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Nevers was about 18 to 20 miles away for Veterinary Hospital No 18 and I am sure my grandfather spend a lot of time there. With the railroad running through the camp I am guessing it was pretty easy to just jump on a train and be in Nevers or Paris in no time. Below are a few pictures of Nevers. The Nevers area covered 22 different camps, whose military population was about 50,000. Nearly every arm or department of service was represented. There were aviation camps, railroad engineers and railroad operators, labor battalions, motor repair units, a remount station, hospital units, and many others. There were several thousand German prisoners and nearly a thousand homeless Russians. At the time of the Armistice there were 30,000 patients in the great hospitals at Mesves and Mars-sur-Allier. Camp Stephenson, where three thousand men of the Railway Engineer units were building and repairing locomotives, was one of the most interesting stations in the Nevers area. When the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, the AEF operated 153 base hospitals, 66 camp hospitals, 12 convalescent hospitals, 21 hospital trains, and 6875 ambulances. Official records of the US Army Nursing Corps show that 136 nurses died in the conflict, none as a result of enemy fire

As I do my research on the Veterinary Corps I always find interesting material. I was amazed to find so many Regular US Army Hospital in the area of Nevers below is a list of those hospitals


Base Hospital No 14, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 35, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Barracks
Base Hospital No 44, Pouges-les-Eaux, Nièvre, Building used Hotels
Base Hospital No 48, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 50, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 54, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit And Tents
Base Hospital No 62, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit And Tents
Base Hospital No 67, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit And Tents
Base Hospital No 68, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 72, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Barracks
Base Hospital No 86, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit And Tents
Base Hospital No 89, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 107, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 108, Mesves, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 110, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 123, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit
Base Hospital No 131, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, Building used Type A Unit

Source: Great War Society

From Nevers to Sougy is about 17.5 miles or 32 minutes
From Nevers to Mesves it is 23.5 miles or 29 minutes
From Nevers to Mars-sur-Allier 11.75 miles or 25 minutes
From Sougy to Mars-sur-Allier it is 22.5 miles or 40 minutes
From Sougy to Mesves it is 38.5 miles or 48 minutes
From Sougy to Pouges-les-Eaux it is 28 miles or 41 minutes
From Sougy to Paris it 167 miles or 2 hours and 45 minute
NOTE: Above times are using today’s modern transportation

NOTE:One of the things I enjoy about having a website is I get a chance to enjoy giving people the opportunity to share with us their personal family history. Things like stories and pictures help us to form in our minds what it was like in France during the war. I believe that we who have a chance to look get way more than those that share. The privilege is truly ours.

I would like to thank Lucy for sharing the following with us of the Base Hospital at Mars Sur Allier, France. Her father was stationed here as a medic there during WW1.

Greg Krenzelok – Veterinary Corps Website


General view of the Base Hospital at Mars Sur Allier, France WW1

General view of the Base Hospital at Mars Sur Allier, France WW1, west end of camp

View of the convalescent camp (east end), looking north from the water tower. Base Hospital at Mars Sur Allier, France

One of the operating rooms, Mars Hospital Center, France WW1

Hello Greg,
My nephew just sent me your link about the Nevers, France during WWI. I know Nevers very well and love that area for many reasons.

My father Sgt. Charles DeVries was a medic stationed at the Mars Sur Allier Base Hospital after the Armistice. While there he met my mother, a young peasant girl. After a three-year correspondence he returned to marry her. I have all their letters from the time they met when my father was studying French with my mother. I have just completed translating or copying them so my interest in very personal

My dad was stationed at the Base Hospital in Beaune before coming to the Mars Hospital. He arrived at the Mars Base Hospital in 1919. I have a wonderful History of Base Hospital 48. I have spent lots of time in Moiry and St Pârize le Châtel, the area of the Mars Base Hospital. I went there with my parents in the 60's and for several consecutive summers in the 80's. In May of 2001 I went with my children and grandchildren on Memorial Day to a celebration honoring the Americans and French soldiers who died there in WWI.

