The Children Of France And The Red Cross June Richardson Lucas

ISBN: 9781905363193




The Children Of France And The Red Cross  by  June Richardson Lucas

The Children Of France And The Red Cross by June Richardson Lucas
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In 1917, the Germans sent back into France through Switzerland all those they are unable to use in factory, trench, or agricultural work. The little town of Evian on the French/Swiss border received a thousand of such rapatris a day. The Red Cross worked amongst these French or Belgian rapatris, a large percentage of whom were young children. The American Red Cross focussed many of their relief efforts on these children: many starving, sick and diseased, showing the effects of three years of dirt and riddled with lice and skin lesions.

June Richardson Lucas, a Red Cross Nurse, worked with her husband, Dr. William Palmer Lucas, Professor of Childrens Diseases at the University of California, in the establishment of the American Red Cross work for the children of France. She spent much of her time at Evian. The children are so pathetic: many of them without their mothers, just sent along in a crowd in care of the older women, and some of them are too little to know their names and the old people have forgotten. To be four years old, to be six years old, and alone, Mother killed by bomb, father in the trenches.

Children come to us to get well and strong and wait for father. Six hundred and eighty Belgian children arrived on the morning train. all these children, thin, sickly looking, alone- all of them aged between four and twelve. The boys were livelier than the girls - the little girls of ten and twelve, in charge of four or five brothers and sisters, cried bitterly.

These children have been taken from their parents because their fathers would not work for the Germans and the mothers were willing to let the children go rather than see them starve. I have never seen anything more poignant than those little groups of children clinging to the oldest sister and brother as they marched down the little street. It was the saddest, the cruellest sight - little starving children, marching bravely along, singing, and crying. Men who have been taken from No-Mans Land- and it is a terrible place, that land between the enemies trenches and our lines - but that little sobbing child comes from just as terrible a place, - No-Childs Land, behind the enemies trenches.

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