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PUTTING A NATION
INTO ITS WOMEN'S REE The Women's Corps, With An American Duchess at Its Head, 1,' Doing England's Emergency WorK, from Delivering Her 7 Milk to Caring' for Her Horses. Both Americans, a Doctor and a Duchess?They Dominate the Women's Corps. By FLORENCE HOWELL BARKLE1 AMERICAN'S are received wit iuch open arms that I hav spent the whole day at the Lit tie Theatre where the Woman's Emer gency Corps is Riving the place th? greatest success it ever enjjyed Lobby, dressing rooms, box office, cloak room*, even th.' bar. are bursting with volunteer enthusiasm. They say ???omen don't look well in bunches, but this bunch looks good to England and is about the most ?onsoiing si?;ht as yot seen in this august waste. "Let the women knit," said the war lords, "knit and sew for our brave sol? diers," and they fell to and knitted from sheer force of women's habit in war times, until one fortunate day when the feminist among them paused with her needle in the air and the dreaded signs of thinking in her eyc3. Thinking is death and destruction to knitting and sewing. She rose and went out from that sewing circle for? ever, leaving on the floor the impos? sible shirt that would have made the Spartan boy squirm, and became the Woman's Emergency Corps, with one s'.roke promoting herself to first aid to Tommy Atkins at horn?: and showinji the best proof of her equality with the lighting .sex that she has yet been able to prenait. hiss plung?'?l the a tit I into despair, leaving that dear ?leature o: habit to pick up the unfinished shirt and sii/h over the brightening pros? pects of votes for women. It is the best and ino.-t beautiful thing that ever happened to English women! What could be better than making yourself suddenly and unex? pectedly of tremendous use to your government! your soldiers and your people al a moment when the passion? ate desire to help ?-oui?! only find an outlet ill making -hirts thai undercut th? legitimate shirtmaker? of your own sew or ruining disastrously into nursing where even the trained nurse fears to treaal. So she has pitched her tent where she It most needed and is pieparcd to show England that if every man will enlist he can count on finding his home and family in as good condition, if not better, when he returns: children as fe.t, if as dirty, as ever; workshops running at full time; crops harvested, theatres open, omnibuses to get you there; even taxis for those who are willing to part with so many precious pennies. The Work It ShouMers. This is. what the Woman's Emergency ! Corps is willing t?> th mliler, \vhi< h [ means that all who two Wteki ago wer? ! making shirtt thev call them the han i shir's now have 'brown off their dis Off to Deliver Milk. gui.se and stood forth ho'ia title cho feurs, gardeners, mechanics, ha headed business women, cooks, soi workers, omnibus conductors and i torm?n, and worse, too. There women's rifle corps practising morn and evening, and it is a safe surm that this is the last war in which woman will shoulder a musket, ready the Germans have paid their spects in calling the Belgian won "devilish." This country was likely to smotl under its weight of sewing materii hut women like Beatrice Harrad Mrs. Pcthick Lawrence, Gertri Kingston and Pecima Moore, with o lye on the actual need and the otl on the volunteer workers who rolled by the thousands in the first days the war, opened the Little Thcal without more ado and started a clei ing house fo' the volunteer work, th flooding the Red Cross and threateni to become more of a plague than t ' "plague of women" aluring the Hi War. Things "happened <?u:ci. " In thi : (?ays the Little Theatre, loaned by Gi trad? Kingston for the offices, was seething hive of the pick of Londot womankind, militants and antis wor ?n? shoulder to shoulder, with votes f women laid on the shelf and forgotte while every relief society in town w, tending its raw recruits to them to 1 disposed of to the best advantage, ar every institution was getting itself pi on the co-operative list ?vith a repr tentative on the tdvitory board. I.ady Bountiful la Dead. Now the old order it in the lire an the well meaning Lady Bountiful < other days is head first in the sera basket, while the W. E. C. sends out il call for women commissariats, rider drivers, grooms, motor cars and cycli and their drivers, chemists, dispenser, j bank clerks, doctors and mechanic ; There's no denying that these oceups j tions of men ave necessary. Men ar ' lots of use after all, but there is sti 1 more need for ?he woman trained i her own fieid, feeding, sick nurfjin? creche work, working, catering, teach I ing the languages and still serving. In the first two weeks ten thousan ' otfers of help were received and deal ! with, which will serve to give som | idea of the enthusiasm sweeping th country. There is going to be om i;ood result of this war for women anyway. No girl after this will allow hertelf to grow up without liavini, specialized in some branch of worl that will make her as valuable to hei country in u crisis like this as any i man lit for enlistment. But going back to the Little Theatre: When 1 got there the excitement mat all over the sidewalk, ??here everybody in John st. was gathered to sec the woman motorcyclist start off in full ; regalia, supplemented by a short skirt. Where wat she going? She was off to deliver milk, which she carried in the one passengir scat and which was given by a linn willing to supply all families in want having men in the ranks, provided the Woman's Emer gency Corps would attend to the de? livery of it. Why don't they hire a man? Hccati.