In line with the Great War’s 100th-year anniversary, let us take our hats off to these ten heroic women of WWI! These recondite figures – writers, nurses and even soldiers – remain an inspiration for showing valor, even while in the front lines of war.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 1: Edith Cavell
Edith Cavell was a British nurse during the Great War. Nevertheless, she never chose sides when it came to her profession. She saved the lives of soldiers, regardless of which side they were fighting on. Because she helped hundreds of Allied servicemen to escape from Belgium to Netherlands, the Germans arrested her and had her executed October of 1915.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 2: Mary Borden
Mary Borden was really a novelist by profession. But when the Great War broke out, she served as a nurse right until it ended. She even set up a mobile hospital unit right on the Western Front so that she could to soldiers who were wounded in Somme and Ypres. Remarkably, she put up the facility using her personal money. For her feats, she was awarded the French war medal Croix de Guerre.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 3: Flora Sandes
Flora Sandes initially served as a nurse during the Great War. But then, she shifted career to become the only British woman to officially don on a soldier’s uniform and serve in WWI as a combatant. In 1916, she received the Order of the Karađorđe’s Star, the Serbian Military’s highest military recognition, for her courageous feat wherein she got involved in a hand-to-hand combat and got wounded seriously by a grenade. She went on to become Sergeant Major and was eventually promoted as captain.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 4: Evelina Haverfield
Evelina Haverfield, an aid worker and a British suffragette, was the one who founded the Women’s Emergency Corps. She volunteered and worked for the Scottish Women’s Hospital situated in Serbia in 1915. When WWI ended, Evelina took on a children’s orphanage in the same country. She eventually died there in 1920 due to pneumonia.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 5: Dr. Elsie Inglis
The Scottish doctor and suffragist was the one who instituted the Scottish Women’s Hospital unit which was one of the sparsely numbered female medical units on the front lines of WWI. Evelina Sanders, the founder of the Women’s Emergency Corps, and Flora Sandes, who set up canteens which catered to Serbian troops in 1918, were among the unit’s collaborators.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 6: Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton was a novelist, born in America, but was living in France when the Great War broke out. She used her strong connections to the French government and became one of the few foreigners who were allowed to travel into the front line of the French army during the war. In cognizance for her active fundraising campaigns for the war’s refugees, she was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1916.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 7: Helen Fairchild
Helen was a nurse from Pennsylvania who was one of the staffs in a unit on the Western Front particularly in Passchendaele, Belgium. Because of the effect of a mustard gas, she underwent gastric ulcer surgery in January of 1918 but unfortunately died after the said procedure.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 8: Mildred Aldrich
Mildred Aldrich was a writer-journalist who originally came from Providence, Rhode Island. In 1898, she moved to France and worked as a correspondent and a translator. The Great War caught her up there, living Huiry near Paris, where her house overlooked the valley of the Marne River. This same location would then see the First Battle of the Marne in 1914. Miss Aldrich wrote about her experiences in the said battle to her US friends. The letters made up her book, A Hilltop on the Marne (1915).
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 9: Dame Helen Charlotte Isabella Gwynne-Vaughan
Dame Helen, a prominent English mycologist and botanist, was appointed as the Controller of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. in France in 1917. When 1918 rolled in, she was given a military Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire — the first woman to be given such recognition. She went on to serve as the Commandant of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) starting in September of 1918 until December of 1919.
Ten Heroic Women of WWI 10: Julia Hunt Catlin Taufflieb
Philantropist and socialite Miss Taufflieb was the first American woman to be given the French Croix de Guerre as well as the Legion d’Honneur. They were in recognition for her efforts in converting the Chateau d’Annel into a 300-bed medical facility right on the front line.