"Third Harvard Unit is Off to France," May 20, 1916 Mary Blanche Wallace (1892-1979) of Woburn served as a nurse with the third Harvard Surgical Unit, working at No. 22 General Hospital from June 11, 1916, to June 9, 1917. She then returned to France in April 1918 as a member of the American Red Cross Nursing Service, working in hospitals through the end of the war. Blanche Wallace documented her experiences in two scrapbooks filled with newsclippings, photographs, ephemera and memorabilia. She also preserved a number of letters from former patients or family members of wounded soldiers, thanking her for her service.
Harvard Unit Armband, 1916 According to the newspaper coverage, “The only identifying insignia that the surgeons and nurses got at the start, at least, were tags for their hand-baggage, containing their names and the number of their staterooms on board the steamer Andania; and white arm-bands, with the Gothic letters in crimson, “H.U.,” which stands for Harvard University, as well as for Harvard Unit.” Blanche Wallace is one of the nurses in the newsclipping; they all, along with Hugh Cabot, who was in charge of the third unit, are wearing the identifying arm badge.
Passport photograph of M. Blanche Wallace, 1918 Gifts of M. Blanche Wallace to the Archives of Harvard Medical School, 1971