The Battle of the Somme is known as one of the bloodiest battles of WW 1. The British, French and their allies including Canadian soldiers were on one side of a 1000 km front across Belgium and France and the Germans on the other.
Lauren Willig’s “Band of Sisters” is about a female led relief mission in the Somme based on authentic accounts of American women helping right behind the front. They brought humanitarian aid to French families whose villages were being invaded by the German forces in the winter of 1917-1918. They were ordinary women who braved the shelling and the horrors of war to feed, clothe and generally aid retreating families.
Lauren Willig comments that at first she thought the story of these heroines was fiction. She stated, ” We’ve inherited such a male-centric version of history that when women do show up in places we don’t expect them, we assume they couldn’t have been there. So I think it’s incredibly important to set the record right and write these brave women back into the historical narrative where they belong.”