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   Richard Thomas Crump
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Richard Thomas Crump
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army
Unit: Company G, 3rd Infantry
Service Location: France
Rank: Private First Class
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We know very little about Richard Crump's life, aside from the meticulous scrapbook he assembled documenting his WWI service as an ambulance driver. The album progresses from his carefree days in training-shiny uniforms, vehicles, and equipment, and a gang of friends-to the ravaged French countryside in San Sulpice and Wailly. Crump was clearly amazed at the destruction of such cities as Dammartin and Remiencourt, given the numerous photos he took of buildings reduced to rubble by German shelling. He also recorded life in the trenches of Cottenchy and Vézaponin. Additionally, he gave us images we don't usually associate with WWI: German POWs, French villagers, and the aftermath of war. The French countryside was littered with abandoned war materiel, from light artillery to tanks, trains, and planes. We can also imagine, from the photos of the ambulances, how much the reality of war differed from his training. Crump's ambulance, easily recognized by its "Blue Devil" insignia (a symbol of the infamous French soldiers known as the "Chasseurs alpins"), is little more than a shell of a vehicle in his album, with its shredded tarpaulin and jury-rigged framework.

»Photo Album  (2 photos)
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»World War I Remembered: Correspondence and Photographs
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WWI photographic scrapbook by Richard Thomas Crump A veteran medal issued by the Union Nationale des Combattants in France. 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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