The Great War Begins

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Intro


Alma Adelaide Clarke had been abroad for a year when fighting in the Great War broke out. As the daughter of a well-known artist Thomas Shields Clarke, her adventures warranted recounting by society columnists in both New York City and Washington D.C.

While her younger brother Jack became caught in the initial skirmishes of war, eventually requiring rescue by the American ambassador to France, Alma made her way from Baden-Baden in Germany via Geneva to Paris. Arriving at the end of August of 1914, she volunteered as a Red Cross nurse in the just-opened American Ambulance Hospital in Neuilly-Sur-Seine on the outskirts of Paris.

Alma Clarke remained at the American Ambulance, as it was colloquially known, for only a month before returning to the US. Precisely what she did from the fall of 1914 to the fall of 1917 is unclear, although once the United States entered the war, she began trying to get back to France.
References
Cover - image 1AlmaClarke_BMC_fc English WWI Scrapbook, Alma A. Clarke Papers, 1914-1946, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Page 1 Headline "Miss Clarke Red Cross Nurse" The Sun., August 22, 1914, Page 9, Image 9, Chronicling America

Page 2 image AlmaClarkeFrench_BMC_0002r French WWI Scrapbook, Alma A. Clarke Papers, 1914-1946, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Mrs. C.P. Howland, Letter to Alma Clarke, November 12, 1917. Box 1, Folder 2. Alma A. Clarke Papers, 1914-1946, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Page 3 image AlmaClarkeFrench_BMC_0003r French WWI Scrapbook, Alma A. Clarke Papers, 1914-1946, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Harold Morton Kramer, .With Seeing Eyes: The Unusual Story of an Observant Thinker at the Front (Lothrop, 1919), 10.

page 4 image AlmaClarkeFrench_BMC_0004ra French WWI Scrapbook, Alma A. Clark Papers. Bryn Mawr College Special Collections.

Lee Meriwether, The War Diary of a Diplomat (Dodd, Mead, 1919), passim.

U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, record for Alma A. Clarke, 17 December 1917 {original electronic data obtained from ancestry. com]
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