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The Sword of Deborah First-hand impressions of the British Women's Army in France   By: (1888-1958)

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First Page:

THE SWORD OF DEBORAH

F. TENNYSON JESSE

"Women are timid, cower and shrink At show of danger, some folk think; But men there are who for their lives Dare not so far asperse their wives. We let that pass so much is clear, Though little dangers they may fear, When greater dangers men environ, Then women show a front of iron; And, gentle in their manner, they Do bold things in a quiet way."

THOMAS DUNN ENGLISH.

[Illustration: A "FANY" WITH THE AERIAL TORPEDO DROPPED INTO THE CAMP]

THE SWORD OF DEBORAH

FIRST HAND IMPRESSIONS OF THE BRITISH WOMEN'S ARMY IN FRANCE

BY F. TENNYSON JESSE AUTHOR OF "SECRET BREAD," "THE MILKY WAY," ETC.

NEW [Illustration] YORK

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

Copyright, 1919, By George H. Doran Company

Printed in the United States of America

FOREWORD

This little book was written at the request of the Ministry of Information in March of 1918; it was only released for publication in spite of the need for haste in its compiling which had been impressed on me, and with which I had complied shortly before Christmas. Hence it may seem somewhat after the fair. But it appears to me that people should still be told about the workers of the war and what they did, even now when we are all struggling back into our chiffons perhaps more now than ever. For we should not forget, and how should we remember if we have never known?

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I A.B.C. 13

II THE FEVER CHART OF WAR 17

III BACKGROUNDS 26

IV MY FIRST CONVOY 34

V OUTPOSTS 41

VI WAACS: RUMOURS AND REALITIES 48

VII THE BROWN GRAVES 58

VIII VIGNETTES 65

IX EVENING 74

X NIGHT 84

XI "AND THE BRIGHT EYES OF DANGER" 93

XII REST 102

XIII GENERAL SERVANTS AND A GENERAL QUESTION 111

XIV NOTES AND QUERIES 123

ILLUSTRATIONS

A "FANNY" WITH THE AERIAL TORPEDO DROPPED INTO THE CAMP Frontispiece

H. M. THE QUEEN INSPECTING A VAD DOMESTIC STAFF 48

A VAD MOTOR CONVOY 48

WAAC GARDENERS AT WORK IN THE CEMETERY 48

WREATHS FROM MOTHERS OF THE FALLEN 48

WAACS IN THE BAKERY 80

WAAC COOKS PREPARING VEGETABLES 80

WAAC ENCAMPMENT PROTECTED BY SAND BAGS 80

THE SWORD OF DEBORAH

" Thou art an Amazon, and fightest with the sword of Deborah. " 1 HENRY VI. 1. ii.

THE SWORD OF DEBORAH

CHAPTER I

A.B.C.

This world of initials ... in which the members of the British Expeditionary Force live and move it is a bewildering place for the outsider. Particularly to one who, like the writer, has never been able to think in initials, any more than in dates or figures. The members of the B.E.F. and that at least is a set of letters that conveys something to all of us not only live amidst initials, but are themselves embodied initials. To them the string of letters they reel off is no meaningless form, no mere abracadabra to impress the supplicant, but each is a living thing, coloured, definitely patterned, standing for something in flesh and blood, or stone and mortar; something concrete and present to the mind's eye at the mere mention... Continue reading book >>




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