Here is a segment from a longer article published in 1951 by an anonymous American woman who wished to be known to her readers only as a women who had "grown up with the Century" (born in 1900). In this column she insisted that it was the First World War that served as the proving ground where American women showed that they were just as capable as their brothers - and thus deserving of a voice in government.
"Two years ago when the men began to drop out of the industrial world at the call to the colors their women associates gradually slipped into their places, and in the majority of cases effectively filled them... Those men have now nearly all come back to claim their old, or better jobs. What of the girl, then, in the soldier's job? What is she going to do?"
Twelve years after the end of the war, former Y.M.C.A. volunteer Francis Grulick wrote this moving account of her days as a canteen worker in France. She had vivid and colorful memories of her days in the forward positions bringing some measure of comfort to the men of the U.S. Army First Division, to whom she was devoted. She was with them at Gondrecourt, Bonnvillers, Boucq, Cantigny and Soissons. She filled their canteens, served them lemonade, poured their coffee, cooked their meals and also saw to it that cigarettes were plentiful. By the time the First Division arrived in Coblenz for occupation duty, she recognized that the unit was composed almost entirely of replacements and that she was the only witness to the First Divisions earliest days in France.
Is your name Anderson?
The attached news article from 1917 reported on the a Russian combat unit that consisted entirely of women soldiers called "The Battalion of Death":
"The Battalion of Death presents a new aspect of feminism which, while the wisdom and economy of its extension are consistently questioned the press is non the less serving the purpose of arousing its burning patriotic faith, something like shame in the men soldiers of Russia."
"The courage of the Battalion of Death when the actual test came is the subject of many enthusiastic Petrograd dispatches. They behaved splendidly under fire, penetrating into a first-line trench of the Germans and brought back prisoners."
This article tells the World War One story of Irene McIntyre, a Salvation Army volunteer who served at the front during the most bloody period of the war:
"In her two-hundred and fifty-six days under enemy fire, Irene McIntyre was twice gassed and twice received the unusual distinction of a personal citation in Army orders. She saw more of the war at close quarters than any other American woman. One of her citations read:"
"'Under fire of high explosives and gas, she established and conducted huts that were noted for their good cheer and hospitality. Her courage and devotion to her voluntary work were a splendid inspiration to the troops.'"
1920s Prohibition created a criminal climate
that appealed to more women than you ever might have suspected...
Read about the Women Marines of W.W. II HERE.
Always stationed to the most forward field hospitals during America's five major campaigns, a former W.W. I nurse penned this moving reminiscence that recalled her experiences tending to the soldiers who slowly died in the army hospitals. Haunted by the memories of these dying boys, she asked her readers as to whether they feel the world has kept the promises made to those who sacrificed so much: is the France they died to protect a better place? is the country that demanded they fight a better place?
Click here for clip art depicting the nurses of World War One.