Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Julius Bromet Papers, 1917-1919

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, February 2012

Summary Information
Title: Julius Bromet papers
Creator: Bromet family and Bromet, Julius S.
Inclusive dates: 1917-1919
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
Abstract:
The Julius Bromet papers are made up of letters, postcards, and a diary that Bromet wrote while serving with the 305th Field Hospital (later the 305th Ambulance Company) during World War I. In his letters to his parents and brother, Bromet described his experiences at Camp Upton, New York, and in France; his diary pertains to his time in France during and after the war. The collection has four photographs.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2002. M-4221.4.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Julius Bromet papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Diary
  • Series III: Photographs

The correspondence series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Solomon Bromet (b. ca. 1862), a diamond cutter, emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States around the turn of the 20th century. He and his wife Annie (b. 1860), a native of Ohio and herself the daughter of Dutch immigrants, had two sons, both born in the Netherlands: Julius S. (b. ca. 1889) and Louis (b. September 25, 1889). The family returned to the United States in 1894 and settled in New York, where the three men were naturalized in 1914. Julius Bromet entered the United States Army as a private before March 1917, serving with the 305th Field Hospital, 302nd Sanitary Train (later the 305th Ambulance Company). He left for France in April 1917 and remained there through the war, earning a promotion to sergeant in July 1918. He returned to the United States in May 1919. Julius and his wife Sadie, the daughter of a Russian father and Romanian mother, had at least one daughter, Florence (b. ca. 1926).

Louis Bromet and his wife Wilhelmina moved to Queens, New York, where he worked for Gaumgold Brothers. He died in Nassau, New York, in January 1972.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Julius Bromet papers are contains 145 letters and postcards and a diary that Bromet wrote while serving with the 305th Field Hospital (later the 305th Ambulance Company) at Camp Upton, New York, and in France during and after World War I. The collection also has 4 photographs: 2 photographs attached to the letter of December 7, 1917, and 2 in a separate series.

The Correspondence series consists of 145 letters and from Julius Bromet to his parents, Solomon and Annie Bromet; his brother, Louis Bromet; and "Minnie and Baby;" all letters were sent to his father's home in Brooklyn, New York. From March 7, 1917, to March 14, 1917, and again from December 9, 1917, to April 2, 1918, he wrote from Camp Upton on Long Island, New York, about his training and equipment. He also related rumors of his unit's upcoming transfer to Europe. After a brief period with the 152nd Depot Brigade in December 1917, Bromet returned to the 305th Field Hospital, which traveled to France via England in April 1918. In one 10-page letter from April 1918, he described his transatlantic voyage.

After his arrival in France around April 21, 1918, Bromet wrote about aspects of life near the front, including his account of witnessing a German and French "aeroplane fight" (July 26, 1918), and reported rumors that an armistice was imminent. After the war, he was stationed near Chaumont and Solesmes, France, where he described the scenery and conveyed the pleasures of sleep unhindered by the sounds of airplane raids and machine guns (November 12, 1918), though he admitted having an eerie feeling about the silence (November 14, 1918). He left France in May 1919. Two photographs of a soldier are enclosed in his letter of December 5, 1918. Illustrated postcards of various French scenes; new recruits at Camp Upton, New York (4 items, December 4, 1917); and several uniformed soldiers (3 items, undated). Bromet's co-workers sent him a postcard wishing him a safe return from the war (December 7, 1917).

Julius S. Bromet kept a Diary (53 pages) between April 6, 1918, and May 7, 1919, during his service in France. In daily entries, he noted the weather and interesting occurrences, such as a burial at sea during the voyage to France (April 18, 1918) and a close encounter with falling shrapnel (May 9, 1918). He also witnessed occasional air raids and unfavorably compared U.S. Army quarters to British quarters. He wrote his final entry just after arriving in Hoboken, New Jersey, on May 7, 1919, and expected to be mustered out within the next two days; he wrote down "Thurs May 8" but did not complete the entry. The diary also contains addresses and a list of letters that Bromet mailed home.

The Photographs series includes a portrait of a soldier, which is housed in a frame with the word "Welcome," illustrations of American flags, and the date (May 10, 1919), and a picture of a man and three women in a domestic environment. Two additional photographs are attached to the letter of December 5, 1918.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Camp Upton (N.Y.)
    • France--Description and travel.
    • Transatlantic voyages.
    • United States. Army. Ambulance Company, 516th.
    • United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
    • United States. Army. Field Hospital, 305th.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States. Army. Sanitary Train, 302nd.
    • World War, 1914-1918--France.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Camp Upton (N.Y.)
    • France--1910-1920.
    • Soldiers--United States.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Photographs.
    • Picture postcards.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Correspondence [series]:
    Box   1 Folders   1-13
     March 7, 1917-May 7, 1919, and  Undated
     
    Diary [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   14
     April 6, 1917-May 7, 1919
     
    Photographs [series]:
    Box   1 Folder   15
     May 10, 1919, and  Undated