Bringing it up to date
Today, as in World War I, pacifists work across the divides created by their governments and armies. British women who belong to to Voices for Creative Nonviolence (http://vcnvuk.wordpress.com) have recently travelled to Afghanistan to liaise with Afghan Peace Volunteers (http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog), a group of Afghans using active nonviolence to resist war and injustice. The two groups believe they have more in common with each other than with any of the governments or armies claiming to fight in their name.
Amidst fears of German troops reaching the town, Hilda's tasks seem to have included keeping everyone calm, as shown by an early letter to her friend Edith.