Date: June 13, 1941
Source: The Guardian
Source: Courtesy of Serge Durflinger
In March 1941, Joan Adams was appointed Senior Commandant of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve Corps.
Excerpts from the interview with Joan Adams (J.A.), conducted by historian Serge Durflinger (S.D.).
S.D.: Let’s talk about the types of women who would join the Women’s Volunteer Corps.
J.A.: Well, we were patriotic. We were feminist, in a sense, in that we believed in marriage and the home. I was single, but that was no fault of mine. My fiancé had been killed. But we were women who loved the children of our families. It was our brothers, our lovers, it was our sons, our nephews, our fathers, our husbands who were facing death. And we would gladly have died to be of service to them.
J.A.: I suppose there were some who thought it was glamorous, but I didn’t meet them in my command. In my command I met women, some who couldn’t afford the uniform. But they were going to work for us. And we would make it possible for them. Not through the battalion’s fund, but through our own purses, to give them uniforms because they deserved it. It was a wonderful, sacrificing group of people. And we had difficulties. There were times, I think, when I was very aggressive. I would allow no frivolity. Either you wore the uniform of a soldier or you got out of it.
Transcription of the text below the photograph:
Miss Joan R. Adams, commandant of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve Corps, who has justundergone an operation at the Montreal General Hospital. The corps, which she commands, has been very active lately in connection with Victory Loan canvas, parades and the blackout