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

Nurses of World War I: Stella May Jenkins

Stella May Jenkins was born at Belleville on November 20, 1881 daughter of John Jenkins and Mary Sullivan. The family lived at 142 Church Street.

House at 142 Church Street, Belleville

She was educated locally and was a graduate of the Nursing School at St. Luke’s Hospital in Utica, New York about 1906. Here she continued to practice her profession until she enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on January 6, 1916 in Kingston.

Height:  5’ 9”

Weight:  150lb

Age: 34

Nursing Sister Jenkins sailed for England in March 1916 with the Queen’s University Unit of Nursing Sisters and was first attached to the Duchess of Connaught Hospital on Lady Astor’s Estate; after four months Miss Jenkins was sent to the Canadian Hospital at Le Tréport, France following which she was transferred to Etaples near Boulogne. Sir Douglas Haig, commander of the British forces, commended her for conspicuous bravery, an honour which resulted in her being awarded England’s Laurel Leaf; at an outdoor investiture at Buckingham Palace at the end of the war she was personally decorated by King George with the Royal Red Cross First Class Medal. Miss Jenkins returned to Canada setting sail on July 5, 1919 aboard the S.S. Carmania, was assigned to the Queen’s Military Hospital and was discharged on October 16, 1919. Nurse Jenkins returned to Utica where she served as Director of the Utica Red Cross and in 1942 was awarded the Business and Professional Club of Utica’s Scroll of Achievement Award.

Stella May Jenkins died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Utica on March 23, 1954 aged 72 years 4 months 3 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section D Row 11 Grave 4.

By | June 3rd, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Lenora Herrington

Lenora Herrington was born at the farm house near Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County on July 17, 1873 daughter of Stillman Herrington and Caroline Morden. Her father later established himself at his farm in Belleville on the south side of Bridge Street West, opposite Sinclair Street.

Herrington property in Ameliasburgh

She was educated locally and was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Winnipeg General Hospital in 1912. Miss Herrington enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1915 at Kingston.

Height: 5’ 5”

Weight:  160lb

Age: 41 (stated age: 40)

Nursing Sister Herrington served in military hospitals in England and Etaples, France; on September 24, 1918 she was one of the first Canadian women to receive the Military Medal. She was Night Superintendent of No. 1 Canadian General Hospital on the night of the raid in June 1918 and was largely responsible by her personal example of courage for the maintenance of discipline and efficiency throughout that awful night; only 9 such medals were awarded to nurses. This was an exceptional recognition coming so soon after suffragettes had been marching on the streets for women’s rights and when military authorities had no vision that women would ever come under enemy fire. Miss Herrington returned to Canada setting sail on May 23, 1919 aboard the S.S. Megantic and was discharged on December 31, 1919. After the War she nursed at Sydenham Hospital, a military institution in Kingston and when the hospital burned down went to California for some time. She lived the retired life in Napanee with her brother Walter Stevens Herrington, a prominent lawyer at 220 Dundas Street West.

220 Dundas Street West, Napanee

Lenora Herrington died in Kingston on November 16, 1960 aged 87 years 3 months 29 days. She is interred at the Riverside Cemetery in Napanee Section C2.

Herrington headstone in Napanee

 

By | May 26th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Mary Hele Hambly

Mary Hele Hambly was born in Belleville on October 29, 1885 daughter of Philip Hambly and Mary Mayo. Lieutenant-Colonel Hambly, the father of our subject, was a confectioner and caterer and served with the 49th Battalion, Hastings Rifles, Belleville during the Fenain Raid of 1864.

Miss Hambly was educated locally and when she was eighteen travelled to Philadelphia where her brother Charles worked as a retail jeweler; here she studied at the Nursing School and graduated about 1908. She worked at the Philadelphia hospital but at the outbreak of War enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1915 at Kingston.

