ANNA’S 1918 HOME FRONT DIARY
By Richard D. Rands, a Grandson
With Annotations About Oswin Percival Rands, Her Future Husband Who Was Serving in the U.S. Army in France
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The year 1918 was a year of wars overseas and unrest at home, punctuated with a worldwide pandemic. Anna Lund was an independent-thinking twenty-year old living in Salt Lake City, Utah. There an old Civil War Army camp, Fort Douglas, had become the training base for regiments of soldiers heading for the trenches of France during the first World War. She bought war bonds, marched in parades, knitted socks, made bandages, and helped feed troops coming through on the trains headed for ports on the east coast. Anna kept a daily diary that recounted befriending the young men, away from home for the first time, who were headed off to an unknown fate. She wrote it like it was—the amusements with her friends, the frustration of unrequited love, the concern for those in the trenches, the sorrow for those at home and abroad who died amid the pandemic. This true story, as written by Anna in her diary, is rich in history as told by someone in the thick of it and enhanced by the compiler’s supplemental research. It juxtaposes Anna’s life with events in the life of her future husband, then serving in the 107th Ammunition Train, mostly in France. At first, her decisions focused on herself: Who would she let court her? What new frock would she sew for the next movie date, the next dance, the next stroll through the nearby park? Would she marry a soldier? As the year evolved, she knew she would never see most of the soldier boys again. She also might never see her sailor brother Billy again. As her thoughts evolved across the year, her hopes evolved as well. She longed to be part of the massive effort to encourage the homeward-bound soldiers who had given so much to secure a free Europe and a free America.
Richard Rands was a war baby, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shortly before his dad was shipped off from Colorado’s Peterson Field to England as a B-17 engine mechanic during WWII. After the war he spent his childhood years living in the Mojave Desert where his dad worked on jet engines at Muroc Air Force Base (AFB), now Edwards AFB. Later he grew up in Southern California, gradually migrating eastward from Inglewood to Glendora. He spent his entire university education at University of California Berkeley during the 1960s earning a BS in Operations Research and an MBA. Upon graduation he began a fascinating career working in the computer industry for Hewlett-Packard with assignments in Palo Alto, California, then Singapore, Malaysia, France, and England, covering nearly twenty years. Subsequently he spent another twenty years involved in computer hardware and software for various companies in northern California, ultimately retiring as CEO of Computers for Marketing Corporation in San Francisco. He served as president of several professional marketing research societies in the Bay Area. After retirement, he earned an Advanced Certificate in English Genealogy Research (PLCGS) from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies through the University of Toronto, Canada, and is past president of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group. Currently, he is active in volunteering, teaching and presenting at genealogical societies and conferences, Family History Centers, and Senior Centers throughout Northern California. He is a co-author of the genealogy book Family History Documentation Guidelines, and the author of The Last Organization System You’ll Ever Need for Your Genealogy Stuff. Richard and his wife, Janet Brigham, reside in Auburn, California.
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6 x 9, Illustrated
6 x 9, Illustrated