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Box 04-007 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from a friend, Mary E. MacLeod Moore
Mar 10 1916
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten 'St. Andrew's Manse' Buckingham, Quebec
From: 113 St. George's Road, Warwick Sq., London, S.W.

Dear Mr. McQuesten,

I was awfully glad to get your letter, which reached me for the New Year, and as a proof of friendship I write on the typewriter. My writing gets worse and worse as time goes on. Did you do it for a bet or was it chance that you wrote a whole letter without mentioning the war? I wonder.

I loved reading about the peaceful life in the village or town rather, and about the pines and the rapids etc. When I go to Canada again in the days when the war is over, and the Germans are outcast and cease from troubling us, I shall certainly go to see you, regardless of the proprieties! Thank you for the pic.[sic] of your pretty manse.

What do you do all the time? Have you many books and do you have a chance to keep in touch with things or are you kept pretty busy with the parish?

As for us life is very full and very busy. We let our flat furnished and my mother and I have "apartments with attendance"--a delightful English arrangement which gratifies the national taste for privacy which I entirely share. We have a sitting room and two bedrooms and the people cook and do the housework etc., but we need not see the other tenants unless they go in and out under our noses. One of the latest is a Canadian officer who looks rather lonely. However we learned from the housekeeper that he has friends who come to dinner so we decided not to intrude.

My brother is, of course, in the Army, the last of 260 years of soldiers, of which we are proud, and his sister would like to go too if they took women! My brother was transferred from France to England temporarily and is in charge of the Queen's Canadian Military Hospital, which was started and is run by the Canadians over here. I wonder if you can realize what war is like to us who are in the centre of it. The millions of men who have enlisted, and khaki to be seen everywhere, the [wounded?] in blue, so cheery and jolly. The few slackers and so-called "conscientious objectors" (the objection, I gather, is to risking their lives, not to having other people do it) count for very little compared to the great rush of men who have given up all their prospects etc., to go. Since the war began I have been one of the committee and a visitor for the Soldiers and Sailors Families Assn., which I love. Also I am a Canadian Red Cross visitor and have been going every week for many months to see wounded Canadians and keep my eye on them till they rejoin. They are such splendid dears.

For many weeks I have been visiting exchanged prisoners, the men who were wounded in April and have been in Germany until lately. If anyone tells you rubbish about the German neglect and cruelty being exaggerated just refer them to me for facts! The men are so moderate and reasonable that when they do say anything you know they mean it and more too. They are quite matter of fact about the way the Germans neglected their wounds and left it to chance that they recovered, and one man, who was not at all bitter, told me about the orderlies spitting on a man who was not able to move in bed! Also that a man died in one ward and his body was left there for three days!

England and the whole Empire is magnificent, and much good will come out of this welter including closer relations between the various parts of the Empire, but, how long oh Lord, how long?

My mother is well and as young as ever, very busy and always packing parcels for soldiers and doing useful things. Just now she is knitting washcloths. Do write to me soon, and I am going to send you an occasional London paper. Oh! We escaped the Zepps so far, though both times the bombardment was well in view of the windows and we watched with rage! All good wishes.

From your old friend

M.E. MacLeod Moore1

1 For all references to Mary E. MacLeod Moore, see, W7962, W7411, W7564, W7588, W7611, W8744, W-MCP1-3b.019, Box 04-007.

We have received a communication from Debbie Culbertson who is doing research for a Master's Degree on three Canadian women journalists, one of whom is Mary Emily MacLeod Moore. She asked this site for more information about Mary's personal letters, of which we have eight on the web site, all to [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten, who had been a fellow-journalist with her on the Montreal Herald in 1902. The latest letter we have from MEMM is dated 1916.

Ms. Culbertson also supplied this site with some additional information on Mary E. MacLeod Moore, including her biography which follows:

Moore, Miss Mary Emily MacLeod, miscellaneous writer; journalist, D. late Lt.-Col. Macleod M., H.M.'s 69th Regt., and a distinguished Free-mason; b. Laprairie, P.Q.; e. Montreal; studied art, N.Y. School for Applied Design for Women; entd. Journalism, 1898; held positions at various times on the Montreal Metropolitan, Montreal Herald and Montreal Star, doing general newspaper work and contributing many special articles; following which held an editorial position in N.Y.; since 1908, has lived in London, engd. In writing for Eng. Can. and Am. Publications; has contributed sketches and articles to a number of Eng., Am. and Can. Papers and mags.; wrote a series of articles for S.N., which were much admired, descriptive of the coronation, 1911; Ang.--3 Iddesleigh Mansions, Caxton St., London, S.W., Eng.; Lyceum Club; Soc. Of Women Journalists, do.; Can. Women's Press Club.
"A good writer, a ready-witted, reporter, a specialist in her own line."--(Man. Free Press), (The Canadian Men and Women of the Time, p.819, Ed. Henry James Morgan).

Ms. Culbertson also included several other items of interest:
--The title page of the book that MEMM wrote: The Maple Leaf's Red Cross: The War Story of the Canadian Red Cross Overseas.
--An article Moore wrote for the Vancouver Sun, April 1, 1919, p.4: "Work of Canadian Red Cross a Godsend: Joy felt at Sign of Red Cross Banner; Sufferers Aided in Many Quarters."
--An article by Debbie Culbertson for The Beaver, December 2002: "The Other Vote Goes to the Sister," in which she tells the story of Roberta MacAdams, a World War One nurse, who was elected as "representative at large for Alberta" for the soldiers overseas. MacAdams met Mary E. MacLeod Moore, then a London columnist, and three other women journalists, and led them as the first group of women journalists to visit France during the war. This was at a time when "Women writers covering the war were considered too emotionally and physically fragile to withstand the terrors of the battlefield."
--Three articles by Mary MacLeod Moore in a Toronto paper:
(1) March 16, 1918, "Canadian Women in the War Zone" in which she notes that many Canadian Red Cross women volunteers were ambulance drivers during the war.
(2) May 4, 1918, "Our Doctors and Nurses in Wartime" in which she pays tribute to the medical teams by quoting from Rudyard Kipling:

When the days were torment, and the nights were clouded in terror,
When the Powers of Darkness had Dominion on our soul,
When we fled consuming through the Seven Hells of fever,
These put out their hands to us and healed and made us whole."

(3) June 1, 1918, "War Zone Sketches" in which she outlines the heroic role of Canadian women and men in war time including their work in the animal hospitals as well as the soldiers' hospitals; also their role in the logistics of "the preparing, supplying and moving of necessary supplies. . . the enormous amount of work, the ability, the thought, the brilliant organizing skill that lies behind the moving of the armies, the feeding of the armies, the repairing of damage and the utilization of wastage in all lines."

If anyone has any further information about Mary E. MacLeod Moore, please contact Debbie Culbertson at or contact this web site, Mary Anderson, Ph.D., or

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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