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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Dorothy Kitchen O'Neill's photo album, open to Red Cross officers and "hut workers" and "searchers," 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (156.00.00)
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Dorothy Kitchen O'Neill's photo album, open to Red Cross officers and "hut workers" and "searchers," 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (156.00.00)
Enlarge
Dorothy Kitchen O'Neill's photo album, open to Red Cross officers and "hut workers" and "searchers," 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (156.00.00)
Enlarge
Dorothy Kitchen O'Neill's photo album, open to diary pages, 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (157.00.00)
Enlarge
Dorothy Kitchen O'Neill's photo album, open to diary pages, 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (157.00.00)
Enlarge

Tending to the Wounded

Thousands of American women served in Europe during the war. Many who worked as nurses for the Army were recruited by the Red Cross, which also mobilized women to serve in other ways. American Red Cross volunteer Dorothy Kitchen O'Neill worked as a recreation hut worker and was responsible for maintaining the morale of wounded soldiers recovering at the military hospital in Savenay, France. As the director of entertainment, she ran a theater that was popular with the troops. But she could not escape the ravages of war. Of one hospital patient, Kitchen O'Neill writes in her diary: "I couldn't help but see that right in his throat was a hole through which were several flat rubber tubes, and that every time he swallowed it must have been indescribable."

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