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WHAT WOMEN CAN DO, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914
WHAT WOMEN CAN DO
“HOLD NOTHING BACK.
[By the Lady Frances Balfour, in London ‘Daily Mail.’]
Every woman ought to be asking herself at this time how she cun servo her country, and what is her place in the great campaign of arms which has been sprung ujJou the people. Our men are called to servo abroad in allied armies, as they have not done since they fought against France in the wars of Napoleon, and fought with Fiance against Russia in the Crimen. Tire men arc finding their places along the lines of Territorial and national defence. The civil guard of our organised police force is being idled up by special constables. Every man to his post, and a post ‘"or every man. The women have a position in tire line of defence which no man can occupy, and without which no nation can make .effective war. Of the women are, born the men in the fighting line. They have brought them to life, nourished them, guarded them, and they have been found ready armed in tiro spirit of their ltoir.es to go forth to shield and defend the Mother Land and the homes of their mothers. The evidence that they have done their duty as citizens in their homes is before the eyes of the world. You may call on men to fight for their hearths, but if that word stands for little, with what heart will men be driven into the war shambles? —The Modem Woman.—
And now that our men are at war, what place can women till? They must fill up the gaps; they must gather up the fragments that remain. Since England last fought in Europe the place that women fill has been altered. They have now trained heads .-aid educated minds. Thousands of women have had the training of school and university life. They have been taught to give and take,_ to combine, to use their bodies to bo active, alert, watchful. They' have learnt the economic value of “foodstuffs,” the question of manufacture and distribution. They are equipped with knowledge, and are no longer the spirt of rumor and fable, and the hearsay of the ignorant and unlearned. They can face what war means, and every hour and dav be using the expert knowledge in the'handling'of facts which aro the commonplaces of everyday newspaper reading. Women can set the example of holding nothing back. The Australians have said thev will give their last man and their last shilling. The women in war must hold nothing back. _ It is easy to give the last shilling ; it is hard to giyc the only or the last son, the heads of their home, and their breadwinners-. They must uo, sent forth with the ungrudging sacrifice of all personal feeling. _ They were given to the mother, and she m her turn must uive them to the country in time of adversity. There are men to-day who are giving nothing, who abide in the tents bv the stuff. Let it never be earn that their women aro holding them back, though their unwillingness to serve is a slain on the honor of the_ mothers who reared these degenerate citizens. the woman who has. so failed can endeaior to redeem the past by making the men feel that the home is no place for dare donothings when their country calls them.
—No Time to Spare. —
It is an axiom that the spirit of free men makes them worth a horde of slaves, and it is the .spirit of the nation that we count upon in the struggle before us. .the men aro in the field, and the women are in the second line of defence; theirs it is to keep the altar fires burning. hey must practise and preach the doing ot the daily round, the common task; the economy ot life and energy in the use oi foodstuffs in our homes, tin them falls the charge ot the children, the citizens who are to replace the men that will return no more. The sick around us, who in the claims made bv the wounded in battle are likely to suffer from loss of skilled aid arid care. Too soon we shall have the bereaved m our midst, the orphan, and the homes swept of their defenders. Our immediate mrcle may claim our individual effort. Inert; are plenty free to work in organised service. The odds-aud-euds of the days duties will be multiplied. If anyone feels at leisure, that individual must be in a wrong place and doing badiv the work in her place. “ Let there be" no complaining m our streets,” The spirit that rises serene and even cheerful over every disaster is the spirit of the hour. Women have learnt to endure hardness in many a home campaign. Let their endurance be tested to the full. Every branch of active service and of actual warfare has its counterpart in the country waiting at home. Ihe man at the outpost, or who guards sonic- weak spot in our defensive works, has his double iu the civilian life which, goes on from day to day. * —No Complaints.— Women can save a situation by accepting it. I have heard of women “ giving tongue” over a counter because the full tale of their goods could not be delivered them at the usual price. Such people aro as deserving of being treated ns deserters as ever was soldier who runs from the rifle tire of the entrenched position he has to take. The best of every position as it turns up is the spirit of those who go forth to war in the spirit of the heroes, and it is for women who have time to concentrate their thoughts and energies to make this an effectual calling of tho spirit. A soldier can die but once; he lies “on the field of his fame fresh and gory.” Through the long years that follow they war in which he has given Ills- life must live those who know that with ins death the light of their lives has gone out. 1/mg after he lies forgotten iu his unnamed grave will live those who date their age and inereas-* jug troubles from the day that he fell. The war is never over for women. Peace will not bring Lack the shadowy legions that opened a way for her coming by the (sacrifice of their ail. Doubly, then, do women need to arm themselves with tuc whole panoply of God. Faith and works must go hand iu hand, but the power of faith will nerve the women citizens to works undreamt of and nnthought of when they were “ the careless daughters of our Empire.” On the women of the country will ultimately fall the glorious duty of succoring the wounded in body and the wounded in spirit. To them will come the task of making the waste places blossom as the rose. It is the people who are tried too—only in the things which pertain to their history, and in the faith and works of their fathers. Let the people, in its fullest meaning, answer with the shout of those whose belief is in the Lord of Hosts and in His power to save.
WHAT WOMEN CAN DO, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914
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