Ruth Ward – WWI Red Cross Nurse

Red Cross Nurses Hat from World War I – SCHS Archives

June 14, 1918

Somewhere in France

Dear Folks,

     Settled at last for now and at work, and near the front. I sure have seen some wonderful country and some historic settings, and I am so perfectly well for all my travels.

     Our boys are sure in it from accounts of their wounds and how they got them. We are sort of a second dressing station, and we evacuate almost as soon as they enter, getting as much treatment as is possible to give them.  I am certainly glad to be here, even though it is dangerous, there is the fact that you can be of so much good when the time comes to do it. And if you are always on your guard, you will find that it helps to be as President Wilson said, “Watchful waiting.” I can just hear the distant bombing of guns from here. Read More...

WWI Remembrance – The Home Front

     With America’s entry into World War I in April of 1917, life changed dramatically for citizens across the country, including those living in Schoolcraft County. A series of sweeping war regulations were established by the administration of Woodrow Wilson regarding food, fuel, the financing of the war effort, the treatment of “enemy aliens” and the stifling of dissent.

     The United States Food Administration sought to conserve foods such as beef, pork and wheat through voluntary action. Staples like sugar and flour were rationed. George Nicholson, of the White Marble Lime Company, was appointed as local food administrator. Monday, Wednesday and one meal daily were designated as wheatless. Tuesday and one meal daily was to be meatless. Saturday was porkless. The edicts from the Food Administration were published weekly in the Pioneer Tribune, with compliance being achieved through social pressure. Every family was expected to prominently display the Food Administration emblem in their home. Read More...

WWI Remembrance – The Perilous Atlantic

     On February 5, 1918, the sinking of the troop transport ship SS Tuscania sent shock waves across the nation, including the town of Manistique. The Tuscania was a former luxury passenger liner that had been pressed into service as a troop carrier by the United States Army.  The Tuscania had sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey on January 24, 1918 with 2,013 soldiers and 383 crewmen on board. Despite being escorted by a British convey, the Tuscania was struck by a torpedo fired from a German submarine, and sent to the bottom of the Irish Sea. The vast majority of the troops aboard the Tuscania were rescued by the Royal Navy Destroyers Mosquito and Pigeon, but 210 souls were lost, including both military personnel and crewmen. Read More...