19th Century Campaigns

 

Northwest Rebellion

In the North-West Rebellion of 1885, Canadian nurses performed formal military service for the first time. In April of that year, orders were issued from Ottawa requesting that a medical and surgical department be organized for service in the Northwest.

At first, the nursing needs identified were for home duties such as making bandages and preparing medicinal and food supplies. Members of societies, such as the Red Cross, were advised to volunteer as nurses should the need arise. It soon became apparent that more direct participation by nurses was needed if the military was to provide effective medical field treatment. A total of seven nurses, under the direction of Reverend Mother Hanna Grier Coome, served in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Although their tour of duty lasted only four weeks, these women proved that nursing could, and should in the future, play a vital role in providing treatment to wounded soldiers.

 

South Afrian (Boar) Wars

Following the formation of the Canadian Army Medical Department in June of 1899, four nurses accompanied Canada’s first contingent to South Africa. For five months after their arrival, with Georgina Pope as senior sister, the group served at British hospitals just north of Cape Town. In 1902 Pope returned to South Africa a second time as senior sister in charge of a second group of eight nurses, four of whom had served in the first episode of the war, this time as full members of the new Canadian military nursing service with the honorary rank, pay and allowances of an army lieutenant. Along with the usual battlefield-inflicted injuries, the ravages of disease compounded the horrors of war. The hot climate and a lack of sanitary facilities or adequate antiseptic conditions led to outbreaks of disease and infection. Before the war was over on May 31, 1902, eight Canadian Nursing Sisters and more than 7,000 Canadian soldiers had volunteered for service in South Africa.

 

World War One

More than 3,000 nurses served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC), including 2,504 overseas. Nicknamed “bluebirds” because of their blue uniforms and white veils, Canada’s Nursing Sisters saved lives by assisting with medical operations and by caring for convalescing soldiers. Note: Photographs are displayed in no particular sequence or chronologically.

 

Georgina Pope wearing the military nursing uniform of the Canadian Army Medical Corps

Georgina Pope wearing the military nursing uniform of the Canadian Army Medical Corps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing sister is preparing to assist a patient with a drink at the no. 2 Canadian General Hospital in Le Treport, France. Source: Agnes Warner and the Nursing Sisters of the Great War (Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane Editions

Nursing sister is preparing to assist a patient with a drink at the no. 2 Canadian General Hospital in Le Treport, France.
Source: Agnes Warner and the Nursing Sisters of the Great War (Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane Editions

Matron Laura May Hubley, front row centre, and the nursing sisters of No. 7 Stationary Hospital. (Dalhousie University). Unit arrived England anuary 1916, landed in France June, returning to Nova Scotia 1919. Source: Army Museum, Halifax Citadel.

Matron Laura May Hubley, front row centre, and the nursing sisters of No. 7 Stationary Hospital. (Dalhousie University). Unit arrived England anuary 1916, landed in France June, returning to Nova Scotia 1919.
Source: Army Museum, Halifax Citadel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters in England circa 1915

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters in England circa 1915

French Canadian CAMC Nursing Sisters in England circa 1915

French Canadian CAMC Nursing Sisters in England circa 1915

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters embarking for from Victoria BC on their way to England

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters embarking for from Victoria BC on their way to England

Canadian Army Medical Corps medical staff in rubble of bombed hospital in France

Canadian Army Medical Corps medical staff in rubble of bombed hospital in France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Nursing Sisters voting oversea 1917

Canadian Army Nursing Sisters voting oversea 1917

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters setting sail for England circa 1915

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters setting sail for England circa 1915

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters in England circa 1916

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters in England circa 1916

CAMC Nursing Sisters relaxing somewhere overseas WW I

CAMC Nursing Sisters relaxing somewhere overseas WW I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters provide bedside patient care

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters provide bedside patient care

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters and CAMC medics

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters and CAMC medics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patient ward in Canadian general hospital overseas

Patient ward in Canadian general hospital overseas

CAMC Nursing Sisters and other medical staff WW I

CAMC Nursing Sisters and other medical staff WW I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters provide bedside patient care

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters provide bedside patient care

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters WW I

Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters WW I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Army Medical Corps nursing sister taking a break at No 2 General Hospital Le Treport, France

Canadian Army Medical Corps nursing sister taking a break at No 2 General Hospital Le Treport, France

Nursing Sisters following Christmas Dinner at La Treport Source: Trent University Archives

Nursing Sisters following Christmas Dinner at No 2 General Hospital La Treport
Source: Trent University Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A nursing sister is assisting a doctor in a ward at the tent hospital. She is holding out a tray for him to take instruments.

A nursing sister assisting a doctor in a ward at the tent hospital. She is holding out a tray for him to take instruments.

Queens Military Hospital Shorncliffe, Kent, England, circa 1916

Queens Military Hospital Shorncliffe, Kent, England, circa 1916

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing Sisters in front of a Casualty Clearing Station.

Nursing Sisters in front of a Casualty Clearing Station.

Nursing Sisters wit hsome patients and staff at No 2 Canadian General Hospital Le Treport France

Nursing Sisters with some patients and staff at No 2 Canadian General Hospital Le Treport France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing Sisters viewing the remains of a German Gotha bomber

Nursing Sisters viewing the remains of a German Gotha bomber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World War Two

In September 1939 Canada again found itself thrust into a world conflict and again the Nursing Sisters answered the call of duty. By war’s end 4,480 Nursing Sisters had enlisted, including: 3,656 with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, 481 with the Royal Canadian Air Force Medical Branch, and 343 with the Royal Canadian Naval Medical Service.

 

 

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters WW II

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters WW II

The first nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps to land in France after D-Day. France, July 17, 1944. Source Library and Archives Canada

The first nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps to land in France after D-Day. France, July 17, 1944.                          Source: Library and Archives Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters WWII

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters WWII

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters aboard a hospital ship

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters aboard a hospital ship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing Sisters of No. 10 Canadian General Hospital, R.C.A.M.C., landing at Arromanches, France, 23 July 1944, about six weeks after D-Day.

Nursing Sisters of No. 10 Canadian General Hospital, R.C.A.M.C., landing at Arromanches, France, 23 July 1944, about six weeks after D-Day.

Nursing Sisters of No.10 Canadian General Hospital,

Nursing Sisters of No.10 Canadian General Hospital,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.C.A.M.C. Nursing Sisters in tent near Caen, France, August 1944 National archives of Canada PA-108176

R.C.A.M.C. Nursing Sisters in tent near Caen, France, August 1944
National archives of Canada PA-108176

Areomedevac team prepared to depart for Normandy to evacuate patients to England

Areomedevac team prepared to depart for Normandy to evacuate patients to England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RCAMC Nursing Sisters and other medical staff on board hospital ship Letitia WW II

RCAMC Nursing Sisters and other medical staff on board hospital ship Letitia WW II

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters headed to France following D-Day invasion.

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters headed to France following D-Day invasion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing sisters of No.14 Canadian General Hospital (RCAMC) Source: TBC

Nursing sisters of No.14 Canadian General Hospital (RCAMC)
Source: TBC

Lieutenant-General G.G. Simonds, General Officer Commanding 2 Canadian Corps, inspecting the personnel of No.2 Casualty Clearing Station (RCAMC), Oldenburg, Germany, 2 June 1945. Source: TBC

Lieutenant-General G.G. Simonds, General Officer Commanding 2 Canadian Corps, inspecting the
personnel of No.2 Casualty Clearing Station (RCAMC), Oldenburg, Germany, 2 June 1945.
Source: TBC