This Small Army of Women: Canadian Volunteer Nurses and the First World War by Linda J. QuineyThis Small Army of Women: Canadian Volunteer Nurses and the First World War by Linda J. Quiney

This Small Army of Women: Canadian Volunteer Nurses and the First World War

byLinda J. Quiney

Hardcover | May 21, 2017

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With her soft linen head scarf and white apron emblazoned with a red cross, the Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse, or VAD, has become a romantic emblem of the First World War. This Small Army of Women draws on letters, diaries, and interviews to tell the forgotten story of the nearly two thousand women from Canada and Newfoundland who volunteered to “do their bit” at home and overseas.

Middle-class and well-educated but largely untrained, VADs were excluded from Canadian military hospitals overseas (the realm of the professional nurse) but helped solve Britain’s nursing deficit and filled gaps in Canada’s domestic nursing ranks. Although their willingness to take up unpaid work for the sake of home and country challenged the professional aspirations of qualified nurses and conformed with traditional notions of women as caregivers, Linda Quiney argues that their dedication and service also broadened the debate about who could be a nurse.

This richly illustrated history of the VADs and their struggle to secure a place at their brothers’ bedsides reveals much about women’s contributions to the war effort, the tensions between amateur and professional nurses, and women’s evolving role outside the home.

Linda J. Quiney is a historian and retired lecturer and serves as an affiliate with the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry at the University of British Columbia.
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Title:This Small Army of Women: Canadian Volunteer Nurses and the First World WarFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:May 21, 2017Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774830719

ISBN - 13:9780774830713

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 This Ardent Band of Ladies: Birth of the Canadian VAD Movement

2 Enthusiastic and Anxious: Mobilizing the Voluntary Nursing Service

3 Every Woman Is a Nurse: Framing the Image of the VAD

4 No Time for Sentiment: Making a Useful Contribution

5 Saying Goodbye: Forgetting, Remembering, and Moving On

Conclusion

Appendices

Notes; Bibliography; Index

Editorial Reviews

It is generally understood that it is men who make history in wartime. This Small Army of Women uncovers the adventures and sacrifices of a special group of women volunteers. By thoroughly exploring these women’s backgrounds, Quiney offers a more nuanced portrait of the VADs, who have long been understood as “well-born ladies” wiping fevered brows, an image perpetuated by Vera Brittain’s enduring memoir. - Christina Bates, curator (retired), Canadian Museum of History and author of A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform