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|2 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

Nurses of World War I: Annie Mabel Foster

Annie Mabel Foster was born at the farm house at Concession 1, Lot N ½ 13 near Moira, Ontario on February 22, 1891, daughter of Owen Foster and Sarah Sills.

She was raised on the Scoharie Road in Prince Edward County and completed her secondary education, graduating from the Picton Collegiate and the Nursing School at the Toronto Wellesley Hospital in 1917; here she graduated with honours and won two scholarships. Miss Foster enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 1, 1917 in Toronto.

Height  5’ 5”

Weight  130lb

Stated age: 25 (actual:26)

Nursing Sister Foster served initially at Camp Borden then proceeded overseas and was stationed at the No. 16 Canadian General Hospital near Orpington, England. This hospital had over two thousand beds filled with battered and war-weary soldiers; after the Armistice she was left in charge of Orpington Hospital for a time until all patients were either discharged or transferred. Following the War, Miss Foster and other Canadian nurses were presented to King George V and Queen Mary; they took a trip to the Continent visiting the principal cities of France and Germany. She returned to Canada setting sail on the S.S. Tunisian on November 14, 1919 and was discharged on January 3, 1920.

Tired and worn from her strenuous duties, Miss Foster never enjoyed as good health afterward. She had contracted Tuberculosis during her service in England and spent the duration seeking treatment at the Mowat Sanatorium and Hotel Dieu in Kingston, the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto and the Calydor Sanatorium in the Muskokas. In December 1938 Miss Foster designed and built a new home at 258 Dundas Street East in Belleville where she resided and also enjoyed a summer home at Oak Lake. She died at the Belleville General Hospital and Nursing Sisters and members of the Legion paid their respects by forming an honour guard.

Annie Mabel Foster died on February 18, 1949 aged 57 years 11 months 26 days. She is interred in the Military Section of Glenwood Cemetery Section L, Grave 93.

Grave at Glenwood Cemetery

By | April 7th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Agnes Florien Forneri

Agnes Florien Forneri was born in Belleville on April 18, 1881 daughter of Reverend Richard Forneri and Kate McDermott. The father of our subject was Rector of Christ Church and St. John’s Church in Belleville and later was at Adolphustown, Merrickville and in 1904 in Kingston where the family lived at 311 Alfred Street.

311 Alfred Street, Kingston

Agnes attended schools locally and was a graduate of the Nursing School of the Lady Stanley Institute in Ottawa in 1906. She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on February 22, 1917 at Kingston.

Agnes Forneri by McCormick of Belleville, added to Lives of the First World War by Selena Hardie

Height:  5’ 3”

Weight: 115lb

Stated age: 26 (actual age: 35)

Nursing Sister Forneri went overseas in March 1917 and served for three months on the staff of Kitchener Memorial Hospital in Brighton, England and was then transferred to the 8th Canadian General Hospital at St. Cloud in France. The strain upon the Medical Corps was particularly heavy at this time but she remained on duty until February 1918 when she was invalided to England. After a month’s rest she resumed her duties at Bramshott Canadian Military Hospital. Her desire and ambition to lose no time in the work of mercy in which she was engaged were greater than her strength to perform it. She suffered a relapse in a few weeks’ time and died of haemorrhagic peptic ulceration on April 24, 1918. Truly it may be said of her that she died for Canada; died peacefully and with no regrets for the sacrifice she was making. She was buried with full military honours in the church yard at Bramshott and over her grave there stands a marble cross erected in loving memory of her sweet character and unswerving patriotism by the Matron and Nurses of the hospital in which she died.

Headstone, courtesy of Don Knibbs at Findagrave.org

She is commemorated on a plaque at St. Luke’s Church in Kingston where her father was the Minister.

Commemorative plaque at St. Luke’s church in Kingston, Ontario

Nursing Sister Agnes Florien Forneri died aged 37 years 6 days.

 

 

By | March 29th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments