Sunday, July 22, 2007

4. Bryan Gets Drafted

Read documents from Emerging America and World War I: 1880 - 1920

On 5 June 1917, my great-grandfather, William Bryan ROBBINS, registered with his local draft board in Muskegon Heights, Muskegon Co., Michigan on what was coincidentally his 21st birthday. He was living at 1130 Reynolds Street and employed as an "automobile repairer" for Muskegon Auto Company in neighboring Muskegon. This would have been three months before meeting his future wife Marie at her grandfather's funeral, when he worked as a chauffeur. I wonder if he worked both jobs simultaneously.

His brother Lloyd also registered on the same day; in fact, his registration number is one before Bryan's, and on his registration card it states his address as 1133 Reynolds Street. Lloyd was working as a carpenter in Muskegon Heights for Fred Dominie (more on Fred in Part 9).

Lloyd's registration card leaves me with some questions. I wonder if his address was written in error and should be number 1130, instead? Near the close of the war, Lloyd writes to Bryan from home and says, "We are building some houses just east of our house on reynolds [sic], and we are going to move over there in a short time, so it will be like old times again." When Bryan applied for his marriage license in December 1919, he gave 1130 Reynolds as his address. My other question is regarding Lloyd's middle name. It looks like it could be Ray, but the image is blurry. Lloyd and Bryan had a cousin, Arthur "Roy" Robbins, who also served in WWI. I wonder if Lloyd's middle name is actually Roy, not Ray. I also would like to discover more about Lloyd's service in WWI. I know he served in a machine gun corps with the 32nd Division in France, but that's the limit of my knowledge, and my initial attempts to find out more have been unsuccessful.

For the record, the young men's father, Angelo Merrick ROBBINS, Sr., also registered for the draft on 12 September 1918. At the time, he was a salesman for Hoekie [Hocker?] Bros. of Rochester, New York, and lived at 1612 Mystic Avenue in Muskegon Heights.

One year after he had registered for the draft, Bryan received his Order of Induction into the Military Service of the United States:

Order of Induction into Military Service
of the United States

The President of the United States,

To Bryan Robbins
Order Number 4099 Serial Number 4429

Greeting: Having submitted yourself to a local board composed of your neighbors for the purpose of determining the place and time in which you can best serve the United States in the present emergency, you are hereby notified that you have now been selected for immediate military service.

You will, therefore, report to the local board named below at Court House, Muskegon, Michigan, at 4 P. m., on the 23rd day of June, 1918, for military duty.

From and after the day and hour just named you will be a soldier in the military service of the United States.

[Signed] Carl A Stauffer
Member of Local Board for Muskegon County, Mich.,
Report to Local Board for Muskegon County,
June 17, 1918.

Other posts in this series:
1. A Polar Bear in North Russia
2. The Family of Angelo and Lula Robbins
3. Bryan and Marie - A WWI Romance
5. Basic Training at Camp Custer
6. Getting "Over There"
7. Bryan and King George V
8. To Russia, With Influenza
9. A Letter from Mother - 25 Sep 1918
10. A Letter from Father - 7 Oct 1918

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