-r, dear innocents who aren't u-ed to these European up lu .vait yet, that man is not to be en? couraged by a good job at home fioni ?nli; ting immediately. No man dares lif. his voice in the "no-work-for-an hon?'st-man" wail. The boy scouts stand guard at the door and look enviously Bt these wom i tn grown up and doing men's work, I while they can only run their willing legs off, fetching and carrying for their ciders and betters. Once in, you ful! into the efficient hands of some one who knows"exactly whether if you uro voltinleering to put you into the pit or into the or? chestra, or- in the street, should you happen to be a schemer with ?i scheme, for now the corps is old enough to be obsessed with plenty of people who think they could run thine* better than they arc being ?un. l?cporleri Only I n?-atalogucd. Only the inoffensive reporter wan? ders here, uncutalogued and agape at this startling turn in the affairs of women. Here's the table, where the volunteers present themselves und are classified according to the occupations they are fitted for no ore being en 1 I ni uni'< i 11 ""i II" Hutt fc'ii'l. t ?*rr-l under more than two how much time they can give and to what extent they can pay their own ex? penses-even OUt-of-pocket expenses being considered and at the end of' every card is the sad or glad sunning up: "Plenty of common sen-?'* would keep her head in an emergency," or ' "Poor stuff; no initiative; night work j under orders." Happily, she never knows the measure of herself so mer- j cilcssly taken. Now, if you are a trained nur:e vol? unteering, jou are disposed of in the ? Ued Cross or hospital best suited to ' your case; if you are a social worker there are leagues and federations wait? ing and longing for you, so that this material is taken immediately out of ; the hands of the Woman's Emergency Corps. It is that which has no insti- I tution ready mad?- for it that is handled ! by the corps. The bench where they wail i- s stu?ly. On this end the wife of an Iris** earl' who is using Ins yacht in government service and whose lady doesn't propose to be left idle at bone; on the other u Helgian woman, working in ? can- , nin ; factory, and hoping to u.-e her Thursday-, and Sundays off in the in? terest of In i country people in London. She knits a sock while she waits. The cataloguing system is perfe volunteers, offers of homes, auppli 1 positions and money sre on yell cards; out of work, need of immedit \ assistance, calls for volunteers, whit? 1 and the object is to dovetail them quickly and neatly _* possible, a goes on merrily and precisely day aft ?luv. Women Safeguarding Labor Marke There is no intention on the part the corps to get a mass of work do i for nothing; to safeguard the paid 1 bor market by controlling volunte energies is the best of their aims, ai i as much paid work as they can get f as muny women and girls affected i ' directly by the war as they reach. i Among the interpreter.-*, for instan? for whom there is great demand -evi my own French, the scorn of many my superiors and all of my inferi? ?n the language, was reo,uisition 'when I came through the custo house no volunteer worker is sent < an interpreting job among the Relgii refugees or to the police court?, there is a girl in need of work wl can fill the place. If it is an unpai job, on the yellow cards is found woman who is willing to give, say, te ?hillings a week to the support of girl, and there you have a perfectl good job, a p. g. girl -yes. and p. f, ?tanda for pretty good wages?an three cards are cleared'out of the cata log box. Ten Shillings An Important Sum. The importance of ten shillings i not to be exaggerated. Ten is consid ered enough to keep the girl's hea? above water at a time when the though of war is enough to sink us all, lc alone the destitution threatened befor the \V. K. C. got busy, and before th< Prince of Wales Fund starts its stean rolling. A donation of ten shillings i week toward some girl's support i: just manna from heaven to the W. E. C Thnre is an equal demand for teach ers of French; the Red Cross natur nlly needs no help in attending to it! nurses, but th,e nurses aro fearfulh handicapped in Continental work, a; ???.as proved in the Balkan War, by nol speaking French, so classes have hat to be formed quickly to teach thos? who are to be among the fortunate one; at the front another saving op? portunity for the many French and English governesses thrown out o? Germany by the score. The dressmaking establishments have spread far-reaching distress by closing down, but what could they do? No ?me is having clothes made, no one is doing anything but war work and news? paper reading, and the 6ewing girls were almost the first lot thrown out of work. They are a pretty set, aim a dainty and frail one, too, and their line is always the longest at the corps. Hut they are more efficient than the lay needlewoman, and many of them have been placed in the ?pecial shops where the Red Cross uniforms can't be turned out f_st enough; also can they make a shirt "as is a shirt," but the hope is that shirt . ..