Newsletters to the Front: The Bugle and the Jeep
With all of their loved ones at war, the small tightly knit town of Wayland decided to compose a newspaper. It would be sent to each and every Wayland and Cochituate serviceman wherever he may be. At the time of World War II, Cochituate was a separate town from Wayland. Therefore, two newspapers were created, The Cochituate Jeep and The Village Bugle. Although laid out somewhat differently, both newspapers contained news from home or "local news" as well as "service news." These issues were sent directly to the men regardless of their location. If a Wayland serviceman had been relocated, the newspapers made sure that they were informed by the men themselves of the whereabouts of their new location. The newspapers became more than just a package of papers that came continuously each week to these men, but rather evolved into an incomparable source of joy and nostalgia. Every man was overjoyed at the issues weekly arrival, which they expressed through letters written to the newspapers.
The Cochituate Jeep was full of life shown through its pictures and its two main sections of writing. The first section began with town news. This column gave information surrounding virtually every event occurring in the town as well as the events taking place in specific peoples lives. In one issue sent out on June 15, 1945, the newspaper described the Memorial Day festivities, which included a dedication of a new flagpole by the Girl Scouts along with the dedication of an Honor Roll. The Honor Roll was dedicated to the men and women of Cochituate who were fighting overseas. The article included a quote from Captain J.H. Masse of the American Mariner, "On my last visit to Cochituate I saw our Honor Roll, situated opposite the Legion Hall, on the Garden Club lot. I believe it is the most appropriate symbol of recognition to the efforts of our men and women who have left Cochituate and Wayland to serve our country where most needed." Other seemingly unimportant news included the traveling and events of specific townspeople. One example being from a March 9, 1945 issue, "Miss Irene Perry is enjoying herself at Palm Beach, Florida. Our well known police officer, Earnest H. Damon, is at present employed as a guard at the Raytheon plant in Waltham." No matter what the information, the men were just as much excited to read each and every bit. The Village Bugle, although set up similarly, had a less lively approach because it did not include pictures. The local news within The Village Bugle was similar to that of The Jeep. However, the news focused more on the war, and highlights of particular events in town, which praised the men at war. For example, this news included the acknowledgement made by the First Parish Church during mass on Sunday December 2nd, 1945, of the efforts being made by the servicemen.
Along with the local news, both newspapers included service news. This news showed the whereabouts, movements, deaths, injuries and more details of the happenings overseas with their prized Wayland men. This part the of newspaper allowed servicemen to learn about their friends from back home who also went away to war. This allowed them to get a better understanding of the occurrences at other stations of the war. One piece of news in the servicemen column in The Village Bugle says, "We are sorry to announce that P F C Ray C. Smith Jr., son of Mr. And Mrs. Ray C. Smith, Lincoln Road., Sudbury, reported missing in action on November 21, has now been reported killed in action." Another example says, "Allen Morgan received his PFC stripe this week when his boot training at Parris Island was completed. On Wednesday he left for Camp Lejeune, New River, for further training in the U.S.M.C. While shooting for records on the Parris Island range, Allen qualified as marksmen." This is the type of information that was send to these men each week.
The feeling of joy that these men felt after receiving each issue of either
The Jeep or The Bugle was unexplainable. Instantly, these men felt
reconnected to their hometown and felt as though they were experiencing the
every day events of the small towns of Wayland and Cochituate. One man
wrote, "No one can possibly appreciate the Bugle more than I do and so many
fellows from small towns that Ive shown it to wish their townsfolk would put
out something like it for them. They do like to read the Bugle, even though
they know none of the people mentioned." At first the Wayland and Cochituate
men were harassed by their fellow servicemen about the newspapers, however,
as the war dragged on, the other servicemen begged the Wayland men to read
the newspapers because it gave these men a sense of home. One man in
particular, expressed his gratefulness to the newspaper for their work.
"Gosh, it sure is swell to know that all the folks back in dear old
Cochituate, in the heart of Gods Country, who watched us all grow up from
little kids would do such a wonderful thing for us." (Link) Throughout the
issues, there are countless letters to the newspaper written by servicemen
expressing their gratitude for the creation of The Jeep and The Bugle, which
had brought them so much comfort and happiness. Not only did these
newspapers bring happiness to the servicemen from Cochituate and Wayland,
but they also united the towns. This unification was occurring all over the
country, ultimately leading the people of the United States to embrace a
common feeling of hope and pride in their country.
The Village Bugle. March 1945 End.
The Cochituate Jeep. April 1945 End.