Page title showing a yellowed grungy background with a logo which reads "From Trenches to Triumph U.S.A." The logo is circular in shape with a red, white and blue upper border and a red, yellow and blue lower border. Below the logo is text in navy blue which reads "The Salvation Army in World War I"
Black and white photograph of a woman wearing a cloth WWI overseas cap and military styled uniform.
Adjutant Margaret Sheldon
Black and white photograph of a young woman wearing a WWI helmet and military style uniform. She has the strap of a gas mask bag around her neck.
Adjutant Helen Purviance
Black and white photograph showing the interior of a Salvation Army hut tent. A wood counter is in the center of the image. A Salvation Army Doughnut Girl stands on the left side of the counter and a WWI US Army soldier is on the right
Black and white photograph of a woman frying doughnuts in a WWI outdoor kitchen

Salvation Lassie of Mine

One of the functions of The Salvation Army War Service in France and Germany was to operate hutments or huts. Designed to be mobile, huts were located in tents, dugouts and temporary or vacant buildings. Often female workers operated these huts. Their responsibilities included serving refreshments, providing music and writing materials, hosting religious services and offering prayer and spiritual counseling.

Hut menus included doughnuts, pies, cakes and oranges. Adjutants Helen Purviance and Margaret Sheldon were the first to make doughnuts. Using flour, sugar, lard, baking powder, cinnamon, and canned milk from camp supplies, they purchased eggs from a villager and began their doughnut production.


On the first day, they made 150 doughnuts. By the end of the war, some huts made 9,000 doughnuts per day. The Salvation Army quickly became known for this treat. Soldiers looked forward to doughnuts and hot coffee served with smiles and encouraging words from the Salvationist women, who they affectionately called “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughnut Girls.”


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