Y.M.C.A. Huts on British Front in Somme Territory

Westbrook Pegler

Pittsburgh Press/January 10, 1917

London, Jan. 10—The fighting front holds no terrors for the Y.M.C.A. Its huts are built wherever soldiers go.

A.K. Yapp, general secretary, after a tour of the British sector, is back in London today with an account o the Y.M.C.A.’s work in housing soldiers and providing them with simple luxuries that do much to maintain the buoyant spirit of the Tommies.

“We have established huts in the catacombs of Ypres and Loos,” he said. “There are others in the Somme territory recovered from the Germans, forming little cheer-posts for Tommies amid the awful desolation and knee deep mud of the recent battlefields.

“From the camps at the base the hut lines extend ‘way up to advanced positions of the front. We are even developing the dug-out idea for housing men temporarily and providing them with warm food and chocolate. In November we gave the soldiers on one twelve-mile line to the front 161,230 cups of cocoa, tea and coffee. These were men going up for their turn in the attack or returning to the base camps after being relieved in the trenches.”

Many of the Y.M.C.A establishments are well within range of the German shell-fire but these usually are protected as well as possible by natural concealments.

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