8. World War I Memorabilia

WWI Medals

It’s been a century since more than 650 Bucknell students, alumni and faculty served the Allied cause in World War I. Special Collections/University Archives commemorates the University’s doughboys by displaying several personal items. One is a croix de guerre, a French military decoration awarded to Harold Thomas ’21. A citation depicting Thomas’ actions in war-torn France reads that he “displayed an absolute zeal under all circumstances. During the period from Aug. 1–6, he kept up a service of evacuation in a zone subject to violent bombardment.”

Thomas also contributed another interesting World War I relic: a gold cigarette lighter with an engraved image of a French soldier on one side and an American one on the other. It’s an intriguing example of trench art, crafted by soldiers while they passed the time between battles.