The God In Man

A soldier on the firing step, aiming at the enemy, is suddenly struck;

and he drops down to the bottom of the trench. His nearest comrade must

keep on firing, but two stretcher-bearers are ready at their posts.

They rush forward, take the first-aid packet from the soldier's pocket,

cut his clothes away from the wound, and quickly dress it. They carry

him to the trench doctor, who treats the wound again. Then they take

he soldier from the trenches to the nearest field ambulance, where his

wound is again cared for.

He is so badly hurt that he needs to recover far from the sound of the

thundering cannon. But he is not so seriously injured that he cannot

stand a short journey. So he is placed, as comfortably as possible, in

an ambulance train, with skilled Red Cross nurses to attend to him. The

train arrives just in time to meet the hospital ship at the port. The

soldier is carried on board, and soon finds himself in a quiet hospital

in London--all in little more than twenty-four hours, a day and a


So thousands of men have been cared for each week, by a never-ending

line of devoted Red Cross stretcher-bearers, doctors, and nurses, on

the battlefield, on the trains, on hospital ships, and in the home

hospitals, in London, and in every fighting country in the world.

Somewhat back from the lines are the stationary hospitals, where many

soldiers are left who cannot be carried farther, but must be treated

there. "Mushroom hospitals" they are called; for, although they have

the appearance of having been there before, they really have sprung up

only since the war started. The wards are spotlessly clean, filled with

rows and rows of beds, also spotlessly clean. Beyond are the operating

rooms, baths, kitchens, and gardens filled with flowers, where the

wounded men may breathe fresh air and get back the strength which they

have so willingly lost in service. All the time, hundreds of new

patients are arriving, hundreds are leaving, either to go to more

distant hospitals, or to go back to the lines to fight.

In comes one soldier who does not see or know where he is, nor who it

was that brought him. But when at last he opens his eyes, he finds

himself in a spotlessly clean white bed for the first time in months.

He looks about, and yes, there is Bobby, his own pet collie, sitting

beside him. He had lost him when he went over the top in the fight; but

somehow Bobby had followed him here, and somebody had been kind enough

to let him stay beside his master in this clean and pleasant room.

By and by the wounded soldier grows well enough to be carried out into

the garden. There he and Bobby sit and watch the men caring for the

flowers. These men are not hired; they are wounded soldiers helping

about the hospital. The garden itself was made by a soldier who was a

gardener before the war. Every man helps with his knowledge of some

trade. The napkin rings and salt cellars used in the hospital were made

by a soldier tinsmith out of old biscuit boxes.

One day our wounded soldier becomes so well that he may walk away with

Bobby, and a nurse brings him his suit, his rifle, and all his

equipment, nicely cleansed and put in order.

So everybody does his bit in the hospitals. Dentists and

eye-specialists, surgeons and nurses, wearing the Red Cross, work

tirelessly from morning till night and sometimes both day and night, to

save the brave wounded men. They do their work as best they can,

sweetly and cheerfully, caring for the German soldiers as well as for

their own Allied soldiers. To know of them, to watch them in their work

of mercy, is to realize that there is something different from the

beast in man--there is the God in man, the spirit of love and tender,

skillful care, which they dare to give in the face of awful danger.

One of the brave nurses wrote home to America something of all she was

doing. Among many things, she said: "The Huns were pouring down in

streams to attack our men. I immediately began to get the hospital

ready to receive the wounded.

"Our surgeon was away on leave, but another equally good arrived. On

Tuesday, the wounded men began to come in. Wednesday and Thursday I

served from early morning until midnight. Bombs were bursting in the

distance, and news came that the Huns were within a few miles of us.

"A Red Cross unit came, and one English nurse arrived to help us. She

had lost the others in her party, and had walked miles to get here. It

seemed as if God had sent them all from heaven!

"All the surgical supplies that I could save from those you sent me

from the Red Cross, I had put away for emergency. I don't know what we

would have done without them!

"I had to see that the surgeons had whatever they needed, and from all

sides every one was calling for help. Through it all, I was up every

morning at four and never went to bed till midnight. The cannon were

roaring, star shells exploding, bombs dropping around us,--but nothing

touching us!

"For eight days our men fought gloriously. They were a wonder and such

a surprise to the Huns. Now perhaps they know what they have to face!

