Canadian Nursing Sisters in the Second World War

Canadian Forces Nursing Sisters

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583104)

Nursing Sister, RCAF, white uniform, 18 Dec 1943.

Canadian Nursing Sisters in the Second World War

During the Second World War Canada’s Nursing service was expanded to all three branches of the military: the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).  Each branch had its own distinctive uniform and working dress, while all wore the Nursing Sisters’ white veil.  They were respectfully addressed as “Sister” or “Ma’am” because they were all commissioned officers.  With the average age of 25, 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.

The army sisters, after training in Canada, were the first to go overseas, where they joined units which had preceded them to the United Kingdom.  With the soldiers going overseas, the sisters travelled by ship in large convoys, running the perilous gauntlet of German submarine action in the North Atlantic.  Upon arrival in England, they worked in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps’ hospitals at Taplow, Bramshott and Basingstoke.  To illustrate the demands of their work, following the Dieppe raid, the hospital at Basingstoke received more than 600 casualties and in one 19 1/2 hour period, 98 operations were performed.  The surgical staff took only a few minutes’ break to rest between operations.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599961)

Nursing Sisters outside the operating room tent of No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), England, November 1942.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524717)

Nursing Sisters dispensing medical supplies at the Royal Canadian Naval Hospital, St. John's, Newfoundland, c1942.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3509525)

Private R.E. Pavely (lower right) of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade talking with nurses and patients at a hospital in Avigliano, Italy, ca. 21-22 September 1943.

Canadian Nursing Sisters Near Front Lines in Italy: After three years in England, Nursing Sisters were sent into action on the continent.  Donning battle dress, steel helmets and backpacks, Canadian General Hospital, No. 1 arrived in Sicily, the first women to land in the Eighth Army area.  Almost all hospital units deployed to the continent were initially set up under canvas.  Later, they were moved into abandoned or bombed-out buildings.  As in the First World War, Nursing Sisters faced many dangers and obstacles in trying to provide medical care in the battle zone.  During an air raid on Catania, Sicily, on 2 Sep 1943, an anti-aircraft shell fell on Canadian General Hospital, No. 5 and 12 Nursing Sisters were wounded.
The second unit was deployed to El Arrouch, Algeria.  Soon after, two more units were dispatched to Italy.  En route, the S.S. Santa Elena, which was carrying Canadian General Hospital, No. 14, was attacked, forcing all to take to the lifeboats. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.
As the medical units followed the front north through Italy, they were frequently within range of enemy guns and subject to shelling.  Enemy action kept Nursing Sisters extremely busy.  For example, in the Ortona salient, the No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station would receive more than 2,000 patients in December 1943, 760 of whom were surgical.  After the fall of Rome, there was a comparatively light period of activity, and the sisters settled into routine hospital life caring for Canadian patients and German prisoners alike.  As the Italian campaign drew to an end for the Canadians, three medical units moved on to France; the others were disbanded and the sisters posted to other units..

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599971)

Nursing Sisters of No.6 Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, England, 11 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599968)

Nursing Sister storing supplies, No.6 Casualty Clearing Station, RCAMC, England, 11 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395934)

Nursing Sisters of Canadian General Hospital, No. 14, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, who survived the sinking of S.S. Santa Elena, landing at Naples, Italy, 8 November 1943.  

After the Allied landing on the toe of Italy, five Canadian hospitals were established on the Italian boot. The 1st Canadian Corps also had two famous mobile medical units, Nos. 4 and 5 Casualty Clearing Stations (or CCS). These followed the assault troops closely as they pushed up the Romagna plain.

No. 4 Field Surgical Unit was the first to use the new wonder drug penicillin during surgery. Lieut. N/S Jean Hackland also worked in the No. 4 FSU operating room & emdash; the first nurse to work in a forward combat area.

In December 1943 in Ortona, No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station received over 2,000 casualties, including 760 surgical cases. Following the fall of Rome, and the collapse of the German army in Italy, Canadian military personnel began to be transferred to France.  (http://www.nurses.ab.ca/)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534917)

Nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) awaiting the inspection of one of the wards aboard the hospital ship Lady Nelson, England, 4 May 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524718)

Nursing Sister (Sub-Lt) Margaret Brooke, MBE, a dietician at the Royal Canadian Naval Hospital, St. John's, Newfoundland, 17 July 1943.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, which lasted for the duration of the war, the Canadian Navy had two hospital ships, the Letitia and the Lady Nelson.  Both were staffed by army sisters.  The navy sisters served on naval bases on both coasts of Canada, in Newfoundland, and at HMCS Niobe, Scotland.  The only Canadian nurse to die due to enemy action during the Second World War was a navy sister, Sub-Lt. Agnes Wilkie.  Despite the heroic efforts of her companion, Sub-Lt. (dietitian) Margaret Brooke, Sister Wilkie died following more than two hours of struggle to hold out in a life boat, after the sinking of the SS Caribou on 13 October 1942, in the Cabot Strait off Newfoundland.  Margaret Brooke was awarded membership in the Order of the British Empire, the only Nursing Sister to receive this honour.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233321)

HMHS Letitia, an ocean liner built in Scotland for service with the Anchor-Donaldson Line. At the start of the Second World War in September 1939, the British Admiralty requisitioned the ship for service and had it converted to serve as an armed merchant cruiser. She was withdrawn from this service in 1941 to become a troop ship. HMHS Letitia was badly damaged in 1943. After being repaired, HMHS Letitia was used as a hospital ship in Canada. She carried 200 medical personnel and had the capacity for 1,000 patients. She was returned to civilian service in 1946 after the end of the war. This was the second ship with the same name. The first HMTS Letitia grounded and sank off Halifax harbour in 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3398523)

