Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day Display and the Academy's Archives

Armistice Day Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
While preparing our commemoration for Veteran’s Day, we turned to Laurie DiModica, our archivist, for ways World War I affected the academy. She found some wonderful items we included in an Armistice Day display. The August 23, 1917 minutes of the Dummer Allies (the academy’s parents group) written by Secretary Carrie S. Dummer reported “Dr. Ingham told us many interesting things about the boys, the uncertainty of the war had broken up the school at the end of the year, but for all of that the boys were doing nicely.” Her minutes of August 15, 1918 stated “Miss Noyes said Dr. Ingham wants encouragement this year, teachers are wanted in this school as in all schools, four having gone to war. He would be very grateful for any thing big or little that we may do.”

Laurie also found an Honor Roll of Dummer Academy for WWI the preface of which stated: “The following is a list of those who are in the service of their country. It is only a partial list but includes all the Dummer boys so far reported as in service and those members of the faculty who left their work here to fight for Democracy.”

The scrapbook of Waldo Thorne Worcester ’20 yielded headlines from the Boston Post, Newburyport Daily News and the Sunday Herald of November 11, 1918 proclaiming “Great War is Over” and “Nation Joins in One Glad Song of Victory.” He also had saved a receipt for a war savings stamp dated June 14, 1918. Most intriguing for me is the panoramic picture of the Dummer Battalion c.1918.

An Archon article from the time speaks of a service at “the little Byfield Church” where a service flag was dedicated “bearing stars representing the boys and men who have lived in old Byfield and attended its old church, and are now in the service of Uncle Sam.” Many of the stars were for Dummer boys who all attended the church. Later, Mr. R.H. Sherman gave the academy a service flag which hung in place of the Morse flag in front of the Schoolhouse. “May the fifty stars representing the fifty sons of Dummer who will risk their lives for their country, ever be a reminder of what we owe them and Dummer, and an inspiration to hard work.”

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