The Call and the Answer: A First-Hand Account of Volunteer Aid Workers in the First World War

The Call and the Answer: A First-Hand Account of Volunteer Aid Workers in the First World War

by Laurence Binyon


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In 1917, at the height of World War I, Laurence Binyon was commissioned by the army to write a story about wartime volunteers and spent a month touring Red Cross hospitals and field canteens all along the Western Front, talking with the men and women who were serving there as volunteer nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, medical orderlies, and canteen workers. This book is his extraordinary account of that journey, and the tales of heroism and horror that he heard there. Through Binyon, we meet men and women from all walks of life who, for wildly varying reasons, were moved to heed the call for volunteers, setting aside their everyday lives and traveling to meet danger, and fight death, behind the lines of the worst war the world had ever seen. The Call and the Answer is an unforgettable document of service, and of a time long gone but still powerful in memory.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780993331121
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/15/2019
Edition description: 1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,112,764
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Laurence Binyon (1869–1943) was a celebrated poet who volunteered as a medical orderly at a military hospital for French soldiers near Verdun during World War I.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

The Witnesses 10

Part I The Call And The Answer

The Scene Surveyed 15

A Day's Work at the Office of the Comité Britannique 31

British Nurses in France: The French Flag Nursing Corps 47

Part II The Record

The Convoys:

The First Year 57

Verdun 99

And After 117

The Hospitals:

Hospital Supply Depots: And the French War Emergency Fund 133

The Story of the Hospitals 146

The Day of an Orderly 199

The Canteens 221

Relief Work in the Devastated Zones 252

Part III Impressions

On the Front in Champagne 273

A Canteen in the Forest 279

Hospitals in and about Paris 285

Ruins and Refugees 293

Lyons and Nevers 304

In the Vosges 311

Some Canteens in the War Zone 319

Verdun to Chalons 328

In the Midi 340

A Maternity Hospital 355

A Thought for the Future 361

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