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Ceres sent its share of 'dough boys' to WWI front lines
In the era of World War I, hastily trained American soldiers were sent to France to fight "a war to end all wars." That war became known as the World War before we started to put numbers on them! U.S. soldiers were called "dough boys" because of the army blanket rolled up into a horseshoe shape which resembled roll of dough. This horseshoe configuration was packed on their backs and many pictures of these gallant guys boarding troop ships are still in this day seen from time to time. The enemy was the country of Germany headed up by a leader nicknamed "Kaiser Bill."

Songs of the day were,

"Over There," with the first verse calling "Johnny get your gun, take it on the run, hear them calling you and me; every son of liberty."

"I Have Come to Say Goodbye," with a chorus: "At evening I'll be a dreaming of thee when you are o'er the sea, in fancy I'll see you waiting, waiting at home, home sweet home for me."

"When Yankee Doodle Learns to 'Parlez-Vois Francais'" had a chorus saying "Goodbye, everybody, I'm off to fight the foe. Uncle Sammy is calling me so I must go. Gee I'm feeling fine don't you wish that you were me? For I'm sailing tomorrow over the deep blue sea."

"I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way," which says: "And I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way. For I belong to the regulars I'm proud to say. And I'll do my duty - duty night or day. I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way."

"Till We Meet Again." The chorus goes: "Smile a while when you kiss me sad adieu. When the clouds roll by I'll come to you then the skies will seem more blue. Down in lovers' lane my dearie wedding bells ring so merrily. Every tear will be a memory. So wait and pray each night for me. Till we meet again."

"Where Do We Go From Here?" which sings, "Where do we go from here boys? Where do we go from here? Slip a pill to Kaiser Bill and make him shed a tear; And when we see the enemy we'll shoot him in the rear, Oh joy, oh boy. Where do we go from here?"

And finally: "Welcome Home." The chorus reads: "Welcome home the day of peace on earth is here, Welcome home what words of cheer. We've kept our home fires burning while yearning for you."

This generation of boys that served in World War I included many from Ceres. I will name just a few: Jake Dillon, Wayne Baldridge, "Shorty" Johnson, Claude Berryhill, Alfred Gondring, "Doc" Lucas, Clifford Landreth and Dorsey Turner. Much has been and said that the World War II era produced the "greatest generation for we went to war, returned to work and became successful. But let's not forget the generation before us, the ones who also left their loved ones to go by troop ship to Europe to settle conditions there under adverse conditions such as mud, rain and the trenches in far away France!

Sadly, their efforts nor those of ours have not ended wars. Perhaps future generations will do better to put a end to this waste and carnage! In the words of General Douglas MacArthur at the end of the ceremonies when signing the peace treaty with the Empire of Japan in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, "Let us pray for peace and preserve it always"!

Sometimes while I am out in public, people will recognize me as one who served our country in time of war and they graciously offer their thanks for what I did. I wish that when I was younger that I had expressed thanks to the World War I dough boys, including those mentioned above. It's too late for they are all gone.

Bill Noble may be reached via email at