Previous Index Next

 

VOLUNTARY WAR RELIEF   tI3

3. CANADIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY INFORMATION BUREAU

On February 11th, 1915—the day after the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Contingent arrived in France—Lady Drummond opened the Information Bureau of the Canadian Red Cross at 14 Cockspur Street, London, where the Commissioner, Colonel Hodgetts, had already established the headquarters of the Society in England. Its object was twofold—to collect and distribute information concerning the sick and wounded, the missing and prisoners of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and to cheer the men suffering in hospital by bringing them personal sympathy and the little "comforts" which their dear ones at home are too far away to give.

Lady Drummond gathered about her a small group of four or five devoted women, whose number increased to hundreds,—all voluntary workers who felt it their greatest privilege to give their time and strength in the service of those who were fighting for their country. Two rooms were placed at the disposal of the Bureau when it was opened, but within two years it needed twenty-five to carry on its varied activities.

To find visitors as a connecting link between this Bureau and all our wounded in hospital in the British Isles must have at first appeared a stupendous task. Lady Drummond, however, attended meetings of the National Union of Women Workers, of the Girls' Friendly Society, and of other organizations, and was given the use of membership lists to get in touch with women who might be willing to co-operate in visiting our men in hospital throughout the country. The heads of military hospitals had already been approached and had courteously signified that special facilities would be given to Canadian Red Cross visitors.

From this nucleus developed five large departments of work—the Enquiry, Parcels, Newspapers, Drives and Entertainments, and Prisoners of War. The last depart-


Previous Index Next