Nurses of World War I: Florence Helena Upton

Florence Helena Upton was born in Trenton, Ontario on June 20, 1884 daughter of Richard Upton and Rachel Pepper. The father of our subject was a blacksmith in Belleville in the early 1880s; Miss Upton, and her brother, consistently identified her birthplace as Belleville on her attestation papers and travel documents.

Lady Stanley Institute, Ottawa

Maternity Hospital, Ottawa

She was educated locally, removed with her family to Saskatchewan about the turn of the century and was a graduate of the Lady Stanley Institute for Trained Nurses in Ottawa on May 28, 1907. Helen was charge nurse of the operating room in the Saskatoon Hospital before establishing herself at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Here she enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on July 1, 1915.

Height:  5’ 4”

Weight: 112lb

Age: 31 (stated age: 28)

Nursing Sister Upton initially served with the No. 1 Field Ambulance Depot, Sewell Camp in Winnipeg and embarked for overseas service on May 19, 1916.

Field Ambulance Depot, Winnipeg

She worked in hospitals in Shorncliffe, England and Étaples, France before becoming ill with bronchitis. After 9 week hospitalization in Étaples and the Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital in Buxton, England she was invalided home to Winnipeg, setting sail on January 31, 1918 aboard the S.S. Olympic; Miss Upton was given a medical discharge on Feb 7, 1919. After the War she was one of 9 Military Nurses employed in the Soldiers Civil Re-Establishment Staff in Winnipeg. She moved shortly thereafter to California where she worked as a nurse for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and was united in marriage to Charles Corlett on January 11, 1945 in Santa Ana.

Florence Helena Corlett died on Nov 5, 1973 in Pasadena aged 89 years 4 months 15 days; her remains were cremated and scattered at sea.

By | October 13th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Grace Brown Waters

Grace Brown Waters was born on June 15th, 1881, at the 9th Concession, Lot 34 in Brighton Township, Northumberland County near Campbellford, Ontario, daughter of David Waters and Margaret Keith. The family removed to Belleville about the turn of the century, the father of our subject employed as a tailor and living at 27 Forin Street.

27 Forin Street, Belleville

She was educated locally, was a graduate of a 3 year course, and was in the first graduate class of the Nursing School at St Luke’s Hospital in Utica, N.Y. on Oct 18, 1905. Miss Waters was a life-long friend and companion of Stella Jenkins and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on Jan 6, 1916 at Kingston, the same day as Miss Jenkins.

Height:  5’ 5”

Weight:  114lb

Age: 34 (stated age: 32)

Nursing Sister Waters served at the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital in England and with the # 7 Canadian General Hospital in Le Tréport, France; she was hospitalized in May 1917 with influenza at Étaples. She returned to Canada setting sail on July 3, 1919 aboard the S.S. Celtic and was discharged on July 15, 1919.

Photo by Grace Waters of staff and patients at the Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden

Miss Waters returned to the Red Cross Nursing Service in Utica and in 1921 was appointed Tuberculosis Nurse in the Utica Health Department. In 1924 Miss Waters and Jenkins, as former Bellevillians, welcomed Gwen Lazier to their Genesee Street home as she trekked on horse-back through New York State on her way to Washington, D.C.

In 1936 the two friends attended the unveiling of the Vimy Ridge Memorial to Canada’s fallen soldiers and were then guests of King Edward VIII of England at a Buckingham Palace garden party; the assembled Veterans sang The Maple Leaf Forever. After the death of Miss Jenkins, Miss Waters returned to Belleville and resided at 290 George Street.

290 George Street, Belleville

Grace Brown Waters died at the Belleville General Hospital on Mar 4, 1972 aged 90 years 8 months 19 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section P, Row 7, Grave S5S. Her grave marker gives her year of birth as 1884.

Grave marker for Grace Waters

By | October 6th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Robertina Lee Thompson

Robertina Lee Thompson was born at the farm house on Concession 3, Lot 21 near Strathroy, Adelaide Township, Middlesex County, Ontario on June 24, 1889 daughter of George Thompson and Christina Lee.

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School at Belleville on Dec 3, 1912 and the Divisional School of Military Instruction at Quebec City on March 29, 1915. Miss Thompson enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1915 at Kingston.

Lee Thompson

Height: 5’ 5”

Weight: 135lb

Age: 25

Nursing Sister Thompson served with the # 1 Canadian General Hospital at Étaples, France; she was united in marriage to Veteran Captain George Alexander James Bell at St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury, London England on April 11, 1916 and resigned her commission on April 13, 1916. Mrs Bell returned to Canada setting sail in Oct 1917 aboard the S.S. Grampian and established herself in London, Ontario and raised her family, residing at 5 Ardaven Place.

Robertina Lee Bell died at the Victoria Hospital in London on Jan 19, 1963 aged 73 years 6 months 25 days. She is interred at Woodland Cemetery, Section QE, Row 31.

Grave marker for Lee Bell

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

Nurses of World War I: Mabel Helen Taylor

Mabel Helen Taylor was born near Corby’s Mill on the 4th Concession, Lot 8 in Corbyville on Aug 28, 1880 daughter of William Taylor and Elspeth Gordon. In her attestation papers she listed Belleville as her place of birth but her father managed the Distillery for Hon. Henry Corby’s business and they lived adjacent to the Mill.

Mabel Helen Taylor

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Hamilton City Hospital about 1914 and received her Certificate of Military Qualification at the Niagara on the Lake Camp on July 14, 1915. Miss Taylor was on staff of the Hamilton Military Hospital and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on Aug 7, 1916.

