Although no further letters were published from Norman there is one final newspaper article written early in 1919 which acknowledged with pride the contribution a local ‘Atlanta’ girl had made to American war efforts in France during WW1.

 

ATLANTA’S HEROINE

 Miss Norman Derr

Atlanta’s heroine, who has won the Croix de Guerre for serving as a nurse under fire.

When the heroes of the war come home and the women heroines come too, there will be an Atlanta woman who will wear upon the white folds of a Red Cross nurse’s uniform, the insignia of the “Croix de Guerre” the honour France confers upon men or women who perform deeds of valor under fire.

Miss Norman Derr is the Atlanta woman who wears the Croix de Guerre.  She is three times recommended for the honor, having three times done heroic work in saving her patients and in removing the wounded under fire.

She is a tall thin young woman who holds her head high, and carries herself with a spring in her step which expresses the courage of her spirit.  She was an artist by profession and was in Europe studying art when war was declared in 1914.  She at once went from the studio to the hospital where she took the necessary training which qualified her for nursing service in the French military hospitals.  She secured an appointment to one of the first front-line hospitals and her experience began at once.

After two years hard work she returned to Atlanta for a necessary rest, then carrying the honour of a commission as a lieutenant in the French army, this honor, as well as a protection to her when her work carried her from one hospital to another, or to emergency centers.

She returned to France before her vocation was over, and at once went into hospitals which carried her to the section where air raids were daily occurrences over military hospitals.  Few women have had more frequent experiences which required more courage, bravery and hard work.

The accomplishment of Miss Derr became an achievement when she was recognized by the war department of France and decorated with the Croix de Guerre.

During the first part of the war Miss Derr’s letters written to a relative at home were published in book form under the nom de plume of ‘Mlle. Miss” a name given her by the French soldiers.  These books have been sold for the benefit of the American Red Cross.

February 9, 1919

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