No More Witnesses

Tyler Wells Lynch
Jul 30, 2014 · 10 min read

The World War I Journal Passed Down From My Great-Grandfather

by Tyler Wells Lynch

“This was the journal kept by your great-grandfather during World War I.”

My great-grandfather’s war journal

Captain Raymond Earl Hill

“I’m the only man in the history of the United States Army who went directly from Brest to Athol.”

That was Cap, and the more I learned about the man, the more the distance between the generations seemed to shrink. It no longer felt like I was studying an ancestor or some historical figure found only in books. This was a family member, a man with a personality not unlike my own: In his official military portrait he looks eerily like my brother. A friend told me Cap’s prose has a strange similarity to my own. I even get my middle name, Wells, from Cap’s father. This was a man who meant something to my mother, to my uncle, and to my grandparents.

Cap with his son (my grandfather), John.
Cap with his wife Sybil

    Tyler Wells Lynch

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