"The little hospital was able to save many, many lives. We have sent

away most of our wounded to-day, and are now waiting in suspense for

what may come next--but we are ready to do our best, whatever comes.

"We do not dare keep the seriously wounded now for any length of time,

for no one knows when the Huns may fight their way through. We know

what the 'front line' really means. No one goes in or out except by

military or Red Cross camion. No private telegrams can be sent, and to

our joy, we do not have to bother with food-ration cards, for a while

at least. Boches are over our heads all day, and cannons booming. I

am so used to it now that I don't mind it.

"I am so homesick to see you all, but I will not leave my work until

the end of this horrible war, if God will give me health and strength.

Don't worry. I intend to stick to my post to the end, and if the Huns

come down upon us, the Red Cross will get us out."

Nor are these all of the ways in which the Red Cross shows the God in

man. From the beginning of the war until March, 1918, over $36,000,000

of American money alone was spent in the following ways:

FRANCE, $30,936,103.

Established rest stations along all routes followed by the

American troops in France.

Built canteens for use of French and American soldiers at the

front, also at railroad junctions and in Paris.

Supplied American troops with comfort kits and sent them

Christmas gifts.

Established a hospital-distributing service that supplies 3423

French military hospitals, and a surgical dressing service that

supplies 2000.

Provided an artificial-limb factory and special plants for the

manufacture of splints and nitrous oxide gas.

Established a casualty service for gathering information in

regard to wounded and missing, this information to be sent to


Opened a children's refuge hospital in the war zone and

established a medical and traveling center to accommodate 1200

children in the reconquered sections of France. Fifty thousand

children throughout France are being cared for in some measure

by the Red Cross.

Planned extensive reclamation work in the invaded sections of

France from which the enemy has been driven; this work is now

being carried out with the coöperation of the Society of Friends

and alumnæ units from Smith College and other colleges.

Established a large central warehouse in Paris and numerous

warehouses at important points from the sea to the Swiss border,

for storing of hospital supplies, food, soldiers' comforts,

tobacco, blankets, clothing, beds, and other articles of relief.

Secured and operated 400 motor cars for the distribution of


Opened a hospital and convalescent home for children; also

established an ambulance service for the adult refugees, who are

now returning from points within the German lines at the rate of

1000 a day.

Improved health conditions in the American war zone before the

coming of American troops.

BELGIUM, .,086,131.

Started reconstruction work in reconquered territory, supplying

returned refugees with temporary dwellings, tools, furniture,

farm animals, and supplies essential to giving them a fresh

start in life.

Appropriated $600,000 for the relief of Belgian children,

covering their removal from territories under bombardment and

the establishment and maintenance of them in colonies.

Provided funds for the operation of a hospital for wounded

Belgian soldiers and for part of the equipment of a typhoid


ITALY, $3,588,826.

Provided the Italian army with 60 ambulances, 40 trucks, and 100

American drivers.

Contracted for 10 field hospitals complete for use by the Sanita

Militaire and the Italian Red Cross.

Supplied 1,000,000 surgical dressings. Opened relief

headquarters in 9 districts of Italy.

Established a hospital for refugees at Rimini.

Planned and made appropriations for extensive work among the

refugees in all parts of Italy.

ROUMANIA, .,676,368.

Rushed more than $100,000 worth of medical supplies and

foodstuffs into Roumania immediately after the retreat to Jassy.

Carried general relief work into every part of the stricken

country not invaded by the Teuton and Bulgarian forces.

UNITED STATES, $8,589,899.

Organized and trained 45 ambulance companies, totaling 5580 men,

for service with American soldiers and sailors.

Built and maintained four laboratory cars for emergency use in

stamping out epidemics at cantonments and training camps.

Started work of bettering sanitary conditions in the zones

immediately surrounding the cantonments.

Established camp service bureaus to look out for comfort and

welfare of soldiers in training.

Supplied 2,000,000 sweaters to soldiers and sailors.

Mobilized 14,000 trained nurses for care of our men.

Established a department of Home Service and opened training

schools for workers.

Planned convalescent houses at all cantonments and training

camps. Increased membership from scant half million to

approximately 22,000,000.

