Alice in France: The World War I Letters of Alice M. O’Brien by Nancy O'Brien Wagner

By Nancy O'Brien Wagner

July 19, 1918: The wounded have been pouring into the 4 Hospitals of the city. . . . we have now made up our minds to double up for a number of days—half folks paintings on the Canteen and part on the Hospitals, taking turns. it will likely be exertions for awhile yet each person feels that you just cannot work flat out adequate those days.

In March 1918, twenty-six-year-old Alice O'Brien and 3 shut acquaintances trigger from manhattan harbor, sure for wartime France. in contrast to the warriors aboard their send, they have been unpaid volunteers. because the daughter of a prosperous relations, Alice had little need to work—no have to visit warfare. yet she additionally drove her personal motor vehicle, was once knowledgeable as an car mechanic, spoke French, and had the fervour and resolution to give a contribution selflessly to the struggle effort.

Alice and her acquaintances joined thousands of yankee ladies serving as nurses, clerks, drivers, and canteen employees for the purple pass, Salvation military, and different companies. Her letters domestic, packed with breezy gossip and telling aspect, describe dwelling stipulations, attitudes and activities of French squaddies and civilians, and her personal extraordinary efforts close to front. Alice used to be courageous and humorous, proud and jingoistic, privileged and unassuming, and Alice made a distinction in France.

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