Tuesday, May 08, 2012

World War One Wednesday

In November of this year, I'm looking forward to the release of my next book, A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA. The setting is the El Garces Hotel during World War 1. In anticipation of this release, I thought I'd bring you some World War 1 information each Wednesday. I hope to talk about some of the research I've done, some of the interesting things I've found, and hopefully share with you how brave and self-sacrificing our nation was during these desperate times. 

Here's a collection of World War 1 Red Cross posters. As you can see, they are full of pathos and entreaty. How could any patriotic American ignore the pleas? The Red Cross appealed particularly to women to answer the call to serve, to give, to raise funds, to become involved in the war effort, and many women across the country answered that call. They became nurses, both here and overseas, they scrimped and saved and petitioned their neighbors to do the same. They held fundraisers, scrap metal drives, rolled bandages, knitted socks and scarves, and collected everything from peach pits to kitchen grease.

This particular poster is dear to me, because it makes an appearance in A Bride Sews With Love. Meghan, the heroine, is struck to the heart by the young soldier in the picture because he looks just like her brother. She vows to do anything she can to help the Red Cross to help soldiers just like him. She answers the call of the Red Cross nurse who is pleading with those on the home front to help.

When I visited my local county historical society, they let me delve into their World War 1 files where I found the carefully typed out instructions for knitting socks, fingerless gloves, wrist warmers, and scarves. Thousands of pairs of gloves and socks were sent 'over there' as women did their part. Women's groups banded together and purchased the quite costly (at that time) knitting machines that could turn out a sock in a matter of minutes once it was threaded. 

Who could say no to this plea? The wounded soldier (I don't know why, but he looks French to me. Maybe it's the mustache?) her hand to his brow, her strong profile and that red cross on her arm.  She's doing her part and more, but she needs your help to continue.

Did anyone in your family serve in the Red Cross or in the military during World War 1? My husband's grandfather served in the army, and his picture hangs in my father-in-law's office. 


  1. My maternal grandfather newly arrived in this country, enlisted in the US Army. It's how he became a citizen. According to my father, Grandpa fought in several of the major battles in France. I haven't been able to verify this fact.

  2. Wow, those are so cool!!! I don't know how you're able to find this stuff. I'd love to visit some places for my research. I don't know if anyone in my family served in the military. I don't think they did. Pretty sure most of my relatives were Scots/Irish and German immigrants. Hmmm.
    I should ask...

  3. I know very little about World War I, so I'm looking forward to your posts, Erica.