Dyer, William Holmes.
Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
The memoirs are written in a narrative form, and begin at the point that Dyer decided to enlist in the Army, throughthe Armistice, his return to the States and discharge fromthe Army. Dyer briefly discusses the period spent at Ft. Des Moines and Camp Funston and the voyage to France. He gives his impressions of the people and his surroundings in Brest, France where his Division landed, and other cities and towns where they traveled as they made their way to the Western Front. Once at the front he describes some of his experiences there, which are also impressionistic. There are no descriptions of battles, only of the death and destruction caused by the bombings and battles. He barely discusses his medical duties, makessome mention of racial incidents and the existence of segregation and racism in the Army.
The memoir is handwritten and bound. Pasted into the volume are photographs of soldiers at Camps Funston and Riley in Kansas, and postcards from France, a New York Times clipping "Buffaloes Return Colors from War." Also included are memoranda from Headquarters, 92nd Division, copies of circulars from the 317th Ammunition Train, and his orders from the War Department. A photograph of Dyer is located on the page fronting the section titled "Brest,France." A transcription of the memoirs accompanies the manuscript.
William Holmes Dyer was an African-American physician in Kansas who served in World War I. While in Kansas he was amember of the staff at Old General Hospital and was the medical examiner for Standard Life Insurance Company. Dyerwas appointed a First Lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps of the 92nd Division, which saw action in France. Hewas trained at the special training camp for black officers at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa and was later assigned tothe 317th Sanitary Train at Camp Funston, Kansas. In June of 1918 he set sail for France.
Controlled Access Terms
- Dyer, William Holmes.
- United States. Army -- African American troops -- History -- 19th century.
- African American soldiers.
- African American physicians.
- World War, 1914-1918 -- African Americans.
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American.
- Soldiers -- United States -- Diaries.
- Race discriminationxzUnited States.
- Brest (France) -- Social life and customs.