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Veterans Historical Society Topic

Voices - 1/3/2018

NEWTOWN - The Newtown Historical Society will present Both Grandfathers Served in WWI at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 7, in the C.H. Booth Library.

Peter Markle is the grandson of two veterans of the American Expeditionary Force who served in Europe and will discuss their experiences.

His maternal grandfather, John Stewart, served with New York's 27th Division and was wounded and gassed during an attack on the Hindenburg Line.

He received the Purple Heart.

Mr. Markle's paternal grandfather Clifford Markle served with the Yankee Division.

He was gassed, captured, and became a prisoner of war. He later wrote and published a book, "A Yankee Prisoner in Hunland," detailing his experiences, with a forward by former President William Howard Taft.

Mr. Markle was also awarded the Purple Heart.

The presentation will describe how World War I saw the tremendous technological advance of weaponry, including the machine gun, the first combat use of aviation, the submarine, and the use of poisonous gas.

Yet for all these new weapons, and in part because of some, the war settled into the mud of trench warfare.

With little chance of advance, opposing armies faced each other for months at a time in restricted spaces often stripped bare of any life other than the troops.

Mr. Markle was raised in Brookfield, and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in civil engineering.

Carrying on the family tradition of military service, he served as a pilot in the United States Air Force before establishing a career as a highway engineer with the Federal Highway Administration.

All Newtown Historical Society programs are free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be served following the program.

The society notes that the change to the afternoon time will accommodate those who prefer to drive in daylight.

More information is available by calling 203-426-5937 or visiting www.newtownhistory.org.


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