Letters from a World War I soldier from Baltimore

Robert Denison Frick (July 30, 1890 – May 25, 1951, front row above at right) was born and raised in Baltimore.  Denny was ten years old when his father died;  thereafter he lived with his mother and three sisters on Bolton Street.  He first attended Boy’s Latin School, then Woodberry Forest (Lynchburg Virginia), and finally Princeton University, where he graduated in 1914.  He then spent a year in Chicago in the accounting department at Quaker Oats before returning to Baltimore where he would spend the rest of his life.

In 1916, when the National Guard was called out due to unrest on the Texas/Mexico border, his Battery was sent to Tobyhanna Pennsylvania for training. The following year he  traveled to Anniston, Georgia for further training and then to Saumur Artillery School in France.  From Saumur he proceeded to the trenches with the American Expeditionary Forces.

When the armistice was signed, the great floods of soldiers returning to America prompted the army to offer soldiers courses of study in colleges abroad. Priority for travel was given to married soldiers returning to families, while bachelors were encouraged to yield their place and to remain a bit longer. Denny spent six months at Oxford and returned to Baltimore in late June 1919.

During these months of the Great War, he wrote his mother regularly, describing life in training, in the army and at Oxford.  His first thought was always for her and he constantly sought to relieve her anxiety.  She, in turn, lavished affection on her son and carefully preserved his letters home.

The 100th anniversary of the letters begins in 2016. Each is posted on its respective anniversary date.


One thought on “Letters from a World War I soldier from Baltimore

  1. This was such a momentous time in history, and the letters, in spite of the gallant tone to keep his mother from worrying, are a personal narrative of the world events.
    I know that when he was at Oxford he studied Political Science and Latin,


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