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Women and the War.

Although women did not fight overseas during the First World War, they made many important contributions to the war effort at home. Excerpts from diaries and letters speak about the charity work going on in Kitchener during the war.

Mrs. King rang up on Saturday and ... she asked May and I to go assist at a patriotic tea at her house on Monday ... they made $30 so you can imagine how many people there were.

      -Correspondence from Catherine Breithaupt to her mother
                                                        September 15, 1914
                                                           (see letter below)

Catherine Breithaupt letter front page.  Catherine Breithaupt letter inside.  Catherine Breithaupt letter back page.

Page of Catherine Breithaupt's letter.       Page of Catherine Breithaupt's letter.

Catherine Taylor (1874-1967)

Although Women couldn't fight overseas, they still served in other ways. Catherine Taylor was a nurse from Clinton, Ontario who went to England in 1917 and was given charge of a hospital at Shipstone on the Sour near Stratford-on-Avon for the British Red Cross. She assisted in opening a hospital in Liverpool for the American Army and converted the Guest Mansion in London into a showplace Navy hospital in 23 days.

Page of Catherine Taylor's autograph book.Catherine Taylor's autograph book.
Signed by those she nursed overseas.

Page of Catherine Taylor's autograph book.

Page of Catherine Taylor's autograph book.
Above: notes and photographs from Ensign E. H. Parker, U.S. Naval Air Service.
"Memory brights o'er the past
As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs,
Shines on a distant field."


Right: Ensign Herbert Lasher, Trivoli, New York, U.S.A, July 28th, 1918.
"When in need of the best of care,
I shall always wish you there."


War Work

This Red Cross war work guide from 1918 gives instructions on what women can make at home to send overseas. This included fruit preserves, clothing, and even medical supplies such as surgical dressings and slings.

War at Work pamphlet.War at Work pamphlet with instructions for knitting socks.  

Left: Front cover. "Containing Official Instructions for Red Cross Supplies and Soldiers' and Sailors' Comforts."

Middle: Instructions for dressings and supplies.

Right: Directions for knitting a sock.

                                                          Page source: GA 200, WA 7, BHC 8.2

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