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The history of Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI. A letter home from 1917. “Spent two nights on the town. I slept like a top.”

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Feb. 6, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Resident historian Lee Krueger is looking to highlight his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI.

Read the first installment of the Thecla Richter story by clicking HERE.

In today’s episode, Thecla writes a letter home. The date is May 18, 1917 and she is shipping out from New York to France.


May 18, 1917  (New York)

We got to N.Y. this morning. Were given our breakfast by the Red Cross at Hoboken. Then went aboard a ship and went over to N.Y.  At present we are sitting on a bus waiting to go to Red Cross headquarters to receive our capes and instructions.

Your will receive a cable just a soon as we get to France.

We leave on Saturday noon on board ship the Mongolia.  The trip was great to N.Y., absolutely first class.  We received a wonderful reception at St. Thomas, Canada.


Arrived safely so you see there isn’t a thing to worry about.


You will probably hear from the Red Cross headquarters many times telling the latest news from us.  So don’t worry because there isn’t any danger.

I suppose all our letters will be opened so it probably would be well to be quite careful as to what you say or I won’t be getting the letters.  You of course know that I was not forced to go but went on my own accord and willing to go and do my best.


Our uniforms are wonderful.


Spent two nights on the town.  I slept like a top.

(Red Cross will forward our mail)

It looks great to see about 300 people in uniform.


There will be two other units going at the same time that we go, so I expect that there will be 1000 people on board ship.  Much Love, Thecla


My address will be the following unless notified differently. Be sure that you keep this address:

Thecla Richter

Unit No 12

c/o Red Cross Headquarters 30 E. 36th St    New York


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