A. yesterday and today
also and bought me a cup of
chocolate & cake[.] it was sure fine
The Y.M.C.A. is the thing all right[.]
over here have Free movies to them
selves. in the main Bldgs have
pianos and kind of a canteen
On our way from the coast
I saw some of the most
beautiful kept lands[,] well
tilled[,] no cuckleburs growing
down along the fence[.] every
thing so clean[.] saw a good
many sheep[.] Did not see
a frame building from the
time I got on the train untill [sic]
I reached my Destination.
If people in America would
use every holy inch of ground
as these people do[,] there would
be something doing even in the
railroad ways between the fence
and R.R. never saw quite so many
cabbage & Cauliflower. In my
travel I saw some women doing
men's work. Women in America can
thank their Lord & Stars & Stripes they
are there & well must close now. will write
again Soon. With love to all. Harrell

Physical Description

Letter, 3 pages, 6.25" x 9"


World War I; soldiers; war; Military camps; Military life; Military mobilizations; Military personnel; Military rations


Harrell Burke

Geographical Area





MS.000074, Box 1, Folder 3, Item 1

Resource Type



J. Harrell Burke papers, MS.000074


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, Harrell Burke to his family, 1918, J. Harrell Burke papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Military History | United States History


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Additional Content

Finding aid for J. Harrell Burke Papers



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Letter, Harrell Burke to his family, 1918