Women on the Home Front

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The Women’s Institute did their part in the greater production of vegetables during the war. Archival and Special Collections, University of Guelph Library (FW10 XR1 MS A540005 ENV 35).

"The wind whipped her grey hair about her face and the gingham apron that shrouded her from head to foot was cut on lines of economy, not of grace; yet, somehow, just then Susan made an imposing figure. She was one of the womencourageous, unquailing, patient, heroicwho had made victory possible. In her, they all saluted the symbol for which their dearest had fought.”

 L. M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside. NY: Stokes, 1921, p. 214.

The First World War brought many changes to women’s lives including increased participation in the workforce and public life and for some, the vote. In spite of all these changes, women were still responsible for their traditional roles as caretakers, household managers, mothers, and community organizers. Women’s contributions to the war in Rilla were exemplified by Susan Baker and Anne Blythe, whose efforts fit within their understanding of duty, patriotism, sacrifice, and femininity.

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