Height:  5’ 8”

Weight:  131lb

Age: 35 (stated age: 30)

Nursing Sister Taylor went overseas in July 1918, served at the hospitals in Shorncliffe and London, England and was admitted to the Canadian Red Cross Officer’s Hospital in London in Feb 1919 with influenza. She returned to Canada, setting sail on May 3, 1919 aboard the S.S. Royal George and was discharged on May 20, 1919. Engaged in private duty nursing in Toronto, Miss Taylor was united in marriage to Veteran Francis Oliver Lucas on June 28, 1922; they resided at 27 Whitehall Road.

Mabel Helen Lucas died on Feb 25, 1951 aged 70 years 5 months 27 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section N Row 11 Grave 4.

Mabel Taylor grave marker

 

By | September 22nd, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Margaret Tait

Margaret Tait was born at Thurso, Caithness, Scotland on Aug 9, 1882 daughter of William Tait and Isabella Sutherland.

She was educated locally, immigrated to Canada about 1909 and was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Brantford General Hospital in 1914. Miss Tait enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in Toronto on Jan 31, 1916.

Height:  5’ 10”

Weight:  148lb

Age: 33

Nursing Sister Tait embarked the S.S. Olympic on Apr 1, 1916 and served as Matron at the Orpington Hospital, was night supervisor at Shorncliffe, England and was with the No. 2 Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport, France; she was overseas when her father died in Kingston. Miss Tait returned to Canada setting sail on May 23, 1919 aboard the S.S. Megantic and resided at 284 Albert Street in Kingston.

284 Albert Street, Kingston

In 1920 she was appointed as Superintendent of the Spadina  Military Hospital in Toronto and in 1921 held that position at the Belleville General Hospital; here she was interested in the work of the community and was a valued member of the local committee of the Victorian Order of Nurses.

Margaret Tait died at the Grace Hospital in Toronto on Mar 14, 1932 of pneumonia aged 49 years 7 months 5 days. She is interred at the Cataraqui Cemetery Section Old L Row 155 Plot S 1/2.

By | September 15th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Emily Alexander Stewart

Emily Alexander Stewart was born in Belleville on April 12, 1886 daughter of David Stewart and Hannah Lister, daughter of Dr. James Lister of Belleville. The father of our subject was a lawyer in Belleville and later in Madoc where he was well known in the mining industry and was the owner of the Feigel Gold Mine, among others.

She was educated locally, immigrated to New York City in 1909 and was a graduate from the Manhattan N.Y. Hospital Nursing School about 1912. Miss Stewart enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in London, England on May 8, 1916.

Height:  5’ 6”

Weight: 130lb

Age: 30 (stated age: 29)

Nursing Sister Stewart served at the Westcliffe Eye & Ear Hospital in Folkestone, at Shorncliffe, England and Boulogne, France. She was ill and 3 times hospitalized for diagnoses including appendicitis, influenza and bronchitis. She returned to Canada setting sail on May 13, 1919 aboard the S.S. Northland and was discharged on May 25, 1919; she received decorations for her War effort including the British War and Victory Medals. Miss Stewart followed the practice of her profession in New York and, widowed by the death of her husband Frederick Wilson, was united in marriage to Rev. Louis Albert Buckley, resided in Kitchener, Ontario, removing to her native city on the death of her husband.

Emily Alexander Buckley died in Belleville on Dec 19, 1971 aged 85 years 8 months 7 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section L Row 5 Grave 7.

Emily Stewart’s grave marker

By | September 8th, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

Nurses of World War I: Harriet Olive Stacey

Harriet Olive Stacey was born at the farm house on Concession 6, Lot 14 near Wooler, Murray Township, Northumberland County on March 10, 1888 daughter of James Stacey and Jane McColl.

After completing high school at Trenton and Campbellford, she attended Model School at Picton, taught for 5 years at Bethel S.S. # 12 at Wooler, Ontario and Ruddel, Saskatchewan; she was a graduate of the Nursing School at Belleville in 1914. Miss Stacey enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps at Belleville on Nov 20, 1914.

Harriet Olive Stacey (right), courtesy of Belleville General Hospital Archives

Height:  5’ 10”

Weight: 170lb

Age: 26

Nursing Sister Stacey embarked from Quebec on May 6, 1915 and, posted to Étaples, France served as a surgical nurse and later was night supervisor for 2 years. In 1917 she was sent to the casualty clearing station behind the front lines in Belgium; the Hospitals consisted of tents without floors, were sand-banked to keep out shrapnel and bombs and gas masks and helmets were part of the Nurse’s equipment. Diagnosed with pulmonary Tuberculosis, Miss Stacey was invalided back to Canada, setting sail on Feb 27, 1918 aboard the S.S. Ongar and was discharged on June 5, 1918. In Trenton at this time, an influenza epidemic was rampant and she was put in charge of a temporary Hospital set up in the old Library on the east side of the river. After a short time spent working in Hamilton, Montana, Hattie was in the employ of the Belleville General and in 1931 was appointed Superintendent of the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital which was newly opened in Montana on July 1st; later that decade she returned home to care for her aged mother.

Nursing Sister Stacey passed at the Trenton Memorial Hospital and on her casket lay 3 medals, one of which was the 1914-15 Star; the wearer of this Medal had been called the Contemptibles by Kaiser Wilhelm, a word that in Military circles became a Badge of Honor. With the assistance of the Last Post Fund and the Cemetery, a Grave Marker was provided this Veteran.

Harriet Olive Stacey died on Nov 29, 1971 aged 83 years 8 months 19 days. She is interred at McPhail’s Cemetery, the N.E. ¼ of Lot 7, Line 3.

Marker for Harriet Stacey, courtesy of Campbell’s Monuments

By | September 1st, 2018|Nurses of WW1, World War 1|0 Comments

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