A Red Cross Canteen of World War I   – France (circa 1917)

The Red Cross evolved from the work of Clara Barton and the heroic nurses of the Civil War.

When the organization received its first Congressional Charter in 1900, the Red Cross was authorized to provide supportive services to US troops overseas.

Where the troops went, the Red Cross was there.


Here is a postcard photograph of a Red Cross Canteen somewhere in France during the first World War.

The postcards were provided to servicemen so that they could post messages to their families and friends at home.

One can find a large variety of similar postcard photographs; they were published and distributed in great numbers.

This is a poignant view of young men, far from home, relaxing in a social environment.

The postcard was unused; it was probably brought home by a returning soldier as a souvenir.

Printed in Paris, the postcard bears the official Red Cross authorization on the reverse.

The First World War introduced new methods of brutal and cruel tactics in armed conflicts; one hopes that the young soldiers also had moments of happiness and camaraderie.


On this Memorial Day, we remember the nurses and aides who also went overseas in the great mobilization of the war.


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