Veterans Voices: A Solider’s Diary

Veterans Voices

(WBRE/WYOU-TV) A century after a Northeastern Pennsylvania native fought in world war one, his battlefield experience is coming to light.

            He left behind a treasure trove of personal artifacts from his role in “the great war”.

            Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller gives us a glimpse into history.

“This is a listing of his military service,” said George Brown of Wilkes-Barre. Spread out on a table and faded by time are the contents that make up a soldier’s story from World War One. “I’m wearing gloves because this is 100 years old. It’s very fragile.”

Mr. Brown uncovered the materials in a shoebox while clearing out his late mother-in-law’s home two years ago. The military memorabilia belonged to Mr. Brown’s grandfather through marriage. “When Clarence Miller fought in World War One, he kept this diary on his person.”

Miller was 21-years-old when in 1917 he became one of the first volunteers from his hometown of Wilkes-Barre to enlist in the Army during The Great War which later was called World War One. 

“The Germans immediately throwed over a barrage over our boxes,” read Mr. Brown from the diary which captured the heroism of Miller and his fellow soldiers while fighting the enemy on the front lines in France. “And I think about this often what he went through as a young man.”

While the diary is the centerpiece of Miller’s personal war experience, it’s far from the only highlight.

Among the memorabilia is Miller’s monthly Soldier’s Pay Book. “And it shows that he was paid $36.60.”

There’s also a map of France spanning areas where Miller fought. And there’s a pen pal letter. “At the price of great sacrifice, you loved our France,” read Mr. Brown from the letter written by a French woman who sent it to Miller after the war ended. Another excerpt went, “France appreciates everything you have done in helping her to save her country.”

Mr. Brown hopes we all share an appreciation for men like PFC Miller. “It just amazed me and it still does.”

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