This reference in American Machinist: “Chauffeur in American Ambulance Squad, Flanders, June to September 1915.” describing the author Hi Sibley led me to the following article:
HOOSIER AMBULANCE MEN IN FLANDERS
This Picture, which was taken in Flanders in August, shows (left to right) Military Chauffeur, Donald McGibeny, 221 East Thirteenth Street, Indianapolis; Soldier Cook, Hi Sibley, South Bend, Ind., and a French Lieutenant. The pig in the foreground was captured from the Germans by French soldiers.
BY HI SIBLEY. When the ambulance crew of which I was a member posed for this picture it was deemed absolutely essential that the porker shown in the foreground should occupy a prominent place. The pig was captured from the Germans when still a mere infant and raised to pighood by the French soldiers in the picture. It has an interesting history. In the German lines north of Ypres a private kept the baby porker in his trench as a pet but one night it wandered over the parapet in search of fresh pasture. Some soldiers in the French lines espied it and one of them wagered a bottle of rum that he could catch the pig and bring it, as well as himself, back alive. He accomplished his mission amid considerable rifle firing.
In the photo McGibeny is wearing a German helmet taken in Flanders and is holding a wicker basket used in carrying three German “77″ shells. The one I have also a shell basket used for about a seven-inch shell. There are restrictions against taking any souvenir out of France but this basket was brought to the states disguised as a golf bag.
The ambulance in the background was driven alternately by Mr. McGibeny and myself, and the day following the taking of the photograph a call came for all available cars to go to Poperinghe, six miles south of us. With the ambulance full of wounded we set out for the hospital but before we arrived the Germans started to shell the town with the big .88 shells about 15 1-5 inches in diameter. As we approached the out-skirts a shell landed in a field to our left. The terrified inhabitants were scurrying out of town with such household effects as they could grab in a hurry. We shot through the town at full speed to the hospital on the other side, several shells landing in the place while we were there. The experience unnerved me considerably. I was for taking another route back to our station but McGibeny was as cool and collected as though he were out for the morning air. He announced that he was somewhat of a fatalist, and finally persuaded me to return the way we came. We did not come in close contact with any more shells.
Mr. McGibeny, who came to us from Beirut, Syria, where he had been teaching English to young Syrians in an American school, expects to stay with the American ambulance squad in Flanders until some time in December. He was a welcome addition to our forces–a fearless and courageous worker as well as a very popular entertainer.
(click a few times for the full size)
Indianapolis Star September 26, 1915 p. 6