7 December 1918 A Birthday Abroad




Many thanks to Coralee for providing me with artifacts throughout the years and especially for the stack of WWI-era letters that were delivered to me on 31 May 2019. They have provided countless hours of family history entertainment.

– Denise

The War was over and Floyd was back in Illinois, right? WRONG! He celebrated his 27th birthday abroad. After the armistice, Floyd remained in Europe for another eight months. What he did and what he saw during that time is a mystery. In the coming months, we’ll see a few letters from home, but little from Floyd.

Starting 1 December 1918, the allied troops marched into Germany becoming an occupying army. We don’t know if Floyd was moved into Germany, but at some point, he picked up a German souvenir. The following is a German instruction sheet for using hand grenades.

It is good for us that Floyd found the hand grenade instructions rather than facing a hand grenade being thrown at him. Some of it is translated here. Well, loosely and clumsily translated at least, with the help of Google Translate.

I. Get Ready

  1. grasp the hand grenade with one hand on the pot, another with a hand stalk
  2. Explosion capsule with its opening into the attachment tube at the upper end of the handle
  3. 1st shoulder strokes bent, so that detonator is not a single load, must be opened beforehand
  4. steal in the top-end chamois

II. Wearing Method

With torque, a single key holder or some other handy container

III. Handling when throwing.

  1. Hand grenades with the handrails, still stand still
  2. Safeguards within the ends of the stalk with another hand scraping
  3. Recognizing snubbing scissors in knobs and with crimping, heavy-duty ruck yet completely complete
  4. Hand grenade immediately but calmly throw
  5. Hand grenade also throw if the tear-off cord was torn off by any circumstance not completely, even if no smoking phenomenon existed
  6. cover after the throw

IV. Treatment.

  1. The hand grenades taken from the boxes should be protected as far as possible against the wet by appropriate storage.
  2. Above all, secure blast capsules against moisture, because otherwise explosive power will be lost.
  3. Detach the blasting capsules from the container one by one before using them individually Carefully and carefully pour out the sawdust. A help with hard and sharp objects is strictly forbidden. If the set of punches is only partially loosened, do not use the detonator.
MWP Stielhandgranate


A Letter from Roy

Who is Who?

Guy and Gertrude Phillips Family

Floyd was the middle of the five sons of Gertrude Lovin Boyce and Guy Allison Phillips.

Family group sheet, Guy Allison Phillips and Gertrude Lovin Boyce.


Stiel-Handgranate Bz. “Artifact” privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

WWI Interactive Timeline, The National WWI Museum and Memorial ( https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/interactive-wwi-timeline : accessed 3 Jun 2019)

Google Translate ( https://translate.google.com/ : accessed 13 Jun 2019).

“Stielhandgranate,” Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stielhandgranate : accessed 13 Jun 2019).

The Phillips Family

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