Skip to main content

Lester Lovett Powell papers

Identifier: MSS 435


Lester Lovett Powell was born in 1875 in either Saco or Biddeford, Maine. He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1905. Powell served in the U.S. military as a physician in France during World War I. He died in 1938.

His military service: Drafted into Federal Serv: as 1st Lt MC from NG; Capt Nov. 15/18. Org: 1st Me HFA; 101 Inf to Dec. 25/17; 101 MG Bn; Unasgd to disch. Eng: Aisne-Marne; St Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne; Defensive Sector. Wounded in action: Oct. 28/18. Cited for gallantry in action. Overseas: Sept. 21/17 to Dec. 30/18. Hon disch for conv of Govt: Aug. 2, 1919.

(From Roster of Maine in the Military Service of the U.S. and Allies in World War 1917-1919. Vol. I-II. Augusta, ME, USA: n.p., 1929. Accessed 7 February 2020 through Maine, Military Index, 1917-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.)

The Lester Lovett Powell papers date mostly to 1918 and are a small collection documenting some of Powell’s time serving in France during World War I. Included in this collection are two newspaper clippings, circa 1918, about his service and experiences; a letter written in French, 12 March 1918, to “Dear Friend” from J. Chiriou[?]; and a typescript of a speech given by Powell, entitled “What Price Old Age?”. Of note are two photographs, one of a group of soldier, presumably Powell’s unit; and one of the Methodist Episcopal Hospital ambulance.

The majority of the material, however, is contained in two volumes of diaries, dating from circa July 1917 to May 8, 1918. The first volume is a Field Message Book, U.S. Army; the first several pages have been filled out according to this use. Several back pages have been used as a diary entry, in the form of a letter to Powell’s wife, discussing the events of July 22-26, 1917.

The second volume begins on August 28, 1917, with a note on the page for the 27th recording the purchase date of the journal, and where previous, earlier diary entries can be found. The entries in this volume not only detail some of Powell’s military duties, but his experiences of being on or near the front lines. This volume in particular is full of rich details about serving in the military during World War I, and seeing war firsthand.

Researchers should note that the College does not have the two grey volumes Powell mentions in his note on the page of August 27th.

Previously catalogued as 10a 494.


  • 1918; undated



.2 Linear feet (1 half document box)

Language of Materials


Lester Lovett Powell papers
Chrissie Perella
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States