* will be !cft in the hands of its legitimate owners, who are women paid by the govern? ment per doien shirts. Women Offer Themselves as Chauffeurs. About fifteen typewriters were mak? ing a din in the bar, emulating fifteen lapid firing guna and proving the amount of business going on, but I had to advance - feeling under lire I every atep of the way?for I saw from afar that the big show was in there. The way was strewn-with women of? fering their motors for service with the corps and themselves as fully qual? ified drivers; dozens of stenographers thrown out of work by the sudden lull in business and enrolling for work on the poultry farms and in market gar? dens; accountants hoping to take the places of bank clerks?there arc al? ready a number of women bank clerks in England, a species of feminist un? known in the United States?the whole place looked like the busiest em? ployment bureau you could imagine. Would that the recruiting stations] were as busy! These two arc really I brought to her to settle. "How on earth did you get Into this?" I asked. "What else could I do? Here I wat in London, couldn't get to the Conti? nent, couldn't go to the front bectuse my job calls me back October 1, so I strolled ?lown here and enlisted for two months, and here I am. Just en? rolled two New York nurses one from the Presbyterian and one from Mount Sinai -to go cut with the Red Cross," and she played a crescendo up the yel? low cards and down the white, as ?'ippy as a king, to show me the strength and length of the medical department. "What do you think of these English Women?" I asked. "Don't vou find Chauffeurs at the corp? tami??, the motorcycle most of tht xittt L telf, has hopes of being ttseaig,.. patch bearer by the gWa-na*-* attends to the arrangement* ,-?. the omnibus and taxic?b comttii- k, whom the corps lus \*ta ^ that they will s?r?ou?ly eoruiaj,.,,^ its chauffeurs at regular p?y. Taint of Suffrage Kenora*-. When I nskid how the r*?rul?rcaW. feurs received these rival* 9R( |,y one who to-day came up to shake ?W with her and say he wts ???,? ^ ber in the road a?-ain, while it ^ garages they could be counts <-? k perfectly square ar.d friendly. Tin4, spised taint of suffrage beina? -ijjw the only employment bureaus that haven't practically put up the shutters. Recruits Are Expansive. I struggled with the temptation to tali* to every one the recruits are ex-: pan-iive?and threaded my way into the I bar to find out why it was the centre of : interest, only to lind that the rock on , I ; which all this high tide of enthusiasm I was breaking was no less than our own j young American doctor, a Johns Hop- j kins graduate, whom I had heard was ; managing the medical department, and doing it better than any one else could, j too, sending out women dispensers and I chemists and nurses all over London, I resolute, capable, frank and breezy and I th- belle of the W. E. C, with every I thing that anybody is in doubt about' them splendid?" "My dear"- she said, and put her hand on my shoulder, speechless. War times are crowded with moments of speechless admiration, 1 lind. Hopes t?> Be Co? eminent Di-patah Bearer. Coming out 1 recognised Vera holme, the girl who drove Mrs. Pank hurst's car to Edinburgh on the famous speechmtking trip, and, sure that she was a valuable asset in the W. E. C, I had a chat with her about what she finds to do there. Miss Holme is a licensed chauffeur, holds a certificate from tho Royal Automobile Club and can put a broken down car in shape in a lonely road as well as any man. She takes charge of the motors and Raw Recruits. . ar.d "vote.-" being absolutely tot tu ly pigeonholed until after the wir. u adjective more violent than "plu*?;' Is applied to their r>.o?t ?JariDg ? i -Toits. Duche-- <>l Vtarlborough l)ir*-t?W-A A committee meeting wai of .1. partm? i - iieg?n t? .*> gather when the .ronnli-a the duchess had com?. I tiptttti *? j hear, "Off with their lie-di!" it ?' j minute, but, after nil, she turae?*' i to be our Duchess of Marlboroiti?*' ? is chairman of the advisory coBBit** The work? i- go out to lunch h? j lays, talking ?hop fast and itiitmjl**' j only stopping to ask the nf*n ?>* the front. Aft? r lunch 1 w_s lying-1 wail for ? ornea who en fied for li e care u h mt *v , who wrote to 'he Red Cro? con-?-*1 said she ? i* to ralwsmSiai ? mounted corps -hould ??*??*?** among these bul I had to hunyof* get to the Shaftc.bury Thestr???*-* . ?bead of time in i rdertafU at all to the first publie m?*"? * the corps. Women w? re storming .-? ** when I go '?c'1 't*wn meeting began ;. nether en? planned for n? n .veek. The wort**? and m view was explsined, Ws*ffs\ who has charge of the food deport** moving every one to crest *W" when she told how the go***** had sent those 100 Belgian t?*" to feed at twenty-four hour?' ** and how the corps accompli**" and proposed to keep it "P* The Hon. Mrs. HsverlsM *" n I*' other favorite, ai -h?- mt* ' service in the South A?rien? ??* has the most daring u-pirst*-*-*1 volunteer-, propos rig t"*?1 ,"* do much of the work don-a?*1' Territorials, -uch a.* t?ki?C ?*-~^ remount camps, acting si *****" \i,? ft tats and guarding bridge*. ick Lawrence, Lena A*httW Duchess of Marlboroogh ??oil , ?ho-e appeals can draw l*u^jf a stone image, and they -*** ^ The public stands it?' th* J man, and in their r-rle?*!*-* * j they have bu.ldcd better ** J knew; oven Mr. A-<I*-<><h *j?tJ imagined v. t.? the Wo? \^k gency Corp. "Ai:. ? ? ,h* *T I || me."