Serving the Doughboy

Letters of a YMCA Worker in France, 1918-1919

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About the Book

Mary Frances Willard, a public-school principal from Chicago, was one of thousands of American women who served as welfare workers for U.S. troops in France during World War I. During the war’s final months, she operated a canteen and post exchange in Troyes, attended to convalescing servicemen, arranged their burials and wrote letters to their families.
After the Armistice, she headed canteen operations in Le Mans for hundreds of thousands of returning servicemen in embarkation camps. In her final months in France, she toured battlefields and the decimated towns along the Western Front. Presented in historical context, her weekly letters home—from August 1918 through July 1919—relate stories of her service to the doughboys and her interactions with French citizens.

About the Author(s)

James J. Marquardt, PhD, is a professor of international relations at Lake Forest College in Illinois. He teaches and researches on war and peace, U.S. foreign and national security, and global governance.

Bibliographic Details

Mary Frances Willard
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: 3 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9264-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5091-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction: The Great War, America, and the Y.M.C.A. in France 7
1. From New York to Paris 53
2. Troyes 67
Interregnum: Paris, Pau, and Troyes 125
3. Le Mans 141
4. Marseille and the South of France 187
5. Paris, Northeastern France, and Belgium 227
Bibliography 261
Index 265