Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2017

World War I in Lawrence: Willing to knit, but in need of yarn

August 6, 2017

Editor’s note: As the U.S. marks the 100th anniversary of its entry into World War I this year, local writer Sarah St. John will compile reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence at that time.

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Popularity of first aid instruction from the Red Cross increased this summer to the extent that an additional class was formed to meet the demand in Lawrence. While this organization continued its meetings and activities here and in surrounding communities, other, more informal groups also sprang into existence to meet unexpected wartime needs. Women in Lawrence had recently organized a “Navy League Comfort unit” dedicated to making warm outer garments for “the navy boys.” While members were hard at work on “sweaters and mittens and helmets and mufflers,” they were reported to be “hampered much by lack of funds with which to buy the yarn for knitting. They make no canvass for money, but take thankfully all that is offered, and as there are no expenses whatever, all that is given is used to buy yarn for knitting and the work is cheerfully given by the women who are doing the work. To the present time, the League women have had only $36 donated to them, and much more could be used to good advantage. The women meet every Thursday afternoon at Weaver’s store, and work on the things for the boys, and they will be glad to receive any donations in money or yarn, or if any one wishes to do knitting the yarn will be furnished as long as there is money to buy it…. The women of the League are very anxious to continue this work.”

Another local group, the “Home Correspondence Club,” was described as “an informal organization of all women of the county interested in sending letters and reading matter to the enlisted men of the Lawrence military companies.” The club had held a meeting in late July at the Varsity Theater, with speakers present to explain the need for this work.

World War I in Lawrence
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