Women of WWI: 10 Heroic Women You’ve Never Heard Of

helen_fairchildEditor’s Note: In one of the darker times of the 20th Century, these women stepped up and made their mark. It’s strange to think that this all happened 100 years ago.

Strong, inspiring women can be found everywhere — including the front lines.

It’s been 100 years since the First World War, one of history’s most fatal conflicts. In commemoration of the Great War’s centenary, MyHeritage.com is highlighting the important women who risked everything to fight and save lives throughout the many years of war.

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6. Flora Sandes

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Flora Sandes began her career as a nurse before becoming the only British woman to officially serve as a soldier in WWI. In 1916, she was seriously wounded by a grenade in hand-to-hand combat, receiving the highest decoration of the Serbian Military, the Order of the Karađorđe’s Star. She was promoted to the rank of Sergeant major, and, after the war, to Captain.

7. Dr. Elsie Inglis

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Dr. Elsie Inglis was a Scottish doctor and suffragist who started the Scottish Women’s Hospital Unit, one of the few female medical units on the front. Among its collaborators were Evelina Haverfield, founder of the Women’s Emergency Corps, and Flora Sandes, who set up canteens that served thousands of Serbian soldiers in 1918.

8. Helen Fairchild

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Helen Fairchild was a nurse from Pennsylvania who staffed a unit at the Western front at Passchendaele in Belgium. She died after surgery on a gastric ulcer due to the effect of mustard gas in January 1918.

9. Julia Catlin Park Depew Taufflieb

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In 1917, this philanthropist and socialite was also the first American woman to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre and Legion d’Honneur for having converted her Chateau d’Annel into a 300-bed hospital on the front line.

10. Mildred Aldrich

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A journalist and a writer from Providence, Rhode Island, she moved in 1898 to France, where she worked as a foreign correspondent and translator. Her house overlooked the Marne River Valley, where the First Battle of the Marne took place in 1914. Her wartime letters sent to her American friends about the battle constitute her book A Hilltop on the Marne.

This article continues at Mashable.com

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