John Wesley Pontius, an Upper Arlington resident who was Secretary of the Columbus Y.M.C.A, left for England in 1918 to take part in the military work of the Y.M.C.A. during World War I. While away, J. W. Pontius contributed to the Norwester Magazine, and, following his return several months later, continued to write about his experiences abroad. One of his articles, from the December 1918 Norwester magazine, was accompanied by this photograph of newly arrived United States soldiers enjoying refreshments at the American Y.M.C.A. in Liverpool. The article paints a vivid picture of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a 36-square-mile convoy of ships. It describes the harrowing experience of spending a night stranded by fog deep within a hostile submarine zone, as well as the pleasure of watching whales and porpoises swimming alongside the ships.
WWI Soldiers’ Reception at the American Y.M.C.A. in Liverpool, 1918
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