First World War Women Working for Peace

There is one part of this First World War ‘whole story’ I think is extraordinary. That is, the work the women who were in the Women’s Political Association and the Women’s Peace Army did when they were opposing ‘the present war and war in general’.

imageswomenvoterOpen Letter to the Women of Australia

Dear women of Australia, dear women of every shade of political and religious thought, come and let us reason together about war; the present war and war in general. Armaments must inevitably produce war. The breaking point must come at some time. Now what are you Women of Australia going to do about the whole question of militarism in Australia, about militarism in other countries? Every nation without exception has made such egregious blunders in its foreign policy that war was inevitable; that the war has been made by monarchs, politicians, diplomats, armament firms, and newspapers.

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Gallipoli – a poem

Tell me of the people of Gallipoli.
I have heard that place’s name
one million times
but I still know nothing
of the women and men
whose home it was, it is.
Who are the farmers and the
fisher folk who live there?
Who are the mothers
and the grandmothers?
Tell me of them.

Tell me how the wheat grows on Gallipoli,
does it wave in the breeze like the wildflowers,
always beautiful and new?

Tell me of the Cities of Gallipoli,
of the streets and shops and houses.
Tell me of Mosques and Squares
and of the gardens growing even now.

Tell me of the history of Gallipoli.
Tell me of the ancients, the Greeks,
the Persians, Romans, of Byzantium,
The Ottomans and Turks.
And if I must have battles,
Give me all of them,
but don’t stop there.

Tell me of the artists of Gallipoli.
Show me the paintings, the vases,
read me the stories, the books, the poems.
Play me the music of Gallipoli.
My ears cry out for beautiful sounds.
Dance me a dance, please, of Gallipoli.

Tell me all the thorough-going truths
of Gallipoli. Help me to remember
everything important about that place.
What do philosophers and holy-ones say
on Gallipoli? I really want to know.

Tell me of the children of Gallipoli.
Do they cry and laugh and sing?
Do they play like children everywhere?
What games are theirs, those children of Gallipoli?
If I listen, what will I hear them say?

And tell me of the future, their future, on Gallipoli.

by Rowan White