Exhibit S - "Switchboard Soldiers" Are Picked for Their Ability - 1918
A group of toll operators from the Greater Boston district have enlisted in the United States service and are going to France with the next New England telephone unit. Already a number of “switch-board soldiers” have gone from this district to France, but this is the first unit of toll operators.
A knowledge of French was one of the principal requirements with the first units, but as there was a great demand for girls with years of experience to fill the positions as toll operators, this last group was selected more for the experience as telephone girls than for any ability to speak French.
The girls who are going from the Greater Boston district are Miss Irene A. Gifford, formerly of New Bedford ; Miss Anna Sheerin, Boston; Miss Helen Sealey, Boston; Miss Ruth Keeping, Revere; Miss Helen Hayes, Boston, and Miss Christie V. Bickford, formerly of Rockland, ME.
The girls will wear the regulation uniform with insignia on the arm. They are in every respect a unit of soldiers coming under military orders at all times. Their pay is $72 a month with allowance for rations and quarters when not furnished in the army.
"[Exhibit S]: Affidavit of Gertrude Hoppock: “Switchboard Soldiers” Are Picked for Their Ability - 1918, [From the Boston Herald, July 1918]," in Recognition for Purposes of VA Benefits, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Unted States Senate, Ninety-Fifth Congress, First Session on S. 247, S. 1414, S. 129, and Related Bills. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 25 May 1977. p. 374.