The Great War

from Lest We Forget, an electronic edition

Foreword.

This book is inscribed to every individual woman and girl of Great Britain who to-day is bearing so heroically -- so uncomplainingly -- her own share of Britain's burden in this Great War. She is asked to give of her dearest and her best, to see the man she loves -- husband, son, sweetheart or friend -- go to fight his country's battles, to fight in the cause of justice and humanity and honour whilst she -- mother, wife or sweetheart -- must perforce stay at home and strive with all her might to hide her tears, to keep back the one little word which perhaps would shake the loved one's resolution, the one little word which might unnerve him and cause him to stay by her side. Indeed, the burden laid upon all the women and girls of Great Britain is no light one! and they are bearing it with all the heroism of their race. Their sorrow is great -- and in that sorrow but one solace is left to them -- that of thinking and planning and working for those who have so bravely gone. It is their skill, their industry, their devotion which makes our gallant soldiers' and sailors' lives at the post of duty a little more happy and a little more comfortable. The warm clothing, which loving fingers at home fashion for the magnificent man who fights on land or at sea, is a comfort not only to his body, but also for his heart, for it reminds him of home, of brave hands that work while brave lips are praying for him.

It is to aid this work that this book has been compiled; it is to the workers that it is dedicated. Cheered by the patronage of a gracious Queen they will continue their labour of love so long as their fingers have the strength to wield needles and pins, and in the years to come, when the history of the twentieth century comes to be written, not its least heroic page will be the account of how the women and girls of Great Britain bore their part in the Great War by working for the material comfort of Britain's fighting men.