On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – SATURDAY AUGUST 17, 1918
The cooler temperatures continue today with sunny skies and no rain in the forecast. Today’s high will be about 77° with the low tonight near 66°.
The assembly rooms of Select Council on the 4th floor of City Hall have been converted into a dormitory for visiting soldiers. The ornate desks and large padded chairs have all been moved out and replaced with comfortable cots. The 5th floor is being put to use as a kitchen with long tables set up for the men in the north corridor to enjoy their meals. At the western end of the corridor showers have been installed. Rooms have also been set aside as quiet reading and writing sanctuaries. The plan is to use the floors for the soldiers until councils reconvene in the autumn.
Two sons of this city and true brothers-in-arms were killed in action on July 29th fighting side by side. They are Sgt. Edmund M. Knight and Sgt. Frederick H. Knight of 138 North 62nd Street. The distraught mother of the two heroes, Mrs. Marian Kahn, sat at her home with the telegram announcing the deaths of her boys in her lap. Her son Edmund was 23 years old and Frederick 24. Both men served in Company K of the 110th Regiment, 28th Division. Edmund had been in the army for five years while Frederick had been a soldier for two years. Before the war they had served on the Mexican border.
Mrs. Kahn and her boys came to America 14 years ago from England and dearly loved their adopted country. In a quiet voice she said “I am proud to be the mother of such sons. There is sorrow and pride and the wish that I had more sons to give my adopted country.” With tears in her eyes she stated “It was my duty as a mother to give them and I gave. It is a wonderful thing that they should have died together, died like men and like Americans.” A third son, Eric Knight, is presently serving with the Canadian army. Below is a photograph of this brave, proud mother and her sons including her youngest boy, Adolph Kahn 8 years old, who is the child from her second marriage. A report from soldiers who recovered the bodies of the men said they were killed by machine gun fire and were found lying in each other’s arms.
The 110th Regiment has suffered perhaps a disproportionate number of casualties lately due to its being in the thick of the battle and responsible for holding the American center in crossing the Ourcq River and the line along the Vesle River. It is comprised of predominantly Philadelphia men and was formed from the old First and Third National Guard Regiments of Pennsylvania.
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