Women played a vital role in the First World War, with the conflict proving a pivotal moment in the long struggle for gender parity. Though there were a handful of women warriors across all fronts, it was the majority who kept the farms and factories running in the place of men – many while still raising families – which shattered contemporary notions of inequality. Closer to the front line, nurses proved an invaluable service to the casualties that built up, while others were ambulance and truck drivers near the battlefields. During this era of total war, women more than played their part.
One such example was an American socialite Julia Hunt Catlin Park Depew Taufflieb. Living in high society afforded her the most stylish clothes, the most lavish lifestyle and the grandest parties, thrown in her glamorous mansion. However, when the war that was predicted to be over by Christmas persisted, and as trenches were dug and bloody stalemate ensued, her mansion Chateau d’Anne, near the front lines of France’s Compiègnein Oise, took on a new role.