Several members of the Madison High School Class of 1900 became professional writers. One was Leslie W. Quirk, a nephew of Richard Ball Dudgeon, who, for many years was Madison's superintendent of schools. Quirk's first novel for young people, "Baby Elton Quarterback," was published in 1904.
About 17 years after he graduated, Quirk sailed to Europe to become an ambulance driver for the American Field Service during World War I. Quirk, later used his first-hand knowledge of what happened on the battlefields of France when he wrote "Jimmy Goes to War," published in 1931.
In the introduction to the book, Quirk wrote:
"Many of Jimmy's adventures in the book were also mine. Under the auspices of the American Field Service, which supplied ambulance drivers for the French, I sailed for Europe on the Aurania in October, 1917, just as he did; and after being introduced to war with a submarine attack during the voyage, a Zeppelin raid in London, and a chaotic period in Paris, I went to Soissons and enlisted in the Reserve Mallet, described in Stars and Stripes, the official A. E. F. newspaper, as "that flying squadron of emergency transportation, that trundling troop of trucks, that charging company of camions found wherever a crisis develops."
Quirk's books are out of print, but the entire contents of "Jimmy Goes to War" are on the Internet. If you're interested in reading this novel (or at least having a look at it), click HERE.
The 1900 Tychoberahn did not have photographs of the members of the senior class. If anyone has a photo of Leslie W. Quirk, please contact me. I'd love to post it here. Also, while I assumed Quirk is deceased, I have been unable to determine when and where he died. Any additional information about this alumnus would be most appreciated.
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