For War Relief in other countries, including

Great Britain, Russia, and Serbia $7,581,075

To supply food to American prisoners in

Germany $343,304

For supplies purchased for shipment abroad $15,000,000

The Jewish Relief Societies of this country have also forwarded large

sums of money to relieve the terrible suffering among their people in

Russia, Poland, Turkey, Palestine, and others of the war-stricken

countries. Approximately $24,000,000 was sent abroad for this purpose

during the first four years of the war.

One evening the train drew into the station of a little town in France.

It stopped long enough for half a hundred tired, dusty soldiers to gain

the platform, then puffed away out of sight. They were not the fighting

soldiers--they were engineers. The men looked about in a bewildered way

for the train with which they were supposed to connect. But it was

nowhere in sight; it had gone. They were sorry not to meet the rest of

their company, but there was nothing for them to do but remain in the

town overnight. They walked the streets, and found that every hotel,

boarding house, and private home was filled to the last cot. Thousands

of American troops were in the town, on their way to the front. The

engineers had ridden for many hours and were very hungry, but their

pockets were nearly empty.

Suddenly they stopped before a large building painted a deep blue, and

bearing the sign,

Knights of Columbus

Everybody Welcome.

The half a hundred men walked in, passed group after group of soldiers

and sailors, and found the secretary. Soon they were dining on Knights

of Columbus ham and eggs, without money and without price! The

secretary himself served them.

They entered the large lounging room, found tables covered with good

reading books, easy chairs and writing benches set about the room, and

a stage at the back with piano, victrola, and a moving picture screen.

So when they least expected it, but most wanted it, they found a place

that seemed like home. Knights of Comfort, the Knights of Columbus have

been called, and comfort they have given to thousands of soldiers and

sailors. About $50,000,000 has been raised by the society for one year

of such good work.

Almost on the very battleground is another source of comfort to the

fighting men,--the little huts with the sign of the Red Triangle,--the

Y.M.C.A. There is hardly one American home which has not received from

some soldier a letter on paper marked with the little red triangle.

Thousands have been written at the benches inside the huts, and

thousands of books and magazines found in the huts have been read in

spare time by the soldier lads.

Usually only the paper for letter writing is furnished at the huts, and

the men buy their postage stamps. Often fifty to a hundred men are in

line to purchase stamps, so that at times the secretary heaves a sigh

of relief when at last he has to hang up the sign "Stamps All Out." In

one hut as many as three thousand letters have been handled in one day,

besides parcel-post packages, registered letters, and money-orders.

The United States government has realized the valuable services of the

society and recognized it officially, permitting its men to wear the

uniform, and to accompany the soldiers right into the trenches.

Often before and always after the men go into battle, the "Y" workers

bring up great kettles of hot chocolate and a store of biscuit. This is

a godsend to the men who have been fighting for hours with little, if

anything, to eat.

Passing over the battlefield, the workers write down messages from

wounded and dying men, to be sent to their relatives. They learn all

they can about those who have been taken prisoners, and so bring

comfort to the people at home.

The secretaries send to the United States free of charge money from

the soldiers to their home folks. In one month, a million dollars was

brought to the Y.M.C.A. with the simple instructions that it be

delivered to addresses given by the soldiers. The controller of the New

York Life Insurance Company in France has had charge of this.

The association has nearly 400 motor trucks engaged in various kinds of

transport work. It aids greatly in caring for and entertaining the

soldiers, as many as 4000 of them at a time. It has opened many hotels

in France, four of them in Paris, and owns several factories for the

making of chocolate. It holds religious services for the men, providing

preachers of all the different faiths. So it, too, shares in the

godlike services of the Red Cross and Knights of Columbus.

Near the trenches and at training camps, other work has been done

similar to that of the Y.M.C.A. and Knights of Columbus, by the

Salvation Army. The soldier boys have especially enjoyed the doughnuts

and pies furnished them by this society.

It has, it is said, placed 153 comfort and refreshment huts at the

front in Europe, and is building many more. It maintains about 80

military homes, caring for about 100,000 men each week. It operates

nearly 50 ambulances. Over 700 of its members are devoting their lives

to war work in the trenches and at the camps. It was the first, it is

said, of the societies of mercy at the front, and spent for the work

mentioned $1,000,000, all made up of nickels and dimes of small givers,

before the society made any "drive" for funds.

Letters from officials, friends, and soldier boys tell what glorious

work these and other similar societies have done and are doing. They

bring a little touch of heaven into the very worst places and

conditions, and show the God in man.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.