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Monday, August 10, 2015

Life After Base Hospital 46 Service in the First World War: Stasia Walsh Part IV

Base Hospital 46 Nurse Stasia Walsh, R. N., worked with the Red Cross in Serbia for four years after World War I. Her 1920 passport application provides some interesting clues about her status and service.

Walsh was an Irish national when she immigrated to the United States and studied nursing in Iowa and worked as a private duty nurse in Pendleton, Oregon. She served with Base Hospital 46 as an Irish citizen. And when the Red Cross called her for postwar duty in East Europe in early 1920 she became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Stasia Walsh, U.S. Passport Application 1920, p. 1, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Ancestry.com
The first page of Walsh's 1920 passport application tells us that she became a naturalized U.S. citizen in Pendleton, Oregon on January 10, 1920. Her application was dated February 13, 1920. Nurses who served with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during the war had to either be a citizen or "must before appointment make a declaration to become such, and, if she wishes to continue in the Nurse Corps must at the proper time take our final naturalization papers." (Stimson, Army Nurse Corps, 288). I'm trying to find out what the American Red Cross required for citizenship of its workers in the aftermath of World War I or whether this was Walsh's choice. The timing coincides with her application for and assignment to nursing in Poland and Serbia. Her passport application indicates that Walsh was still in the planning stages for her new employment -- she had not made her travel reservations (or the Red Cross had not yet made them for her). She also evidently hoped to travel back to her home in Ireland and to other European nations in addition to her work in Poland.

Stasia Walsh, U.S. Passport Application 1920, p. 2, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Ancestry.com
 The second page of Walsh's passport application suggests that she was in a hurry -- instead of having the passport mailed to her in Pendleton she indicated that she would call for it, perhaps in Portland.

"Miss Stasia Walsh," Carry On, 4, no. 1 (February 1925): 35.
The Women's Overseas Service League bulletin Carry On, announced in February 1925 that Walsh had recently returned from four years of Red Cross service in Serbia. She was going to marry T. G. Dunn in March 1920 and would move with him to St. Anthony, Iowa. Marriage license records indicate that he was a 44 year old farmer. I would love to hear from Iowans or others who know more about her journey after her marriage.

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