Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lest We Forget

"The London Advertiser, May 4, 1917"
From left to right:

Annie Henderson Henry, b. July 6, 1889 (Whitechurch, Bruce County).
Vera Edith Sotheran, b. Oct. 2, 1893 (Fordwich, Ontario).
Annie Isabel Elliot, b. Aug.15, 1888 (Wingham, Ontario).
Annie May Ferguson, b. April 15, 1890 (Wingham, Ontario).
Mary Evelyn Wood, b. Jan. 29, 1891 (Iderton, Ontario).
Helen Abel, b. Jan. 27, 1882 (Fergus, Ontario).

All of the above nursing sisters in the photo survived the war.

At the beginning of the Great War Canada had five Permanent Force nursing sisters, and  fifty-seven listed in reserve. By the end of the war  3,141  nurses had volunteered . Because of their blue dresses and white veils they were nicknamed the “bluebirds”. Approximately 45 gave their lives. The most famous tragedy was the sinking of the hospital ship “Llandovery Castle” on  June 27, 1918. All 14 nursing sisters aboard the ship lost their lives. There is a Nursing Sister’s Memorial in the Hall Of Honour in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

Mabel B. Clint wrote an account of  her experiences as a nursing sister titled, “Our Bit: Memories of War Service By a Canadian Nursing Sister” (Barwick Ltd. 1934).

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