Conshohocken Had All Those Volunteers 75 Years Ago
Not Much Different Than It Is Today
By Jack Coll
As I sit home like a good portion the of the country I’m passing my time by watching a little more television then I normally do, particularly the 4 o’clock news, the 5 o’clock, the 6 o’clock and 7 o’clock news. Nobody knows what’s going on, everybody knows what’s going on, nobody has the cure and yet everyone they talk with has a solution on what to do next.
One of the news clips I noticed was about a young lady who was sewing together surgeons mask for hospitals or doctors’ offices or other needed areas, it was a rather nice uplifting piece amid all the grim news.
It immediately reminded me of the Conshohocken residents back during the Second World War who would meet once a week to make bandages for hospitals helping to treat our wounded soldiers. I don’t think most of us realized that this group of ladies ever existed.
During World War Two, from 1943-1945, a group of Conshohocken Women met on the second floor of the Mary Wood Park House located on East Fifth Avenue under the name of the “Surgical Dressing Unit of the Conshohocken Branch of the American Red Cross.” In two years, the Surgical Dressing Unit made 63,000 bandages and shipped them to the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
This was a devoted group of women led by Chairperson Mrs. Charles Smith. They met three days a week and made different size sponge dressings for the Naval Hospital. I think it’s worth the time and space to list these forgotten volunteers. Perhaps you’ll recognize a name or two, or three.
Mary T. Adams
Mrs. Walter Adams
Mrs. H Allebach
Helen R. Clark
Mrs. Arthur Copeland
Mrs. Philip Cox
Mrs. E. Davis
Mrs. Lloyd Earl
Mrs. D. Fordyce
Mrs. George Havene
Mrs. Vernon Gotwals
Mrs. John Herron
Mrs. Ralph Killmer
Mrs. Robert Long
Mary K. McLaughlin
Mrs. Baptista Marcozzi
Mrs. Thomas Morton
Mrs. Charles Thels
Mrs. Harry Thwaite
Miss H. K. Tomlinson
Mrs. Joseph White
Although it’s been seventy five years since these volunteers contributed to the war effort I’d still like to take the time to thank them all these years later.
In an unrelated matter, but in a crises situation I like to thank all the volunteers who sprang into action to plan and or help in any little way to help feed the students of the Colonial School District who rely on the district providing them with a breakfast and lunch making sure these kids had food to eat.
Perhaps when this crisis is all over and we begin to look back we can thank all our restaurants, bakeries, and care-givers of the borough who were involved in these actions. It’s not just their actions I’m proud to be involved with, but knowing that if I, or someone close to me was ever in need I have a community that I can count on. Thank You.
At a time like this I’d like to say God Bless all our volunteers.