Tag Archives: World War I

Throwback Thursday – WWI parade


[Photographs from the private collection of the author. Click on image to see the full view.]

When the soldiers returned home after World War I, many small towns honored their fallen sons and returning soldiers with parades. This series of photographs found their way to me via my maternal grandmother’s family and I believe the location is Avon Square (Avon, Massachusetts) in the spring of 1919. My family lived for many generations in the area of Massachusetts where Holbrook, Avon, and Brockton come together. My great grandfather, Malcolm W. Leonard, served in Company A, 23rd Engineers. In his late twenties when he enlisted, Malcolm was a college graduate and civil engineer before joining the Army. (If you have been following along, he was the boy in the boat in yesterday’s post. The two girls were his sisters, Sibyl and Eunice.)

Malcolm W. Leonard, 1918

©2018 copyright owned by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/02/01/throwback-thursday-wwi-parade/

Fashion Moments – Armistice Blouse

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the armistice blouse.

Armistice Blouse

The armistice blouse gets its name from the popular style of shirtwaists worn by women around the time of the World War I armistice in 1918. However, the name was not used until many years later when it was adopted by costumers and historians. A typical armistice blouse was made from a lightweight, semi-transparent fabric, like silk, cotton lawn/voile or handkerchief linen. A defining characteristic of the blouse was its decorative center panel which often featured lace inserts, embroidery or pin tucking. Many had long collars (around the top portion of the neckline) which often extended to the top of the center panel or even further. Generally, they were white or light beige (natural undyed fabric). Some armistice blouses have center front closures with sailor styled collars.

Armstice Blouse

Armistice blouse

Lord & Taylor Winter 1918

Further Reading

The University of Chapel-Hill, North Carolina currently is participating in a World War I cententary project. Included in the project is an Armistice Blouse exhibit. There are photographs of several examples of armistice blouses in the article.

An example of a center front closing armistice blouse and sailor collar can be found at the Jewish History Museum’s website. This blouse has a wonderful example of pin tucking. The back view shows the sailor collar.

The New York Public Library has an extensive digital collection with many clothing related items, such as clothing advertisements.


A vintage armistice blouse from my personal collection which I bought at an antique mall many moons ago. The center panel on this blouse features a mixture of pin tucks and lace inserts. The sides of the center panel are decorated with embroidered buttons. The blouse is made of silk.

Advertisement for a blouse from the January 1919 issue of the Woman’s Home Companion, p. 26, via Google Books.

Advertisement for Lord & Taylor from Vogue Magazine, 1918. NYPL catalog ID (B-number) : b17122179

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/30/fashion-moments-armistice-blouse/

Book of Me – Prompt 11: Military

book of meThe Book of Me – Written by You is a weekly blog prompt created by Julie Goucher of the blog Angler’s Rest. This is a fifteen month writing project to highlight my life so that I will have something to leave behind for my descendants. Week eleven’s prompt is the Military.

Did you join the military?
Were you encouraged or discouraged?
Did a family member?
Regular or for a particular incident?
Did you or your family serve overseas in the line of service either during a war or as a posting?
Any thoughts, photographs, relevant memories?

Malcolm W. Leonard

My great grandfather
Malcolm W. Leonard, 1918

The military was something that never appealed to me. I consider myself a pacifist and I dislike guns and violence immensely. The thought of putting myself in the line of fire or anywhere near guns terrifies me. As a child, I remember reviewing possible future professions. Any job involving blood or violence was immediately excluded.  A medical career was also stricken from the list. This fear also extends to travel in foreign countries where violence towards humanity is higher than average.

When I came of age in the 1980s, the United States was not involved in any military conflicts. The Vietnam War was still an open wound and the Gulf Wars were yet to come. A career in the military wasn’t even a consideration.  For women, there were very few options in the military back then. My family has no recent veterans. My father escaped service during Vietnam as well as all my uncles. We were not touched. Having so many family members in religious professions may have had an influence. Some distant cousins may have fought in either Vietnam or Korea, but the last true family veterans came from World War II.

Yegerlehner, Christian - Clay City, Indiana, c1890

Christian Yegerlehner
Civil War Veteran

I readily admit that my opinion of the military has changed over the years. My limited exposure to the military colored my opinion for much of my youth. During college, I was disgusted by the machismo of my ROTC classmates. However, as our modern conflicts have dragged on, I have come to hold our military service members in high esteem. I cannot fathom the sacrifices they have made and the injuries they have suffered.

As I have studied my family’s history, I have felt pride for my ancestors who fought for our country in World War II, World War I, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War. They experienced untold horrors to mold the country that we live in today. One of my greatest hopes is that neither of my children (or my descendants) will have to make similar sacrifices to defend our country. I hope that one day we can solve our conflicts through peaceful means.

Perhaps this is one of the photographs from Dr. Lentz's roll of film

The veteran dearest to my heart is my grandfather, Roscoe S. Yegerlehner. Please take a moment to explore my blog and enter his world during World War II.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/10/book-of-me-prompt-11-military/