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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 01, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 28',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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THE "WAR BRIDE" SYSTEM IS TERRIBLE TO
THE AMERICAN GIRL SHEPHERD TELLS WHY
BY WILLIAM G. SHEPHERD
United Press Staff Correspondent
London, Oct 1. The "war
brides" question is loaded with hu
man interest ""
Two weeks ago, in the United
States I heard American girls giving
their opinion of the "war brides" sys
tem. Since then I've talked to Eng
lish girls about it
"It's simply terrible," said one
American girl, "if I understand it
right Is it true that young Eng
lish officers come home from the
front, get married, stay home only
six or seven days and then go back
to the front?"
"Yes, that's the 'war brides' sys- i
"It's awful," repeated the New
York girL I don't see how the Eng
lish girls stand it."
"What makes it seem awful to an
"Well, in the first place, here's a
girl, unmarried and perhaps unen
gaged. Her life is going smoothly.
Maybe she becomes engaged to the
soldier while he's at the front He
comes home. They're married. Then
he goes back to the front again. Her
husband has become her whole life.
And there he is, under fire. It must
"In the second place, suppose
there's a baby. What kind of a baby
can be born of a mother who is wor
rying during all the months that she
ought to have peace of mind ? It isn't
fair to the baby who is coming. The
mother has two terrible things to
worry about, it seems to me. One is
whether her husband will live. The
other is whether the baby will be
weakened and made inferior because
of the fact that she is worrying. And,
between these two worries, it seems
to me that an English 'war bride
would go insane.
"All he girls J know Uunk the 'war
bride' system is full of horrors."
That's the American girl's side of
it Last night an English girl, who
has two brothers at the front, listened
to what the American girl has told
There was a queer little smile on
her face as she began to grasp her
American sister's viewpoint Then
"They don't understand. They
never would unless they come to
England or unless their own country
was at war.
"In the first place an English girl
is proud to do something for Eng
land, no matter how small If her
man is to die, she's proud of having
"But she'd rather give England her"
husband than her sweetheart And
the baby is part of him; if he must go,
there's the baby. England has lost
one man, but she has put another
man or woman in his place; she has
filled the gap in the fighting line. You
know, English girls find something
awfully thrilling in that idea.
"I love what the Scotch newspa
pers are doing. Over their birth
columns they put the headline: 'More
soldiers for England.' You see an
American girl can't understand how
we feel because she doesn't under
stand what change war can make in
a woman. You wait and see, you'll
find that these babies of the 'war
brides' will be the finest babies Eng
land ever had."
"Did you try to tell your American
girl friends how English girls feel
about it?" she asked.
"I did, and they said that a man
would always take the wrong side of
"Of course they said that They
couldn't understand. But English
women now think just as English
men do about it The war has chang
ed the women. And American girls
jvpujd feel just exactly as we doif.