Award-winning film honors local WWI nurse

(March 7, 2019)

Photographer Steve Hooper will present his award-winning short film on the WWI experience of Brattleboro nurse Marion McCune Rice, "An American Nurse at War," for the Brattleboro Words Project's monthly Roundtable Discussion on  March 14.

Through written accounts and the many photos Rice took, the 34-minute film chronicles the Red Cross nurse's four years serving in French military hospitals during WWI. During her time in France, Rice took hundreds of photos on her Kodak camera, and along with the many letters she and the wounded soldiers she tended wrote, these offer a local's first-hand experience of a bygone time in "An American Nurse at War."

Rice was born in Brattleboro in 1882 and graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1900 before attending Smith College and then nursing school in Philadelphia. She volunteered as a Red Cross nurse during WWI, and in 1925 she was named director of the Simmons School of Public Health Nursing in Boston. She was the sister of Howard Crosby Rice, longtime publisher of the Brattleboro Reformer, and spent summers at her home on Chestnut Hill. She retired in a small cottage at 90 Chestnut Hill, where she resided until her death in 1955. The film about her time in WWI is produced by her grandnephew, Steve Hooper, and honors a local woman's war service in her own words.

The Brattleboro Words Project is a multi-year collaboration between the Brattleboro Historical Society, the Brattleboro Literary Festival, Write Action, Brooks Memorial Library and Marlboro College and backed by a National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant.

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