Alfred A. Manners, 1887-1983 [RG5520.AM]


RG5520.AM: Alfred A. Manners, 1887-1983

Papers: 1917-1956; mostly 1918-1919
Hebron, Thayer County, Neb.: Soldier; photographer
Size: 0.1 cu.ft.


Born June 17, 1887, Alfred A. Manners was the son of John E. Manners and May Mary Chilson. He was a resident of Hebron, Nebraska, when the United States entered World War I. He was drafted and inducted into the U.S. Army on September 19, 1917. Upon entry, he was stationed at Camp Funston, Kansas, and assigned to Company “M” of the 355th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Division until October 20, 1917. Manners was then transferred to Headquarters Company of the 355th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Division. He remained in this company until his discharge in 1919.

While in the 355th, Manners was a member of the regimental band. He played 3rd clarinet when with Company “M”. After transferring to Headquarters Company, he became 2nd clarinet. Throughout the war, he continued in this capacity.

He began his overseas service on June 4, 1918. Once he arrived at Camp Grand, France, he began to keep a diary. The dates on the entries are not always accurate, but seem to be fairly close. Besides his duties as a band member, he was occasionally assigned to burial detail. Nothing in his diary indicates he participated in actual combat. In fact, he was sent back to the rear with another band member to accompany the band instruments and bed rolls while the rest of the regiment moved up to participate in the Meuse-Arrgonne Offensive, September 12, 1918.

After participating in the occupation of Germany, Manners and the others of the 355th began their trip back to the United States in May of 1919. He describes being processed to leave Europe and the trip home aboard the ship Leviathan, which arrived in New York City in May, 1919. After their arrival the 355th participated in various parades across the U.S., which included both Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, on May 30, 1919. After these festivities, Manners and the rest of the regiment arrived at Camp Funston to begin the process of being mustered out. Finally, on June 2, 1919, Alfred Manners was honorably discharged from the Army. Once his time in the service was up, his diary entries end. Various sources indicate that he pursued a career as a photographer. Alfred A. Manners died in Dorchester, Nebraska in November of 1983.


This collection contains materials relating to Alfred Manners’ service in World War I. The most important items are his diaries. However, only one original diary is included along with typed and handwritten drafts, probably copied from an additional diary that is not part of the collection.

Throughout the diaries, Manners mentions numerous war buddies. He describes the countryside, weather, and food. Other subjects mentioned include band performances, encounters with German artillery barrages, gas shells, observation balloons, and his assignments on burial detail. He includes descriptions of being deloused and transported back to New York aboard the ocean-liner Leviathan. Finally, he ends his diary entries with his discharge and departure from Camp Funston, Kansas.

Some photographs taken by A.[E.] Manners are available in several NSHS photograph collections. Search under Manners, A.E., or Manners, Alfred in the Photograph database. Manners WWI photographs are stored as RG5520.PH.



  1. Tablet containing a partial diary (undated but clearly kept during his service overseas). Includes 3 hand drawn maps. 28 pages total.
  2. Both typed and handwritten drafts presumably copied from a personal diary kept from 1918-1919. 2 inserted maps are included in the writing. 39 pages total.
  3. Miscellaneous materials. Includes draft card, discharge card, 1 photocopied letter.
  4. One oversized map (see OB127)

Subject headings:

Manners, Alfred A., 1887-1983
Soldiers — United States — Diaries
United States. Army. 89th Division
World War, 1914-1918 — Personal narratives, American

JWG/kfk 04-28-2004
Revised TMM 11-02-2009

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