In August 1916 Norman Derr went to Paris to obtain a temporary passport for a short return visit to America on account of her aunt’s illness. Kate Crawford Latham was 58 years old and had been ill for some time. On Kate Crawford’s passport application, completed in Menton in April 1915 she states:
“I have been ill for the past year and a warm climate was prescribed as necessary for my health. I intend to return to U.S permanently to reside for 2 years or when my health permits me the voyage by sea”.
Norman sailed on the ‘SS New York’ from Liverpool, England on 19 August 1916 arriving in New York on 28 August 1916. She gave her address as ‘Marblehead, Massachusetts’. This is where Kate Crawford Latham passed away on 8th September 1916.
Norman then went to stay with her father Doctor Ezra Derr, a retired US navy surgeon in East Lake, Decatur, Atlanta and whilst at home she gave an interview to a local newspaper reporter. It is a wonderful account explaining in her own words to the local readers why she volunteered to serve in France.
The following interview was published by the ‘Atlanta Constitution’ on 7th October 1916 and was obtained from ‘ProQuest Historical Newspapers ‘-Atlanta Constitution (1865-1945) . I would like to thank ‘ProQuest” for their permission to copy the article published below. The photos that accompany the feature are believed to have been given by Norman Derr to the newspaper reporter, so once again I thank Norman’s family for their kind permission to share these images of her on this site.