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Samuel P. Fay Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Framed French flag from Fay's ambulance (car #21224) at the front in Belgium

Framed map of France and Belgium, indicating the position of the front as of May 31, 1915



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Samuel P. Fay Collection, 1915-1936 | Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs

By Dennis Riley

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Collection Overview

Title: Samuel P. Fay Collection, 1915-1936Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1915

ID: RG1/053

Creator: Fay, Samuel P. (Samuel Prescott) (1884-1971)

Extent: 1.34 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The folders are arranged alphabetically by topic.

Languages: English

Abstract

Samuel Prescott Fay was an ambulance driver with the American Ambulance Hospital and the American Ambulance Field Service (later to be known as the American Field Service or AFS) and American aviator during World War I, serving in France and Belgium.  The Samuel P. Fay Collection contains items from his ambulance service during the war, including a typed copy of his diary recording in detail his time in France and Belgium, photographs taken in Belgium, and pages from the ambulance record book he carried in Paris.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Samuel P. Fay Collection consists of material documenting his experience as a volunteer ambulance driver with the American Ambulance Field Service (later to be known as the American Field Service or AFS) during World War I, including a typed copy of his diary recording in detail his time in France and Belgium, photographs taken during his service in Belgium, and several loose pages from the ambulance record book he carried in Paris.

 

Fay’s diary is divided into two parts.  Part 1 covers the period May 8-July 5, 1915, and details his travel to France and time in Paris with the American Ambulance Hospital, including his trans-Atlantic voyage, anecdotes he heard related to purported German atrocities (such as the bayoneting of Belgian babies), general impressions of wartime Paris, and diversions when not on duty (such as dining out or attending shows at the Opéra-Comique.)  Fay also recorded his experiences at the American Ambulance Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, including living conditions, retrieving wounded at La Chapelle (the freight area of the Gare du Nord train station in Paris), transporting patients to local hospitals and convalescent facilities outside Paris, and impressions of the wounded, including distinguishing between blessés and malades and providing details of medical treatments and operations.  Part 2 covers the period July 6-August 27, 1915, and details his experience with the American Ambulance Field Service (later to be known as the American Field Service, abbreviated “AFS”) with Section Sanitaire [États-] Unis (SSU) 1 in Belgium relating to retrieving wounded from postes de secours, German artillery bombardments, the novelty of airplanes, the maintenance of the motor pool, and general impressions of the war, including movements of British, French, and Belgian troops as well as descriptions of trench design.  The diary includes mention of other ambulance drivers and staff, including AFS founder A. Piatt Andrew, and  fellow volunteer Joshua G.B. Campbell.

 

The twenty five photographs in the collection were taken by Fay in Belgium near Woesten and Elverdinghe during the summer of 1915 and include images of wounded soldiers, life in the trenches, the effects of artillery bombardments, and other military scenes.  The photographs are approximately 3”x4” and all but one are mounted on folded 8.5”x11” sheets of paper.  One photograph is not mounted.

 

The three loose assorted pages from the ambulance record book detail trips Fay made during his time at the American Ambulance Hospital from hospital trains arriving at La Chapelle Station to various hospitals in Paris.  The record book was used to track the number and type of patients carried and trips made by the ambulance, including the travel time between the train station and hospital.  The record book was probably once a bound book comprised of numbered sheets of paper with two pages sharing the same number; one printed page and one copy page. The blank printed page remaining in the collection has a perforation on the left side of the page, while the two copy pages (containing handwritten notes) do not.  Accompanying the pages is a small card indicating his ambulance number (70), and the number of seated and laying patients accommodated in the ambulance (4 of each.)

 

The collection also includes the remains of a small booklet of air mail (par avion) stamps dated from 1936, a framed map measuring 29.5”x 40.5”of France and Belgium indicating the position of the front as of May 31, 1915, and a framed French flag measuring 24” x 32.25” from World War I which was on Fay’s car #21224 at the front in Belgium.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 box, 2 oversize items

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research. Digital copies of the diaries can be accessed through the online finding aid. Researchers must consult the digital copies first; permission to access originals items is required in advance.

Use Restrictions: Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Archives. In the event that this research becomes a source for publication, a credit line indicating the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs is required. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Acquisition Method: This collection was donated to the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs by Samuel P. Fay at an unknown date.

Separated Materials: No items were deaccessioned, separated, or removed from the collection.

Related Materials: For more information on or photographs of activities of the Section Sanitaire [État]-Unis (SSU) 1 consult the American Field Service World War I Records (RG1/001), the American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection (RG1/002), and the Joshua G.B. Campbell Collection (RG1/052).

Processing Information: This collection was processed by Dennis Riley in 2013.  Finding aid written by Dennis Riley in September 2013, and encoded in EAD by Nicole Milano in May 2016. Digitized diaries added and finding aid updated by Shirra Rockwood in September 2016.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Oversize Item 1: Framed French flag from Fay's ambulance (car #21224) at the front in Belgium, 1915],
[Oversize Item 2: Framed map of France and Belgium, indicating the position of the front as of May 31, 1915, 1915],
[All]

Box 1Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 1: Air Mail Stamps, 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Diary, Part 1, May 8-July 5, 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Diary, Part 2, July 6-August 27, 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Photograph, circa 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Photograph Album, 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Photograph Album (Reproduction), 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Record Book Pages, 1915Add to your cart.


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