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A Woman's Touch: Supporting Canadian Servicemen's Resilience in Europe, 1943–47
In this talk, Sarah Glassford will explore the emotional dimensions of the Canadian presence in Europe during the later years of the Second World War. As Canadian servicemen amassed in Britain, then advanced through Italy, Normandy, and the Low Countries, 641 women of the Canadian Red Cross Corps Overseas Detachment followed close behind. Through food parcels, hospital visits, occupational therapy, ambulance-driving, canteen service, and the provision of comforts ranging from hometown newspapers and cigarettes to conversation and a listening ear, their job was to care for Canadian servicemen, shoring up the troops' psychological resilience with a proverbial "woman's touch." Corps members' letters, diaries, and oral histories provide a fascinating glimpse of how friendship, kinship, and romance helped both servicemen and Red Cross women cope with the physical and emotional traumas of wartime.

For more information about the Laurier Military History Webinar Series, please visit canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/webinar.

Jun 16, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Sarah Glassford
Archivist @Leddy Library, University of Windsor
DR. SARAH GLASSFORD is a social historian of Canada who researches the intertwined histories of women, children, wartime, health, and humanitarian aid. She is the author of Mobilizing Mercy: A History of the Canadian Red Cross (MQUP, 2017) and co-editor with Amy Shaw of Making the Best of It: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War (UBC, 2020). She works as the Archivist at the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library.