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 showing two Doughnut Girls making doughnuts outdoors. One rolls dough on a table while another woman washes dishes at another table. A man in military uniform leans on the second table.
Salvation Army lassies rolling out dough
A black and white photograph showing US Army soldiers outside a tent. In the foreground a soldier on the left speaks with Lt. Colonel Edward Parker on the right. Parker carries a typewriter under his arm. Soldiers can be seen milling about in the background.
Lt. Colonel Edward Parker (right) talks with a soldier.
Black and white photograph showing a woman wearing a WWI M17 helmet and Salvation Army War Service uniform posing through a hole in a stone wall
Captain Mary McLeod posing on rubble in France. Note the ID bracelet (dog tag) on her right wrist. Identification tags like this were given to all U.S. service personnel including The Salvation Army war service workers.
Black and white photograph of two Doughnut Girls serving coffee and doughnuts to a wounded man who sits either in a trench or outside a dugout.
Salvation Army lassies serving coffee and doughnuts to wounded soldier

Life on the Frontlines

The Salvationists faced hardship and danger while serving near the frontlines; yet, they accomplished their work with their faith in God forefront.

They had no formal military training and only helmets and gas masks for protection. Often within range of artillery and mustard gas attacks, some Salvationists suffered injuries, illness or exhaustion. Lodgings frequently included dugouts and partly destroyed buildings. Some women recalled warming their feet by lit candles to prevent frostbite. Adjutant Margaret Sheldon wrote, “The rats made such a noise over our heads, we didn’t get to sleep.”

Male Salvationists ministered to soldiers, drove ambulances, transported supplies to huts and aided in hut chores.

Female Salvationists’ duties included ministry, aiding the injured, preparing and serving refreshments, repairing soldiers’ uniforms, arranging for transfer of soldiers’ pay home, writing condolence letters, visiting hospitalized soldiers, decorating graves and more. To the soldiers, these women symbolized the wife and/or mother and home they left behind.


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