Alice Carr, WWI Red Cross Nurse

Alice Carr in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 1924

Alice Carr in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 1924

Alice Griffith Carr was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1887, the youngest daughter of William and Mary (Ladley) Carr.  Her maternal grandfather, Rev. D. F. Ladley, was among the founders of Antioch College, and her father was the founder and proprietor of W. W. Carr Nurseries, a well-known Yellow Springs firm. (And her uncle, Oscar D. Ladley, was a Civil War soldier, whose papers we recently digitized.)

Alice graduated from Antioch in 1904, and after teaching high school in West Mansfield, Ohio, and working as a beautician in Georgia, she enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Nurses Training School in Baltimore, graduating in 1914.

Carr then joined the first contingent of American Red Cross nurses to see service in World War I.  She sailed for France in June, 1917 and was attached to a base hospital near Verdun for two years.

Alice Carr & "Up", 1918

Alice Carr & “Up”, 1918: “Me & Up, 1918. Just before we left by [Ward?] T.”

Alice’s time of service in World War I was the beginning of her long and distinguished career in nursing and public health in Europe and Asia, and except for a few brief furloughs home, she remained abroad until 1941.

Group in Warsaw, ca. 1920 (Carr in white)

Group in Warsaw, ca. 1920 (Alice Carr is in the front row, center, in her white nurse’s uniform)

In the fall of 1941, the Nazi army occupied Greece, where Carr was living at the time, and all Americans were expelled. Carr returned to New York City to be the Advisor in Public Health for the Near East Foundation.  During the closing years of World War II, she traveled widely and lectured for the Foundation before going home to Yellow Springs to retire. She died in 1968 at the age of 81.

The following photographs depicting Alice’s experiences of World War I are from the Alice Carr Papers, Box 9. Portions of the captions that are in quotation marks are taken verbatim from the back of the photograph; in some cases clarifications [in brackets] have been added:

En Route, June 1917

“En route, June 1917″

 

Sub chaser, June 1917

“Sunset and evening star. And one clear call for me. June 1917. Going over. Sub chaser – one of those which watched out for us.”

 

Long White Road to Neufchateau, Boz, 1918

“Boz, [France], 1918. The long white road up the hill to Neufchateau. How many miles & miles of men & lorries have moved up here past our hospital. Never bombed 20,000 bed hospital. Germans flew over us constantly.”

WWI Nurses in France, ca. 1917-1918

WWI Nurses in France, ca. 1917-1918

 

Base 18, Bazoilles-sur-Meuse, 1918

“Base 18, Bazoilles-sur-Meuse, France, 1918.”

Hiding Ambulances in Vassigny, 1918

“Vassigny, [France], hiding ambulance from the Boche [German soldiers], 1918.”

Bazoilles-sur-Meuse Hospital, Fall 1918

“Bazoilles-sur-Meuse. Fall 1918 about the time of the St. Mihiel drive [Battle of Saint-Mihiel, Sept. 1918]. Capacity 20,000 beds. [Seven?] base hospitals. Two were on the other side of the river and do not show in this picture. With love to all, Alice G. Carr. During flood season and drink time it was ‘Bazwilly submerged.’ Note the Red Cross train.”

82nd Div. returning, Nov. 11, 1918

“Nov. 11, 1918. 82nd Div. First troops to come back from the front. First time we had seen troops marching in this direction.”

82nd Div. returning, Nov. 11, 1918

“Fall out! Nov. 11, 1918. March 1 hr, rest 20 min. Resting. 82nd Div. coming back from the Argonne. ‘The war is over!’ “

You can learn more about Alice Carr’s life and work, including her time as a World War I nurse, in the Alice Carr Papers (click to view PDF finding aid). The above text was taken, with few changes, from the collection finding aid, originally written by Dorothy Smith, January 1984.

 

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New World War I Exhibits

We are pleased to announce the installation of several new exhibits focused on World War I throughout the Dunbar Library.

Three of the exhibits can be seen on the first floor, near the circulation area:

One exhibit pertains to Raoul Lufbery (1885-1918), a fighter pilot and World War I ace. Lufbery was a member of the Lafayette Escadrille, an escadrille of the French Air Service formed in 1916 (before the U.S. entered WWI) and composed mainly of American volunteer pilots.

Raoul Lufbery exhibit, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

Raoul Lufbery exhibit, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

Another exhibit, in our Alumni Case (near the elevators), is “World War I Aircraft Production: Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. & the DeHavilland DH-4.”

World War I Aircraft Production: Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. & the DeHavilland DH-4 exhibit, March 2015

World War I Aircraft Production: Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. & the DeHavilland DH-4 exhibit, March 2015

This exhibit describes activities at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, which operated 3 plants in the Dayton area and delivered more than 3,500 airplanes to the war front, most of which were De Havilland 4s (or DH-4s).   The exhibit also includes an original piece of wing fabric from the factory.   (You can also learn more about the Dayton-Wright Company here on our blog.)

A third exhibit on the first floor of Dunbar Library consists of a variety of World War I materials from several different collections in Special Collections & Archives:

The Great War: World War I Documents from our collections, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

The Great War: World War I Documents from our collections, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

But don’t stop at the first floor! Please venture up to the fourth floor and into the Special Collections & Archives reading room to have a look at our special exhibit of original World War I materials, “The Great War.”

Exhibit of original World War I materials in our reading room, March 2015

Exhibit of original World War I materials in our reading room, March 2015

We have three cases of materials on display; this is just a “sneak peek” — among the items in this view are photographs of soldiers, a draft notification letter, and a soldier’s manual:

Sneak peek of "The Great War," an exhibit of original World War I materials, March 2015

Sneak peek of “The Great War,” an exhibit of original World War I materials, March 2015

Also on the fourth floor of Dunbar Library, just outside the Special Collections & Archives reading room and to the left (near the window and the restrooms), we have a large exhibit of reproduced World War I newspaper front page headlines:

Reproduced newspaper headlines from World War I, Dunbar Library 4th floor, March 2015

Reproduced newspaper headlines from World War I, Dunbar Library 4th floor, March 2015

We hope that you will come visit the Dunbar Library and take a peek (or, better yet, a long linger!) at our World War I exhibits. The case exhibits will be on display through the end of Spring semester.

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Reading Room Closed March 31 until Noon

Update 3/31/2015: Due to ongoing filming with CBS Sunday morning, we will unfortunately remain closed for the remainder of the day, instead of opening at noon. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

Here is a preview of what’s been going on in the reading room on March 31:

CBS Sunday Morning filming, March 31, 2015

CBS Sunday Morning filming, March 31, 2015

The Special Collections & Archives reading room will be closed on the morning of Tuesday, March 31, from 8:30 until noon, for a special event. The reading room will be open from 12:00 until 5:00.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Although the reading room is closed to the public on that morning, please do not hesitate to contact us at archives@www.libraries.wright.edu or submit requests through our research request form during that time.

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