Book Review – Salvation Army Women ‘Also Served’ In World War I


MRS. MAJOR LOUISE HOLBROOK-takes notes from Sergeant Harry Spark, whose face was peppered with shrapnel in the Argonne Forest. Reunion 37 years later showed him permanently recovered and still grateful to the Doughnut GIrl.

American Women in WWI

“They Also Served”
By Lettie Gavin –

Reviewed by Frances Dingman –

During World War I, the United States was reluctant to accept women to join the thousands of men in service overseas. Nevertheless, by the war’s end more than 40,000 women had served in relief and military duty in the Navy, Marines, Signal Corps, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Army Nurses, Reconstruction Aides, YMCA workers, and as women physicians.

Lettie Gavin has produced a book that makes a significant contribution to the records of that war and documents this new era in women’s history. A retired award-winning newspaperwoman from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Gavin has dedicated herself to years of research and produced a book that tells these women’s stories, often in their own words.

A gripping and accurate chapter, second in length only to the Army Nurses, highlights the work of The Salvation Army’s Doughnut Girls and their unique place in the hearts of returning servicemen and their families. Gavin became so caught up in their stories that she went far beyond the needs of the book in collecting information.

Excerpts from the diaries and letters of Louise Holbrook, Della Rapson Ringle, Alice McAllister, Helen Purviance, Margaret Sheldon and others, some never before published, relate the horrors of the battlefield along with heartwarming personal incidents of Christian service.

At this time when the Women’s War Memorial in Washington, D.C., is finally a reality, it is sure to be of special interest to anyone who wants to know more about the role of women at the front.

This book will be available at the Congress Trade booth. You will want to get your hands on it, to read all of its stories and marvel at its collection of memorable pictures from each area of service.

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