Height: 5′ 6″

Weight: 115lb

Age: 29 (stated age: 28)

Nursing Sister Hambly served at the Military Hospital in Etaples, France and at several hospitals in England. She suffered illnesses during her service and required hospitalization on many occasions with diagnoses including influenza, neurasthenia, pleurisy and gastroenteritis. From the Belleville Intelligencer July 22, 1916: “She was one of the first to enlist and serve, and her skill and enthusiastic work have earned her official commendation”. Miss Hambly was awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class on October 23, 1917. She returned to Canada on June 14, 1919 setting sail aboard the S.S. Aquitania and was discharged on June 22, 1919; she lived with her parents at 237 Ann Street.

After the War Miss Hambly immigrated to the United States on April 16, 1920 and was united in marriage on November 25, 1926 to James Young at Los Angeles, California.

Mary Hele Young died at Santa Ana, California on November 1, 1929 aged 44 years 2 days. She is interred at the Riverside Cemetery, California.

By | May 19th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Lilly Naomi Gray

Lilly Naomi Gray was born at Beaurepaire, Quebec on October 29, 1881 daughter of George Gray and Jeanie Heron.

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Montreal General Hospital on January 6, 1913 and received her Certificate of Military Instruction from the Divisional School of Instruction on March 29, 1915 at Quebec City. Miss Gray enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on April 22, 1915 at Montreal.

Height:  5’ 5”

Weight: 125lb

Age: 33 (stated age: 31)

Nursing Sister Gray served at military hospitals in Etaples and Camiers, France and later at Shorncliffe and Eastbourne, England; she was awarded the Royal Red Cross award, 2nd Class in June 1918. She returned to Canada setting sail on February 8, 1919 aboard the S.S. Metagama and was discharged on March 4, 1919. Miss Gray subsequently worked at the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, at the Contagious Disease Hospital in Philadelphia and was on staff of the Henry Street Settlement in New York City. Later she served with the Victorian Order of Nurses in Montreal and Renfrew and in 1928 was appointed as Superintendent of the Order in Belleville before removing to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lilly Naomi Gray died in Ottawa on February 19, 1967 aged 85 years 3 months 20 days. She is interred with her parents at the Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal Section E, Lot 183. There is no grave marker for Lilly.

Grave marker for Lilly’s parents in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal

 

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

Nurses of World War I: Mary Graham

Mary Graham was born at the farm house near Elmvale, Simcoe County on February 7, 1887 daughter of Richard Graham and Agnes Ritchie.

Mary attended the local schools where she completed grade 9, worked on the family farm and then worked as a nanny for a minister in Toronto. She was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Montreal Western Hospital in 1913 and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on April 14, 1915 at Quebec.

Nurse Graham in France

Height:  5’ 4”

Weight:  130lb

Age: 28 (stated age: 27)

Nursing Sister Graham served at the Imperial Stationary Hospital and Canadian General Hospital in Rouen and Étaples, France and in December 1917 was transferred to the West Cliff Eye and Ear Hospital in Folkestone, England; here she was admitted in March 1918 for treatment of influenza. During her time in France Miss Graham met a theology student and non-commissioned soldier, Alexander Archibald, with whom she was united in marriage on March 12, 1919 at Basingstoke, England. He had risen to the rank of Captain, was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai and suffered an amputation of his right leg. Mrs. Archibald returned to Canada setting sail on March 25, 1919 aboard the S.S. Scotian and was discharged on April 18, 1919.

Alexander Archibald and Mary Graham

Captain Archibald required convalescence at the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto following which he trained as a teacher at the Ontario College of Education. In 1925 they moved to Belleville where he taught at the old Belleville High School and the new Belleville Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. Mary served as a nurse at the Red Cross Blood Donor Clinic, helped organize the Young Women’s Guild and was a member of the School for Leisure, an organization which helped women in strained circumstances learn to keep house. They resided at 180 Dufferin Avenue.

180 Dufferin Avenue, Belleville

Mary Archibald died at Belleville on June 28, 1984 aged 97 years 4 months 21 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section G Row 8 Grave 17.

Grave marker for Mary Graham

By | May 5th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Edith Alma Graham

Edith Alma Graham was born at the farm house on Concession 3, Lot 19 Thurlow Township, Belleville on October 18, 1880 daughter of William Graham and Martha Elliott.

