Stars and Stripes

The Official Newspaper By and For the Soldiers of the A.E.F.


The Stars and Stripes, France, April 5, 1918

The Official Newspaper By and For the Soldiers of the A.E.F.


Vast Organization Has Entire Charge of Twenty Hospitals in France


Caring for Wounded Only One of Many Colossal Tasks Successfully Undertaken

     Two thousand three hundred persons are working now in the ranks of the American Red Cross in France. Radiating from a central directing headquarters, a five story building of offices, itself a monument to the American capability of organization on a huge scale, they are carrying the sympathy and practical help of the United States into every corner of the country.
     Maintaining tuberculosis sanitariums, operating public dispensaries and hospitals, finding homes for the children of the districts invaded by the German, reconstructing buildings damaged by shell and bomb fire, providing surgical dressings for the wounded, teaching maimed soldiers American farming methods, distributing food and clothing where it is needed—these are some of the activities keeping the workers busy.
     The Red Cross, administering charity on a scale which a few years ago would have been inconceivable, is now operating 29 warehouses in France for the storing and distribution of supplies which are coming in at the rate of 15,000 tons a month.

Operates Score of Hospitals

     It has in service 500 ambulances, automobiles and camions to bring wounded from the fighting zones. It is operating 20 hospitals for the wounded and assists in the operation of five others. It has two factories for the making of hospital splints and artificial limbs and two establishments for the preparation of surgical dressings. One of these turns out an average of 183, 770 dressings a week.
      In addition to this work of caring for the wounded in battle, it is operating 12 canteens so near the front that most of them are occasionally under shell fire. These serve an average of 3,000,000 soldiers a month. There are also six canteens along the French lines of communication where 88 women workers serve 20,000 soldiers daily, and 13 canteens in and near Paris where permissionnaires are cared for.
      In the care of repatriated children and families made homeless or destitute by the war, notable work also is being done. At Evian-les-Bains, where French and Belgian children reenter France, 40,000 youngsters have been examined. One thousand of these were treated in Red Cross civil hospitals and 16,000 received dispensary aid. Homes have been found for many of these in all parts of France.

Shelters For Children

     Twenty-six unfinished apartment houses in Paris are being completed at the instigation of the Red Cross to provide shelter for children and other refuges, and in the same connection 76 dispensaries are operated for the French civil population, as well as big tuberculosis barracks.
     All told, the Red Cross is supplying equipment for nearly 4000 hospitals in France, actually providing half of these with all the surgical dressings they use. Thirty-seven aid stations have been opened in various parts of the country and at nine of these lunches are served to children whose mothers are engaged in war work. Nearly 75,000 articles of clothing have been distributed and over 30,000 yards of cloth. In addition, huge quantities of food have been given.
     A fund of 5,650,000 francs has been turned over to General Petain, commander-in-chief of the French Army, for distribution among sick and disabled soldiers and their families.
     The unique undertaking, probably, is the establishment of an agricultural school. This, covering 500 acres, is a model farm where American farming experts are giving disabled French soldiers practical lessons in the best methods of growing food stuffs.

source: The Stars and Stripes Newspaper, France, 05 April 1918


~ source: The Stars and Stripes, France, March 22, 1918

~ transcribed and submitted by Polly Eckles for Iowa in the Great War Special Project