Monday, 6 July 2015

Daughters of the Empire

Patriotism is the seed that started the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire in 1900 Canada when Margaret Polson recognized a need for support of soldiers leaving to fight with the Empire forces in South Africa.  She encouraged women to join her cause and the first chapter was formed in Fredericton, New Brunswick on January 15, 1900.  The next month in Montreal the constitution, aims and objectives were reviewed.  The name chosen was "Federation of the Daughters of the Empire" and their motto was "For Queen and Country".

Chapters opened quickly across Canada, then children's chapters, later called Junior Chapters.  In 1901 the head office moved to Toronto. There soon opened a Daughters of the British Empire USA branch, in 1908.

After the Boer War, not only did the Federation organize a welcome home dinner for the soldiers and provide them with assistance as needed, they contacted their sister organization, Guild of Loyal Women, in South Africa and arranged for the care of war graves of fallen Canadian soldiers, particularly in isolated places.

IODE Rose Ball, King Edward Hotel, Toronto 1911 (Wikipedia)
Do you have a Daughter of the Empire among your ancestors? You can do a google search for the IODE in your area. They may even have photos in their archives. Also do a newspaper archive search for Daughters of the Empire.

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