When a young girl the family moved to Lodgeroom about 8 miles west of Tweed, where she spent her early years. After attending the local school she trained for the nursing profession in New York City and graduated the Nursing School there about 1914. When the First World War broke out she enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on March 18, 1917 at Kingston.

Edith Alma Graham (from kimba459 on Ancestry)

Height:  5’8”

Weight: 135lb

Age: 36 (stated age: 31)

Nursing Sister Graham served with the Canadian General Hospital at Basingstoke, and Westenhanger, England and the No. 1 and 8th Canadian Stationary Hospitals in France; later she served at the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Taplow, England where Canadian and American soldiers recovered after release from hospitals. Miss Graham returned to Canada setting sail on May 23, 1919 aboard the S.S. Megantic and was discharged on June 5, 1919. She nursed in the United States for many years before returning to Tweed.

Edith Alma Graham died on May 4, 1959 aged 78 years 6 months 16 days. She is interred at the Victoria and St. James Anglican Cemetery, Tweed Section NOTE, Row 001.

By | April 28th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Celestina Geen

Celestina Geen was born in Belleville on February 7, 1878 daughter of Albert Geen and Sara Ann Consuelo Forneri. The father of our subject was a druggist who established Geen’s Pharmacy, served as a city councillor, was a Deacon and preacher of the Church of England and an honorary Mohawk. They resided in the Moodie Cottage.

Moodie Cottage on Bridge Street West and Sinclair Street in Belleville

Celestina was educated locally and was a graduate of the Military Hospital in Halifax in 1910; she was one of the few military nurses in Canada when the call came.

Certificate of Military Instruction for Celestina Geen, 1910

Miss Geen enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on September 25, 1914 at Quebec City.

Height:  5’ 7”

Weight:  136lb

Age: 36

Nursing Sister Geen was initially attached to the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, France and also served in England, Belgium and for a time was stationed near Ypres where German shells were continually falling. In January 1916 Miss Geen was admitted to the Westcliffe Eye and Ear Hospital at Folkestone, England for treatment of influenza and nervous exhaustion and subsequently underwent a tonsillectomy.

West Cliff Hotel, used as a Canadian hospital in World War I

She returned to Canada setting sail in November 1917 aboard the S.S. Olympic and was given a medical discharge on May 14, 1918. She was united in marriage to Samuel Steele at Christ Church in Belleville on December 26, 1918; he was a Civil Engineer and a decorated Veteran of World War 1. Mr. Steele died in 1923.

Celestina Steele died in Toronto on August 16, 1972 aged 94 years 6 months 9 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section K, Row 5 Grave 1E.

Headstone for Celestina Geen

By | April 21st, 2018|Nurses of WW1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Margaret Vitaline Foster

Margaret Vitaline Foster was born at the farm house on the 5th Concession near Bancroft, Dungannon Township, Hastings County on July 28, 1894 daughter of Ira Foster and Agnes Brown.

She was educated in a one-room schoolhouse and walked three miles to school and back every day; the farm house had no electricity and no indoor plumbing. Margaret was a graduate of the Nursing School in Belleville in early 1917, worked at the hospital for three months and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1917 at Kingston.

Height: 5’ 7”

Weight: 156lb

Age: 22

Staff and patients at the Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden (Grace Waters album)

Nursing Sister Foster served at the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden, near Taplow, England. She resigned her commission on January 10, 1919 and was united in marriage to Reverend Ernest Harston on January 11, 1919 at Maidenhead, England. He served in England and France with the Canadian Chaplain Services and rose from Private to Captain. After the wedding they were posted to Kinmel Park, North Wales for four months, were present during the riot of March 1919 and returned to Canada, setting sail on May 24, 1919 aboard the S.S. Metagama. Mrs. Harston kept house for the 23 years of her married life and after her husband died returned to her nursing career at the Toronto East General Hospital and later at the Lockwood Clinic.

Margaret Vitaline Harston died on May 1, 1990 aged 95 years 9 months 3 days.

By | April 14th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments