-A Week of Remembrance-
When the book starts, Rilla is fifteen, and more than a little frivolous and self-absorbed. The news has reached Canada that the Archduke Ferdinand has been assassinated, but Rilla's not interested. After all, she's getting ready to go to her first dance, and Ken Ford, the boy she is infatuated with, will be there- who cares about boring foreign politics? Everyone is forced to care, however, when Britain declares war on Germany and Canada follows suit.
The young men of the community are excited to sign up to serve, including Rilla's eldest brother, Jem. They do so, and are soon heading off to what they think will be a great adventure. Jem's pet, Dog Monday, follows him to the train station, and disconsolately refuses to leave, even after Jem is long gone.
Rilla is rather at loose ends, until her mother (Anne) encourages her to start up a junior Red Cross to help the war effort. She does so, raising money, and organizing girls to sew sheets and knit socks. While canvassing for funds around the area, Rilla goes to see Mrs. Anderson, a young mother whose husband is overseas. When she arrives at the Anderson's home, however, she finds that Mrs. Anderson has died, and her baby is being indifferently seen to by a slovenly neighbour. Realizing that the baby is going to die from neglect, Rilla insists on taking him home with her. Her father (Gilbert) agrees to let the baby stay with them, rather than sending him to a Home, but informs her that she will be primarily responsible for his care. This responsibility, along with the increasingly grim events of the war, go a long way to force Rilla to mature.
After this, life goes on at Ingleside, everyone doing what they can for the war effort. Rilla keeps busy with baby Jims and the Red Cross, and Susan,their middle-aged housekeeper, joins a crew of women harvesting crops at the local farms, in place of the men overseas. One night, Dog Monday, who still refuses to leave the train depot, starts howling inconsolably, and soon afterwards they find out that Walter has been killed in action. The family is devastated, but Rilla is a bit comforted when she receives a letter which Walter wrote to her the night before his death, telling her that he was no longer afraid.