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Red Cross Corps
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In August 1940, the Canadian Red Cross Society organized the Women's Voluntary Service Corps. Recruitment ads stated, "The purpose of the Corps shall be to provide a trained and disciplined body of Red Cross workers wearing identifying uniforms who will be available for Red Cross and other forms of national service both in war and peace." It was comprised of four sections: Office Administration, Motor Transport, Nursing, and Nutrition.

It was a year before the Corps was established in Summerside. A notice in the Summerside Journal on 20 August 1941 called for young women between 21 and 40 to apply. By September 24 the recruits were "shaping up very nicely." The officers of the local corps at that time were Miss Ruth Ross, Miss Clara Mountain, Mrs. Margaret Hopkirk, Mrs. Dorothy Palmer, Miss Ruby MacNeill, Miss Enid MacFarlane and Mrs. Roy Kennedy.

Over a series of meetings held at the Summerside High School and later at the Town Hall, the women were instructed by nurse Georgie Brown, and practiced drill under the direction of Lieut. J.A. Chappell of the RCASC, who also gave the majority of lectures. Airmen from the No. 9 School assisted with the training.

In December 1941, the members wrote examinations covering topics such as Map Reading, Stretcher Drill, Military Organization, Anti-Gas, and Passive Air Defense. According to the Journal, "The Corps has been a splendid success and the object of having a trained disciplined group of young women ready to serve in emergency or disaster is on the path of realization. This group is now ready to meet the Civilian Protection Committee to help make our town a Protected Area." During 1942 and 1943 the Corps participated in the town's air raid drills.

In addition to training and practicing for emergency situations, the young women served the community by visiting the RCAF hospital, working in the servicemen's canteen at the local Legion Home, and assisting during Blood Donor Clinics.

The Transport section had instruction under the direction of R.A. Horne of the Ford Motor Company, and in January 1942 all sections began to take the St. John Ambulance First Aid course under Flt. Lt. MacLean of the RCAF Station.


The Corps continued with its studies. Flight Sergeant Stevens of the No. 9 School gave a lecture on gas masks and fire extinguishers in May. Classes stopped in the summer and resumed in late August. There were now approximately 50 members, but new applicants were still being invited to join. Sergeant Flanigan of the RCAF conducted drill and Physical Training in the fall of 1942.

One of the unit's fundraising projects was a three-act comedy performed in June 1942 by the Kensington Players. It was an original play about the current war situation written by Kensington schoolteacher Norman MacDonald.

Chevrons were awarded in May 1943 to 27 officers and members who had one year of service of 165 hours. After the Provincial Commandant inspected the Corps, there was a March Past and a practical First Aid demonstration.

In 1943 the membership dropped when some women married and others joined the armed forces. One of the major activities of that year was a weekly visit to the RCAF Station hospital. Members distributed fruit, magazines, and writing paper courtesy of the Summerside Red Cross branch. A tag day held in Sept 1943 raised $246 for the Provincial Sanatorium.

The following year the membership was only 25 so the detachment was reorganized into one unit called the General Duties corps. The group continued until October 1946 when it was disbanded.