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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Richard Leith, M.D., member of the Medical Corps. Questionnaire Local Board for Division 8?. City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 4, 1918. Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (028.00.00)

Richard Bliss Leith

Richard Leith was an American physician attached to the British Expeditionary Force in World War I. His selective service questionnaire illustrates the complex system of deferments and exemptions that local draft boards used to determine whether military-age males were eligible for conscription. Claiming no grounds for avoiding the draft, Leith arrived in France in October 1917, well ahead of most American combat forces. He would remain in Europe for the duration of the war and for several months beyond the November 1918 Armistice, treating refugees and victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic.