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Nurses of World War I: Wilhelmina Smith

Wilhelmina Smith was born at the farm house near Lakehurst, Harvey Township, Peterborough County, Ontario on August 26, 1890 daughter of George Smith and Helen Hastie.

Mina Smith

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School at Belleville in 1914, was then in the employ of the Hospital and lived at 218 Church Street; ‘Mina’ graduated from the Divisional School of Military Instruction on September 28, 1915 at Quebec City.  Miss Smith enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on January 8, 1916 at Kingston.

218 Church Street, Belleville

Height: 5’ 6”

Weight:  160lb

Age: 25

Nursing Sister Smith served at the military hospital at Le Tréport, France, was admitted to the military hospital in Étaples for treatment of Rubella and was later transferred to Ramsgate, England. During the War, Miss Smith often slept in the woods curled in her green plaid blanket; if the hospital were bombed, they would still have nursing staff. She returned to Canada setting sail on July 3, 1919 aboard the S.S. Celtic and was discharged on July 14, 1919. After the War she was an operating room Supervisor at a private Doctor’s Hospital in New York until her retirement in 1958. She passed at the Peterborough Civic Hospital.

Wilhelmina Smith died on December 28, 1967 aged 77 years 4 months 2 days. She is interred at Sandy Lake Cemetery, Harvey Township, Peterborough County Section S.

Grave marker for Wilhelmina Smith

By | August 25th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Gladys Hope Sewell

Gladys Hope Sewell was born at Belleville on September 24, 1892 daughter of Reginald Sewell and Clara Henderson.

Gladys Hope Sewell

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal in 1914 and graduated from the Divisional School of Military Instruction on March 29, 1915 in Quebec City. She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on April 22, 1915 in Montreal and listed her mother’s residence as 205 Charles Street.

205 Charles Street, Belleville

Height:  5’ 8”

Weight:  128lb

Age: 22 (stated age: 23)

Nursing Sister Sewell served with the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in Camiers, France and at the military hospital in Orpington, England where she met her future husband. Miss Sewell was united in marriage to veteran Dr. James Wells Ross O.B.E. on August 25, 1915 in St. John’s Church, World’s End, Chelsea, England and resigned her commission on September 4, 1915; she was awarded the Victory Medal (see her photos and medals through the Canadian Letters & Images Project). Dr. Ross was a graduate of the University of Toronto and served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Field Officer of the Canadian Horse Artillery. Following discharge he trained in surgery at the Mayo Clinic for three years and then entered practice in Toronto.

Gladys Hope Ross died in Toronto on February 3, 1933 aged 40 years 4 months 9 days. She is interred at St. James Cemetery Section APS Lot 39 Grave C.

Ross headstone

By | August 18th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Ethel Blanche Ridley

Ethel Blanche Ridley was born in Belleville on March 31, 1874 daughter of Dr. Charles Ridley and Anna Campbell.

She was educated locally, graduated from St. Hilda’s College at the University of Toronto with a B.A. in 1895 and was a graduate of the New York Training School for Nurses on May 20, 1899 but missed the ceremony as she was with the United States Army in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War; later, in China, she did missionary duty providing the sick and needy with hospital supplies and comfort and organizing work in connection with training schools.  Afterwards Miss Ridley joined the staff of the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled in New York. She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on September 16, 1914.

 

Ethel Blanche Ridley, courtesy of Trinity College Archives, Toronto

Height: 5’ 6”

Weight: 140lb

Age: 40 (stated age: 36)

Nursing Sister Ridley, by virtue of her long experience as Superintendent of Nurse Training Schools in the United States and her previous military service, was selected as Matron for the No. 2 Canadian General Hospital; she was stationed at Le Touquet, France and later at military hospitals in Granville, Ramsgate and Buxton England. Miss Ridley received several decorations including the 1914 Star, the Royal Red Cross 1st Class and was appointed Commander, Order of the British Empire in 1918, receiving the C.B.E. in 1919 at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace. She returned to Canada setting sail on July 28, 1919 aboard the S.S. Adriatic and was discharged on August 8, 1919; she was appointed as the Directress of Nursing at the Vancouver General Hospital in 1919 but was unable to fill this position due to ill health.  Nurse Ridley returned to New York City and rejoined the New York Orthopaedic Hospital as Director of Nurses until 1942.

Ethel Ridley’s obituary in the Intelligencer, 1949 July 21

Ethel Blanche Ridley died at the Brockville General Hospital on July 18, 1949 aged 75 years 3 months 17 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section O Row 4 Grave 7.

Ethel Ridley’s gravestone in Belleville cemetery

By | August 11th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Vera Harrison Prindle

Vera Harrison Prindle was born at the farm house near Tweed on February 16, 1891 daughter of Silas Prindle and Deborah Harrison. The father of our subject was of United Empire Loyalist stock and served as clerk for the Township of Hungerford for over two decades.

She was educated locally and was a graduate of the Nursing School at Belleville in 1916. Miss Prindle enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1917 at Kingston.

Vera Harrison Prindle (left) on leave in Ireland (photo courtesy of Belleville General Hospital Archives)

Height:  5’ 4”

Weight: 113lb

Age: 26

Nursing Sister Prindle served in the military hospitals in Taplow, Buxton, Westenhanger, Orpington and Granville, England; Vera was hospitalized in January 1919 with influenza. She returned to Canada setting sail on September 6, 1919 aboard the S.S. Orduna and was discharged on September 15, 1919. Miss Prindle was united in marriage on December 17, 1919 to Veteran Joseph Edward Chappell. Mrs. Chappell was engaged in private duty nursing at Thomasburg where she lived most of her life; she passed at Hastings Manor in Belleville.

Vera Harrison Chappell died on February 24, 1967 aged 76 years 8 days. She is interred at the Thomasburg Cemetery West Section Row 3 Grave 303.

Grave marker for Vera and her husband.

By | August 4th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Jessie Anne Morrice

Jessie Anne Morrice was born at the home on Willard Street in Belleville on September 24, 1870 daughter of Alex Morrice and Anne Fyfe.

She was educated locally and was a graduate of the Nursing School of the Toledo Ohio General Hospital about 1905. Miss Morrice was head nurse at Fernie B.C. whence she took the position of Lady Superintendent at Melville, Saskatchewan in 1911. She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on June 3, 1915 at Montreal and listed her address as 6 Charlotte Street, Belleville, home of her brother.

6 Charlotte Street, Belleville

Height:  5’ 8”

Weight:  145lb

Age: 44

Nursing Sister Morrice served with the No. 2 Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport, France and later at the military hospitals in Bearwood, Taplow, Shorncliffe and Brighton, England; she was hospitalized in March 1917 with influenza. Miss Morrice returned to Canada setting sail on March 19, 1919 aboard the S.S. Canada and was discharged on April 3, 1919. Jessie, a specialist in the treatment of Tuberculosis, was appointed Matron at the Tranquille, B.C. Sanatorium in 1920 and in 1923 became the Superintendent of Nurses at Chilliwack General Hospital. She retired to Vancouver and passed at the Shaughnessy Military Hospital, having attained the rank of Major.

Jessie Anne Morrice died on June 18, 1949 aged 78 years 8 months 24 days. She is interred at Capilano View Cemetery Section F Grave 15c.

Grave marker for Jessie Anne Morrice

By | July 21st, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|1 Comment

Nurses of World War I: Nonie Winnifred Milburn

Nonie Winnifred Milburn was born at Belleville on September 7, 1873 daughter of Edward Milburn and Isabella Benjamin. The father of our subject was a teacher and served as principal of the Belleville High School from 1894 to 1908; he was a life-long friend of Sir William Osler. She lived with her parents at 216 Charles Street and maintained that address for the duration.

House at 216 Charles Street, Belleville

She was educated locally and was probably a graduate of the Nursing School at the Dr. John Lee Private Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. about 1909; following graduation she remained in the employ of the Hospital.

Miss Milburn enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on February 19, 1917 at Kingston.

Height: 5’ 4”

Weight:  142lb

Age: 43 (stated age: 33)

Nursing Sister Milburn served in military hospitals in England including Westenhanger, Brighton, Buxton and Shorncliffe and at St. Claud, France. Here she was bothered by recurrent sciatica and was hospitalized for treatment and later treated for influenza at Kinmel Park Medical Hospital. She returned to Canada setting sail aboard the S.S. Celtic on July 3, 1919 and was discharged on July 15, 1919. Miss Milburn worked at the Belleville Hospital for some years after her return.

Nonie Winnifred Milburn died at Kingston on February 20, 1963 aged 89 years 5 months 13 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section K Row 7 Grave 3.

By | July 12th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Minnie Pearl McBride

Minnie Pearl McBride was born at the farm house near Selby, Camden East on February 18, 1891 daughter of Nelson McBride and Elizabeth Waddell.

She was educated locally, moved with her family to Humboldt, Saskatchewan in 1907 and graduated from the Nursing School at Belleville in 1914. There were seven in her graduating class for a total of sixty graduates to date. Miss McBride enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1915.

Height:  5’ 6”

Weight:  N/A

Age: 24

Nursing Sister McBride served in the military hospitals at Étaples and Étretat, France before becoming disabled and invalided to England in September 1915. Miss McBride resigned her commission on January 21, 1916 and returned to Canada. She was united in marriage to Frederick Neelin at Selby on October 1, 1916 and resided at 28 Chamberlain Avenue in Toronto.

Minnie Pearl Neelin’s house in Toronto

Mr. Neelin died in 1937 and Minnie continued to work for over 20 years as a nurse; later she lived the retired life in Belleville.

Minnie Pearl Neelin died in Belleville on September 12, 1985 aged 94 years 6 months 24 days. She is interred at Prospect Cemetery in Toronto, Section 23, Lot 106.

Neelin headstone in Prospect Cemetery

By | June 30th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Hattie May Mastin

Hattie May Mastin was born at Deseronto on July 31, 1888 daughter of Melbourne Mastin and Jane Bruin.

She was educated locally, moved with her family to Belleville about 1908 and began her professional career as a clerk working at McIntosh Brothers; she was living with her family at 242 George Street prior to the War. Miss Mastin was a graduate of the Nursing School at Belleville in 1915 and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on January 9, 1916 at Kingston.

242 George Street, Belleville

Height:  5’ 6”

Weight:  138lb

Age: 27 (stated age: 26)

Nursing Sister Mastin served with the military hospital in Belleville for seven weeks, then with the No. 7 Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport, France; she was admitted to the Sister’s Convalescent Home in Hardelot in October 1916 for treatment of pleurodynia and later served in England. Hattie returned to Canada setting sail on July 5, 1919 aboard the S.S. Carmania and was discharged on July 15, 1919. She engaged in private duty nursing in Belleville, was employed at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota and then engaged in private duty nursing in California. Widowed by the death of her husband Bruce Gould in 1945, she was united in marriage to Byrne McLennan on April 15, 1953.

Hattie May McLennan died at Oshawa on January 2, 1968 aged 79 years 5 months 1 day. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section N, Row 14 Grave 37.

 

By | June 23rd, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Edna MacLachlan

Edna Estella Thompson was born at Whitby on October 16, 1881 daughter on James Thompson and Ethel Conant; she was orphaned early and raised by her aunt Louisa in Clarenceville, Missisquoi, Quebec.

She was educated locally and graduated from the Nursing School in Belleville in June 1903 as the Gold Medalist. During her time in Belleville, ‘Stell’ lived with Aunt Edna Mary (Conant) Caldwell at 255 Bridge Street East (see her Journal).

255 Bridge Street East, Belleville

Miss Thompson was united in marriage to Donald MacLachlan in September 1904 in Brooklyn, New York. Here Mrs. MacLachlan worked at the Manhattan Hospital and raised her family but within a few years removed to work in Montreal, estranged from her husband. On June 30, 1915 she graduated from the Divisional School of Military Instruction at Quebec City and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on August 31, 1915 in Montreal.

Height:  5’ 5”

Weight:  136lb

Age: 33 (stated age:29)

Nursing Sister MacLachlan left Canada on September 24, 1915 to England and then on to France where she served at the Canadian Clearing Station, saw much action coming under fire on several occasions. In recognition of her bravery in remaining on duty during several bombing raids, Lieutenant MacLachlan was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palms by the French government; she was also honoured by the British and was presented at Buckingham Palace.

Hand-tinted photograph of nurses picking poppies. Edna MacLachlan is second from left. Courtesy of the Costume Museum of Canada

Mrs. Maclachlan returned to Canada setting sail on September 6, 1919 aboard the S.S. Orduna and was discharged on September 16, 1919. Her husband enlisted and served with the Seaforth Highlanders of the Canadian Expeditionary Force; reunited after the War the couple lived in Toronto and in 1973 she removed to live with her son in Wiarton, Ontario.

Edna Estella MacLachlan died on October 31, 1976 aged 95 years 15 days. She is interred at the Bayview Cemetery, Wiarton, Block R Section 107 Lot #1.

MacLachlan headstone in Wiarton, Ontario.

By | June 16th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Marguerite Merle Lazier

Marguerite Merle Lazier was born at Belleville on July 2, 1891 daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Lazier and Matilda Starling. The father of our subject was an officer in the 15th Battalion and was in command of a company of volunteers in the Northwest to do duty in the Riel Rebellion. At the turn of the century, the family resided at 219 Charles Street. Miss Lazier was aunt to Gwen Lazier, the ‘horsewoman’.

219 Charles Street, Belleville

She was educated locally and was a graduate of an unknown Nursing School about 1914. Miss Lazier enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on August 10, 1916 at Kingston.

Height:  5’ 1”

Weight:  110lb

Age: 25

Nursing Sister Lazier was stationed at Salonica, Greece where she nursed the wounded and after some months was transferred to Shorncliffe, England. She was hospitalized and treated for colitis, a condition that recurred over the course of several months. She was allowed to resign her commission on October 1, 1917 having been recently united in marriage to Captain Wilfred Tyrer, M.D. Mrs. Tyrer returned to Canada setting sail in July 1919 aboard the S.S. Carmania and the couple established themselves at Moosonee, Ontario where Dr Tyrer, a graduate of the University of Toronto in 1914, set up his medical practice and served as an Indian Agent. After her husband died in 1940 she lived the retired life in Chatham, Ontario with her daughter.

Marguerite Merle Tyrer died on December 12, 1975 aged 84 years 5 months 10 days. She is interred at the Barrie Union Cemetery.

By | June 9th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments