in World War I
World War I, while women in the U.S. supported the war effort
in a variety of ways, more than 25,000 American women went
to Europe as soldiers, sailors, Red Cross and Salvation Army
workers, and other kinds of volunteers. Those pioneersmany
of them from Massachusettshave
left behind a rich legacy of manuscripts and published memoirs,
and their role has been permanently fixed in the popular imagination
through the vivid poster art of the period.
Red Cross worker from Massachusetts who served in France was
23-year-old Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall. A 1911 graduate
of the Winsor School in Boston, Saltonstall went to Paris
in October 1917 to work for the Bureau of Refugees and Relief
of the Red Cross. Early in 1918, her desire for a more active
role led her to transfer to a mobile Red Cross hospital attached
to the French army. There she served as a "chauffeur"
(a truck or ambulance driver) and was awarded the Croix de
Guerre for service under fire. Nora Salstonall's wartime letters,
diary, photographs and memorabilia will be on display at the
MHS as part of the Women and War exhibition.