Monday, 28 July 2014

American Women in WW1


I have been trying to find out more about the involvement of American women in the First World War and to this end, I sent a message to Mark D. VAN ELLS.  Mark has just sent me this wonderful reply:


"Only a very few American women served in the armed forces during WWI. Most served with the Red Cross, YMCA, and other service organizations. Many were volunteering for France even before the US entered the war, and helped rebuild it once the war was over. 

Some specific individuals might include Jane Delano, the superintendent of the army nurse corps, who died of disease at Savenay, France in 1919. She is buried at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington. Their website is http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil 

Perhaps more poignant than inspiration is the story of Dorothy and Gladys Cromwell. Nurses and sisters, they were apparently so haunted by their war memories that they jointly committed suicide in 1919. They are buried at Suresnes American Cemetery outside Paris, where most WWI American women's graves are located. The American Battle Monuments Commission has a database of those buried overseas. Women are not specifically listed, though searching by 'WWI' and 'civilian' will bring most of them up. The website is http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials."

Mark's forthcoming book, AMERICA IN WORLD WAR I: A TRAVELER'S GUIDE, includes the story of American women overseas and leads the reader to many of the places where they served and sometimes died. His Facebook page gives updates about the work, and includes photos from his research travels.  

I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to reading that book.   Find out more on Mark's Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/markdavidvanells and on his own website http://markdvanells.com

With many thanks to Mark.

Photo:  Jane Delano, Google Images

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