Legion Pulp: Member-at-Large

This month’s pulp fiction tale is by Georges Surdez again.  This is a seven page short story from him which appeared in the 01 January 1933 issue of Adventure.  This is a pretty grim tale of the sort that could have been re-published in Weird Tales.  Nothing supernatural of course…just grim and a bit gory.

Member at Large

By the way….I finally got all of my hobbies squeezed into one room.  Here are some pics.  The shiny desk is a packing table my son built for me while he was home on leave from the Navy.  The green desk will be a painting station for miniatures and across from that is my PC desk where I hope to spend more time blogging.  The Foreign Legion and Canadian Mounties account for my decorating themes.  My books are too numerous to fit into the office but they are just in the next room.   The whole area remains a work in progress but I’m very pleased with how things are right now and can hardly express the quiet pleasures of working in a dedicated office.  More to follow on this.  

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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4 Responses to Legion Pulp: Member-at-Large

  1. JJ Platt says:

    Hi Jack,
    It has been a long time since I last wrote you, but after having just spent two hours looking at photos of ‘La vieille légion’ by Sergeant Major Jacques and others on your website, I feel that it is absolutely necessary to thank you for the enjoyment it has provided us–not only today, but regularly. My wife, also a history and Legion aficionado, did ‘borrow’ my comfy computer chair to get a better view of the screen, but, sacré bleu, what can one do?!
    We are retired and are military history buffs, having written several books together on early British medals, primarily of the English Civil War and the 17th c., but have had a long and strong secondary interest in the history of the Legion, particularly the years in Indochina. My next book, after finishing one on 16th c. English medals, will be on the First Indochina War–in which there seems to be a strong continuing interest–certainly on our part..
    One question I have for you after seeing the photos of your desk and office –how do you manage to keep them clear of clutter while being so productive? I have failed completely at this–please advise.
    Best wishes and keep those articles coming,
    Jerry Platt


    • Jack Wagner says:

      Jerry, Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m very glad you and your wife have both enjoyed the blog—you are very lucky to have a partner who shares your love of history. I took those photos of my new office after just getting everything moved in and it was nice and clean for a day or two. But is back to the way I like it–organized chaos. I still have to set up my painting station for miniatures and unpack some remaining boxes but hopefully I’ll begin posting more to the blog. Long ago I thought that I will run out of material but the opposite is true–I have so much to sort through and organize and research. More than enough to keep me running on Monlegionnaire for 20 more years. I look forward to helping you if I can on the First Indochina War book if I can in any way.


  2. Jerome J Platt says:

    Hi Jack, I am so relieved to learn that the usual state of your desk is ‘organized chaos’–I have always been suspicious of a ‘clean desk.’ I, however, have found that organizing my desk only leads to disaster when I try to find something I have been working on.
    A further comment on ‘La vieille légion’ –I am periodically shocked at the physical condition of the legionnaires in Indochina in old photos–Most look as if they had been only recently liberated from concentration camps, which I imagine a few, especially those imprisoned by the Japanese in 1945, had been. I also suspect that living through the occupation in France or the other occupied countries in WWII contributed as well as the likely lower SES backgrounds and associated poor nutrition. Compare those photos with the ones of current legionnaires who have obviously all subscribed to body building courses!
    Thanks for the offer of help on the book. I just have to finish the current one first!


    • Jack Wagner says:


      Thanks for commenting. I’m not sure why, but many legionnaires volunteered for service in Tonkin and only the best were selected. They must have been bored stiff in the North African garrison towns and were looking for some type of change or some glorious action on the battlefield. Most never made it back home having succumbed to various diseases and the occasional brush with combat. It was much worse back before the Great War and the books by Martyn, Mannington, and the American semi-fictional account, Garrison Tales of Tonquin, by James O Neill talk of the various fevers and contagions that Legionnaires were prone too. Quite common is the account of how some legionnaires “fevered up”…surviving what the bilious jungle could inflict on them and eventually became somewhat immune to the climate and local viruses and very lethal and stealthy predators of their enemy. Similar accounts of becoming “jungle-proof” abound from U.S. servicemen fighting in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines at the turn of the century and later on in Vietnam.
      As for my desk it will remain a mess but, to my wife’s endless joy, I have entered in a serious cycle of downsizing. Losing my Dad, step-Mom, and Mother-in-Law and a couple of close friends all within a couple of years told me that collecting hordes of stuff is for the birds. I’m not old but I just need to simplify things a bit and to this effect have started selling/donating more of my books, going paperless on bills, scrapping some hobbies (gardening, wood work, etc.), and getting rid of my grown kid’s stuff we seem to be holding on to forever and that they clearly don’t want anymore. I’ll keep you posted and will put a link up soon to some of my military books selling on eBay in case you might be interested.


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