How women helped, 1919

From Sarnia's record in the Great War, published by The Star in 1919.

From the very commencement of the war Guernseywomen have been to the fore in that essentially feminine art—the art of nursing the sick and wounded. A splendid example was set by Mrs and Miss Ozanne, wife and daughter of our esteemed Bailiff, and Miss Mockler, who devoted many months to the noble work of nursing in French hospitals, and later on Guernseywomen, like Guernseymen, were to be found in practically every theatre of war, alleviating the sufferings of our broken heroes. But it remained for Sir Reginald Hart to indicate less picturesque, but equally essential work in which women might be employed.

As early as February 19th, 1915, long before Women's Auxiliary Corps or Land Armies were thought of, Sir Reginald suggested female labour at a conference with the Bailiff and Jurats. To say the least, the idea was not taken up with enthusiasm at the outset, but we have all learned to realise that His Excellency's foresight was thoroughly justified. Many gentle-nurtured girls have since left Guernsey to work in the Land Army, and in our own Island girls have been pressed into the service of grower and farmer. In the office, too, woman has come into her own, and has even invaded the offices of lawyers, and the sacred precincts of our Banks. In military offices the gentler sex has also prevailed, and the Local Branch Record Office and Pay Office are staffed almost entirely by ladies. Newspaper offices have welcomed the 'lady reporter,' who bids fair to become an institution, for there are many departments she has made essentially her own. As business canvassers and insurance agents, girls have made their mark, and out-of-doors we have become accustomed to seeing girls performing the duties of tram drivers and conductors, chauffeurs, and in at least one instance those of driver of a 'chair' with credit to themselves and profit to their employers.The Post Office was long since convinced of the advantages of 'female labour,' witness the neatly attired girl messengers who bring us our telegrams, nor dawdle on the way to read 'penny horribles,' or indulge in a surreptitious game of marbles. Girls have gone forth from Guernsey to assist in the manufacture of deadly munitions, thus 'doing their bit' towards the defeat of the infamous Hun. One Guernsey lady, Miss de Putron, is now an administrator of the WAACS, another is engaged in teaching the Braille system of reading to victims of the war, in St Dunstan's Hospital for Blinded Soldiers. Thus have the women of Guernsey risen to the occasion, fully justifying the optimistic foresight of our veteran Lieutenant-Governor.