Just last November one of my sons and I were the honored guests of the village of St Pârize le Châtel for a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. It was very special. When I first started going to Moiry to do research about the Base Hospital and the romance of my parents I was just this crazy American lady wandering around the vestiges of the Base Hospital with an old man, a classmate of my mother who remembered the Americans coming there to build the hospital. He, a 14-year-old boy, tending his cows, watched in wonder as the Americans came with all their technology and built this huge complex. He watched as Spanish and Annamite laborers came to work as young French men were off to war. Now the village at the recent instigation of a few people have knowledge of and pride in what happened there. They would like to create a museum to be housed in the Chateau D'Eau, a water tower still stalwartly standing and bearing the insignia of the American Corps of Engineers.

I have done much research about the Mars Sur Allier Base Hospital. There is a wealth of information in the Archives in Washington DC with wonderful photos of every aspect of the Camp and every record of everything that happened in the hospital.

My mother wrote stories of her youth in Moiry called “Vignettes de Moiry.’’ I had edited these stories in French. My interest in this whole era is mostly personal and anecdotal. However, I am aware of your research and the amazing work done in this era in the establishment of the Base Hospital.

In Moiry the train was diverted from the Station at Mars Sur Allier to transport the soldiers to the Camp. The train went right behind my mother's house. She told me that she would draw water from her well to give to the wounded soldiers. Her classmate told me that he remembers Armistice Day when the soldiers were dancing and drinking on top of the train. The location of this particular hospital was determined by the proximity to a train line and a water source. The American Corps of Engineers put in a complex and efficient water system which brought water from the Allier through an underground system and an efficient purifying system to serve this huge complex of hospitals. At the time there was no plumbing in the village. The Americans offered to leave the system for the French but it was refused. When I visited in the 60's only a couple homes had indoor plumbing but now, of course, the village is modernized.

If you should ever go to visit this area I can put you in touch with my friend Gianni Belli who would love to walk the fields with you and show you the vestiges of the water system, the Chateau D'Eau and even some barracks which remain and are used by people of the region.

There is a monument inscribed "Aux Americains Morts Pour la France, Le Droit et La Liberté’’ (To the Americans who Died for France, for Right and for Liberty) This obelisk was purchased by the townspeople of the area in memory of the Americans who died there. It was on Route National 7 in Moiry marking the location of the cemetery where the Americans were buried who died there of their wounds or the flu and also the unmarked graves of Annamite laborers. That monument has now been moved to the cemetery in St Parize because of the intense traffic on National 7. In November my son and I participated in a moving ceremony there honoring the French and Americans who died in WWI. We brought an American flag which had been flown over the US Capital and letters of recognition from Sen Kennedy and my congressman Bill Delehunt. Before that a Mass was held in the beautiful 12th century church honoring the French and American soldiers who died there in WWI. Those little villages were decimated of their youth. At the ceremony in the cemetery, the mayor read the name of each soldier inscribed on the monument preceded by a young boy playing the trumpet.

I know that your interest is more technical and specific but perhaps you will enjoy my anecdotal and personal research and experience with this moment in history. My friends in Moiry and St Parize are very proud of their history and connection to America's role in WW I and are eager to preserve it. I will refer your website to them.


Lucy DeVries Duffy

On Apr 11, 2009

Lucy has put a wonderful book and blog together, please take the time to visit her work.

Click on the below links

Stories of World War 1 in France/La Grande Guerre

“VIGNETTES OF MOIRY” by Lucy DeVries Duffy

About the Book

Lucy DeVries Duffy’s years of research and editing finally pay off in this publication of the keen reflections and poignant observations of Rebecca Goethe DeVries, her mother, accompanied by evocative images of the French hamlet where Rebecca came of age at the outbreak of World War One. The special bond between mothers and daughters that silently runs through Vignettes of Moiry also impelled the preservation and publication of this unique record.

Rebecca’s foster mother, the stern but kind Madame Marie Soupet, looms large in the story. She quietly blessed the lives of others, and not so quietly disrupted Moiry when necessary. Without fanfare she took in orphans like Rebecca, fed and cared for beggars, and counseled young women in trouble, never casting stones nor suffering fools gladly. While imparting the necessary domestic skills to her foster daughter, she also taught lessons that would last a lifetime and beyond.

