In the Company of Sisters: Canada's Women in the War Zone, 1914-1919

In the Company of Sisters: Canada's Women in the War Zone, 1914-1919

by Dianne Graves
In the Company of Sisters: Canada's Women in the War Zone, 1914-1919

In the Company of Sisters: Canada's Women in the War Zone, 1914-1919

by Dianne Graves


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When Canada entered the First World War in August 1914, it embarked on a major war effort at home and abroad. The nation's women worked tirelessly to help and support the troops fighting overseas, and among them were many who chose to “do their bit” overseas by serving and volunteering in areas of the war zone from Britain and the European mainland to the Middle East and Russia. Spearheaded by the nurses who were sent to various theatres of war, plenty of other determined souls channelled their energy into a wide range of much-needed work and, in so doing, broke new ground. Whether driving ambulances in range of enemy shelling, nursing sick soldiers in the heat and disease of the eastern Mediterranean, clothing destitute Belgian refugees or cheering up the troops with concerts, care packages, and a cup of tea, these remarkable women played an important part in a multitude of ways. What they experienced had a marked impact on their own lives, and in some cases acted as a catalyst for what they went on to accomplish in later life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781896941769
Publisher: Robin Brass Studio, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A native of Kent, England, Dianne Graves studied languages before embarking on a public relations career in international education and travel. Dianne Graves has acted as a consultant on a number of projects, including the CBC documentary series A People’s History of Canada. She lives in rural Ontario.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Organizations and Abbreviations xv

Maps xvii

1 Prelude to Armageddon 1

The Coming of War, 1914

2 "How will it all end and what will become of us all" 21

Medical Service - The Western Front and England, 1914-1915

3 "A hospital alone shows what war is" 43

Medical Service - The Western Front and England, 1916-1919

4 "A chapter, unique in its joys and sorrows" 69

Medical Service in the Eastern Mediterranean

5 "Quite different to the work we had in France" 86

Medical Service in Greece, the Balkans and the Middle East

6 Caregiving in "the realm of politics and diplomacy" 107

Medical Service in Russia

7 "The courage displayed by the nursing staff matched that of the greatest heroes of the war" 131

Medical Service at Sea

8 "If only you knew what a comfort you are to us, dear Madame" 155

Civilian Volunteer Work

9 It was enough to have had "the privilege of being of service" 181

Volunteers in Uniform

10 "A splendid courageous devotion" 204

Women with a Mission (1)

Lady Grace Julia Drummond, "Mother" to the Canadian Forces

11 "Bringing laughter, hope and healing" 223

Women with a Mission (2)

Lena Ashwell and "Concerts at the Front"

12 "One of those rare individuals" 243

Women with a Mission (3)

Julia Grace Wales, Pacifist and Peace Activist

13 "All the reward an artist could hope for" 267

Women with a Mission (4)

Mary Riter Hamilton, an Artist on the Western Front

14 Epilogue: Reflection, Repatriation, Renewal and Remembrance 290

Endnotes 313

Bibliography 337

Index 348

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