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Gloucester Support Agencies

Submitted by Robert Hoskins Warren

THE RED CROSS

The Gloucester County Chapter of the American Red Cross was organized on October 26, 1917, with the following officers: Rev. C. W. Hudson, Chairman; Mrs. H. O. Sanders, Vice-Chairman; R. F. Heywood, Secretary, and W. DeW. Dimock, Treasurer, succeeded by Mr. Wallace Robinson, who, in turn, was succeeded by J. T. DuVal. When C. W. Hudson resigned, B. B. Roane was elected chairman.

The first auxiliary to be organized in the county was one formed at Achilles in the Union Baptist Church. A month later an auxiliary was organized at Gloucester with Mrs. H. O. Sanders as chairman. Mr. C. W. Hudson, Jr., was chairman of an auxiliary formed in the Cash High School. These auxiliaries were the forerunners of the chapter organization. Within the six months following, auxiliaries were formed at Cappahosic, with J. W. Orr, Chairman; Wicomico with Mrs. Preston Williams, Chairman; Beechgrove with Mrs. H. L. Corr, Chairman and Ware Neck with Miss Lelia B. Brown, Chairman.

The following were school auxiliaries: Botetourt High School, N. C. Starke, Principal; Achilles High School, F. M. Bristow, Principal; Hayes Store High School, H. D. Pegg, Principal; Cappahosic Graded School, Miss Esther Tuttle, Principal; Belroi Graded School, Miss H. S. Minor, Principal; Sign Pine Graded School, Miss Mary Wiatt, Principal; Shelley Graded School, Miss Lucy Minor, Principal; Severn Graded School, Mrs. D. R. Craig, Principal.

Colored auxiliaries were formed as follows: Ark, Rev. J. W. Lemon, Chairman; Woods Cross Roads, L. B. Wilson, Chairman; Sassafras, Mrs. Emma Burrill, Chairman; Clopton, Jeff Carter, Chairman; Ware Neck, Mrs. Harriett Talliaferro, Chairman; Bena, Rev. John Fauntleroy, Chairman. At Smithfield and Dragon there were colored auxiliaries.

These organizations covered the county and had a total membership of 1,500. The chapter raised more than $1,000 in the Red Cross drive for $100,000,000.

The Achilles Auxiliary made 8 sweaters, 47 hospital shirts, 5 suits pajamas and sent two large and two small boxes of refugee garments, 5 large bags of refugee garments, 1 bag of shoes, 1 cot equipment and 20 property bags.

Mrs. T. E. Duval, Chairman of the knitting committee, gives the following report for 1918: 106 sweaters, 36 pairs of socks, 73 property bags.

After May, 1918, the Ware Neck Auxiliary made 16 children's dresses and collected $91.00, $75.00 being membership dues.

This report does not cover all the work accomplished by the various auxiliaries, since some of them sent material directly to headquarters and furnished no report to the county chapter.

WAR WORK AND RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS

Mrs. H. O. Sanders was secretary of the Gloucester Branch, National League for Woman's Service. The Navy League unit of this organization made 512 sweaters, 75 pillows, 12 comfort sets, 10 pairs extra wristlets, and sent tobacco, magazines, etc., to the sailors. Mrs. R. P. Taliaferro was commander of this unit.

The Ware River unit, of which Mrs. W. C. Perrin was commander, made four dozen operating shirts, 54 pillow cases, 14 pairs bed socks, 18 tray cloths, two dozen bandages and pads and two cot equipments for the Armenian and Syrian Relief.

The North River unit, Miss L. S. Taliaferro, Commander, made 32 pairs pajamas, 100 triangular bandages, 100 jug covers, 50 property bags, 25 surgeon's caps, 12 hospital shirts, 8 bed wraps, 6 pairs operating socks, 5 pairs bed socks and one emergency cot.

The Rose Hill unit, Mrs. W. B. Duncan, Commander, made 20 property bags, one pair sheets, five pairs pajamas, 40 pillow' cases, 36 wash rags, 25 tray covers, 13 comfort bags, 12 napkins, one convalescent home outfit.

The Court House units, Mrs. W. A. Robinson and Mrs. W. B. Lee, Commanders, made garments, bandages, etc., which were not reported.

Home hygiene and first aid were taught by Mrs. F. W. McKee and Mrs. H. A. Tabb. Committees headed by Mrs. A. W. Withers and Miss Vandergrift raised $200.00 for wounded soldiers and sailors. Mrs. H. A. Williams conducted a canning outfit which put up 506 cans and 72 glass jars of fruits and vegetables.

The Gloucester Branch of the League for Women's Service as a whole entertained enlisted men and convalescents from overseas, sent 202 comfort bags to the Red Cross, sent birthday and Christmas boxes, contributed $20.00 to the War Commission and $171.00 to the United War Work fund.

Misses Rebecca Stubbs and Emily Janney had the Junior Branch in charge. Under their direction sweaters and scarfs were knitted, comfort bags made and much work was accomplished.

The Gloucester Woman's Club turned over its rooms in the summer of 1917 to the Eighth Virginia Coast Artillery to be used for recreation and as a hospital. Members of the club served refreshments to the men once a week, and the women of the county served a home-cooked dinner once a week to the men at the club. The clubrooms were used by the various war relief organizations for working and meeting purposes. Club members, organized as a committee, sold Liberty Bonds and nearly $2,000 worth of War Savings and Thrift Stamps. Four club members were prominent in overseas work: Mrs. Stephen Wolcott, Mrs. Thomas Blakeman, Miss Margaret Tabb and Miss L. Nancy Benson. The club gave a dinner to the returned soldiers at which 200 people were served.

Resource

Virginia Communities in War Time, First and Second Series, Arthur Kyle Davis, Editor, published by order of The Executive Committee, State Capitol, Richmond, VA, 1926. Available for reference at the Virginia State Historical Society, Richmond, VA, with call numbers D570.85 V8 A4 v.6 c.3 (first series) and D570.85 V8 A4 v.7 c.2 (second series).

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