In these colorful pages we not only share moments with Rebecca and her parents, brother, and friends, but also meet some gypsies; tinkers and their curs; students and other donkeys; hunchbacks and healers; bullies and bogeymen; and, in the end, a special American soldier. Through Rebecca’s innocent but opening eyes, we also rediscover the first fruits of maturity through meeting life’s challenges of work, sickness, death, and war, and experiencing the joys of family, friendship, learning, and love’s first bloom. The mundane and miraculous merge in this simple book, and the profound truths baked in its loaves of daily bread have multiplied across three generations of warm and wise women to bless us today.

To order Lucy DeVries Duffy’s book please click on the below link:

Vignettes of Moiry

Lucy’s book is a wonderful read.

Greg Krenzelok
U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group


Bob Stone's father, Leslie Stone was probably one of the first of the American Corps of Engineers who came to plan and build the Mars-sur-Allier Hospital Camp.

January 2, 2011

Hi Greg,

I just found your site with the information about the military hospital at Mars sur Allier. I’m going to be near there in April and plan to go see what’s there—can you imagine whether there’s any trace of it left?

My father, Master Engineer, was in Mars with an American captain and a major, I think, and they contracted for the hospital, which was constructed by Vietnamese, who were called “Annamites” by the soldiers then. He always wanted to return and visit the French family he was billeted with, but he never did. He died in 1972.

He too had a romance with a French girl—the daughter of his hosts, I believe, but he left her to visit Paris and then home in 1919.

I’ll pore over your site and Lucy’s when I return home late this week. I’d love to get any pointers or advice you have.

Bob Stone

Update April 11, 2011

I’m off to France this afternoon, and next week I’ll be staying with friends in Buzon, near Mars sur Allier. My father was one of three (or maybe five) American soldiers who built the U S Army hospital there, supervising thousands of “Annamite”—now known as Vietnamese--laborers. We’re planning to visit Mars and hunt for the remains of the hospital. Are there any? Bob Stone


Staff, photo taken at Base Hospital No.35, Mars-sur-Allier, France WW1. My grandfather (Colonel George F. Lull) is fifth from the left in the front row. (Images and material source: Bob Lull, G.F. Lull Family Collection)

Click on the below link:
Base Hospital No. 35, Mars-sur-Allier, Nièvre, France, WW1


Commissioned Officers of U.S. Base Hospital No. 48, Mars-sur-Allier, Nievre, France, A.E.F. WW1

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U.S. Base Hospital No. 48, Mars-sur-Allier, Nievre, France, A.E.F. WW1

Railroad station at Nevers, France

US Army Camp and shops at Nevers, France WW1

Railroad turn table at Nevers, France WW1

The above 1909 map of Nevers France is probably very close to what it looked like during WW1

Above todays current road map shows the city of Nevers center left, Sougy is southeast, Mars-sur-Allier is southwest, Pouges-les-Eaux north of Nevers and Mesves is just a little north of Pouges-les-Eaux and is not on this map. Look for the small RED DOTS.


Click on the below link:
Mesves Hospital Center France A.E.F., WW1

Return to the Army Veterinary Service During the Great War, WW1 Homepage:

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The Army Veterinary Service During the Great War, WW1

Click on the below Homepage links:

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Sergeant Leonard Murphy Veterinary Hospital No. 18, A.E.F., WW1

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Polk County Wisconsin in WW1

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Fort Ord U.S. Army Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse) WW2

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11th Cavalry Presidio of Monterey, 1919 to 1940

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76th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion


Motto: “Illic est Vires in Numerus” There is Strength in Numbers

“Working Hard to Preserve Our Country’s History wherever it is being lost”

U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group is a group of individuals that are concerned about the preservation of the History of the Veterinary Corps, Remount Service and Cavalry or wherever our country’s history is being lost in conjunction with our beloved “Horse and Mule”. There is no cost to join and membership is for life. We believe by uniting together in numbers we will be a more powerful force to be heard. Our membership list is private and only used to contact our members. Email us and become a member.

Greg Krenzelok

FACEBOOK: U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group

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U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group