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"If only I had the time to write of this hell, but I can't. I will not be able to for some time yet, but the sights, the experiences will never die from memory." (Letter to his parents and Gertrude, August 6, 1918, page 89)

   Robert L. Wiley
Collection image
Robert L. Wiley as college football captain, Camp Douglas, WI [1917]
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army
Unit: 32nd Military Police Company
Service Location: France; Germany
Rank: Captain
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At his father's memorial service in 1961, Robert Wiley, Jr. was handed a large envelope containing letters his father wrote between the summer of 1917 and February 1919, covering 20 of the 24 months Wiley Sr. served during World War I. After a 1995 visit to Europe, Wiley Jr. reconstructed his father's experiences, drawing on his own readings of history and illustrating the memoir with then-and-now photographs of war sites. Wiley Sr. left the University of Wisconsin in his freshman year and obtained an officer's commission. He served in several capacities, including running a supply outfit and as commanding officer of a military police company. Though not on the front lines, he wrote eloquently about many scenes of devastation in letters to his mother, brother, and Gertrude, his sweetheart.

»Photo Album  (3 photos)
»Revisiting the Great War: Through Letters, Travel, and History, [1917-1919]
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  October 26, 2011
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