The War of 1914-18 91
Preparations were immediately begun to make the College ready for
the Army unit, in conformity with the prescriptions of the
Government. As military commander in chief the Army sent First
Lieutenant Raymond M. Demere, a married young man of about
thirty years. He easily met the request of the Trustees, "that the War
Department furnish a man whose character and habits are such as to
make him a fit person to occupy a position on the faculty of a
Christian college." He was a native Georgian, and had already had
considerable military experience, and had been engaged in training
soldiers, his last assignment before coming to Wake Forest being that
of Military Instructor of the U. S. Army Training Detachment of
Savannah. He was assisted by Lieutenants Cullom, Holman and
Buckhans. Although the opening of the session had been deferred
until September 24, Lieutenant Demere came about the middle of the
month to advise on the physical preparation of the plant for the use of
the S.A.T.C. The dormitories of the College―the present Hunter, and
the Philomathesian and Euzelian Society dormitories in the ends of
the old College Building―were fitted up as barracks to accommodate
300 soldiers which was the estimated highest number of S.A.T.C.
students. The Gymnasium of that time, the present Social Science
Building, was fitted up and furnished for kitchen and mess hall.
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had to serve his turn on the "Kitchen Police," in which work he peeled bushels of
potatoes, and wiped rows of dishes as long as from Wait Hall to the railroad, and
picked up pecks of cigarette stubs, which it seems were more offensive to the eyes
than the lips of the officers and others. In addition he was vaccinated for smallpox
and typhoid fever and developed a high temperature; in that condition he had to
stand in line in the hot morning sun, where his pallor and evident weakness caused
the officer to suspect that he had appendicitis, a suspicion which was confirmed for
him when Kitchin flinched from a vicious jab in the region of his appendix. The
officer ordered him to the operating table; and when Kitchin knowing he had no
appendicitis refused to go, the officer kept him in line. The next day Kitchin had
developed a sore throat, but he was in line at the appointed time, so weak that he
swooned. On reviving he still refused to submit to the advised operation, and was
sent to the officer in chief command, who on hearing Kitchin's statement and that he
was a physician, acted with wisdom and consideration, and offered him a place in
the army medical corps, but on learning that he was a member of the medical
faculty of Wake Forest College gave him the desired
discharge.
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