Patricia Mamic with the Salvation Army presents a box of doughnuts to Saanich News publisher Oliver Sommer. (Tim Collins/Black Press)

Salvation Army celebrates Doughnut Girls

The women who fried doughnuts and dodged bombs on the front lines

Representatives from the Salvation Army were handing out doughnuts around Greater Victoria Friday to commemorate the service and bravery shown by representatives of the organization more than a century earlier.

In 1917, Salvation Army officers and volunteers were sent to France to aid soldiers fighting in the First World War. In their efforts to encourage and assist the troops they initially offered the same wholesome activities they’d provided at home; religious services, the playing of music, hot cocoa and fudge.

Following 36 dreadful days of steady rain on the front, two young Salvation Army women decided that what the demoralized troops needed was something that reminded them of the sweetness of home.

They quickly got to work and gathered excess rations for dough and shell casings for makeshift rolling pins. They filled a soldier’s helmet with lard and fried braided crullers. The doughnuts were simple in flavour made with only a handful of ingredients but instantly became a hit. The fragrant smell of frying doughnuts drew the soldiers in and word went out, “If you’re hungry and broke, you can get something to eat at The Salvation Army.”

The women who often risked their lives in the service of others made a powerful impact on many around them.

“Before the war I felt that the Salvation Army was composed of a well-meaning lot of cranks. Now what help I can give them is theirs,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of the former U.S. president, after serving in France.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Colwood Elementary gets new inclusive and accessible playground equipment

Parks and playgrounds on the West Shore have equipment for everyone

Tent city campers prepare to leave Uplands Park

Vehicle access remains restricted at Cattle Point

A year in tent city: Timeline of Camp Namegans

Since September 2017, Victoria’s homeless camp has set up in more than 20 locations

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Oak Bay police ‘patient’ but ready to make arrests if campers don’t leave

Vehicle access restricted to waterfront segment of Uplands Park

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Most Read