Nursing sisters and patients in a ward aboard No.2 Canadian General Hospital Ship Letitia, Liverpool, England, 24 November 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599960)

Nursing Sisters of Canadian General Hospital, No. 15, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, El Arrouch, Algeria, 15 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206360)

Nursing Sister Constance Browne of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) sitting in a jeep, Leonforte, Italy, 7 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205979)

Nursing Sister D. Mick reading patient's chart during rounds of a ward at Canadian General Hospital, No. 15, RCAMC, August 1943, El Arouch, Algeria.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232807)

Nursing Sister Ruth Webster, North Africa, ca 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232810)

Nursing Sister Ruth Webster, North Africa, ca 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232816)

Nursing Sisters, North Africa, ca 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232814)

Nursing Sister Dorothy Rapsey with Cpl. Bill Kay in North Africa, c1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232816)

Five Canadian Nursing Sisters in North Africa, c1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232811)

Nursing Sister Mildred Arnold helps Sgt. F. Benthamin North Africa, ca 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599964)

Nursing Sisters Eloise MacDiarmid and Francis Caddy on night duty, Canadian General Hospital, No. 1, Andria, Italy, Feb 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232993)

Nursing Sisters go on and off shift as an ambulance unloads wounded at a Canadian General Hospital in Italy, 1944. They are using a school building named "Liceo Classico Parificato".

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599965)

Nursing Sister Elaine Wright, Canadian General Hospital, No. 1, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), Andria, Italy, February 1944.

During the Second World War the Canadian nursing service was expanded to all three branches of the military, each branch having its own distinctive uniform and working dress, while all wore the Nursing Sisters’ white veil.  They were all commissioned officers.  By the end of the war 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.  During an air raid on Catania, Sicily, on 2 September 1943, an anti-aircraft shell fell on Canadian General Hospital, No. 5, wounding 12 Nursing Sisters.  With the end of the war in Europe, the medical units gradually disbanded.  Some of the Nursing Sisters as well as other personnel stayed on with the Army of Occupation to care for both military and civilian prisoners of war.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194286)

Anesthetist Captain Shirley Fleming, No. 20 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Leavesden, England, July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3579992)

Nursing Sisters, RCAMC, standing beside a destroyed German 88-mm Flak Anti-Aircraft gun in France, 17 July 1944.

Thirteen days after D-Day, 6 June 1944, the first two Canadian Nursing Sisters, with No. 2 Royal Canadian Air Force Mobile Field Hospital landed in Normandy at Bernières-sur-Mer.  They followed others assigned to Nos. 2, 3 and 6 Casualty Clearing Stations.  The Stations were set up in the Caen area.  By mid-July, Canadian General Hospital Nos. 1, 7, 8, and 10, were established west of Bayeux.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194288)

Nursing Sisters of Canadian General Hospital, No. 10, RCAMC, Normandy, France, 23 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395922)

Nursing Sisters, RCAMC, wreck of German tank, Normandy, 17 July 1944.

As the front moved across northern France and into Belgium, in pursuit of the fleeing German armies, the medical units moved with them.  Antwerp, which had been captured, was the target of the dreaded German V-2 rockets, and with the Battle of the Scheldt raging to free the Channel ports, the units moved to Nijmegen.  The casualties were heavy, 3,934 in four weeks.  Fortunately, the end was soon near.  The Spring offensive was on and the German Army was driven across the Rhine, where surrender was imminent.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390228)

Unloading casualties evacuated from France, from Douglas Dakota, RAF (Serial No. KG545), at Down Ampney, England, 8 August 1944.

With the end of the war in Europe, the medical units gradually disbanded.  Some of the Nursing Sisters as well as other personnel stayed on with the Army of Occupation to care for both military and civilian prisoners of war being released from the horrors of the camps.

Two Canadian Nursing Sisters, Kathleen G. Christie and Anna May Waters, had accompanied the force sent to Hong Kong.  Later, when the garrison fell, they were taken prisoner by the Japanese.  These brave women stayed with the wounded Canadian men, working under atrocious conditions, until they were finally forced into a civilian internment camp.  After two years in captivity, they were repatriated to Canada.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227113)

Nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Medical Corps (RCAMC) aboard the hospital ship, Lady Nelson, Naples, Italy, 29 January 1944. (L-R): Nursing Sisters R. MacLennan, J. Goodston, Reta Moffat, E. Covey, D.E. MacTier, E. Bateman, Y. Carr, J. Jackson, Captain C.I. Nixon (Matron), M. McLeod, R. Hughes, H.J. Battram, E.K. Sutherland and M.B. Meisner.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191691)

Nursing sisters of Canadian General Hospital, No. 10, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, having a cup of tea upon arriving at Arromanches, France, 23 July 1944.

The Nursing Service of the Royal Canadian Air Force was authorized in November 1940. More than 100 station hospitals were built and the Nursing Sisters were more and more in demand.  Some of them were trained for evacuation by air, 12 served in Newfoundland to participate in air-sea rescue missions and 66 served overseas.  By the end of the Second World War, 3,649 Nursing Sisters had served in the Army, 481 in the Air Force and 343 in the Navy.

No account of military service in the Second World War would be complete without mention of the contribution made by the four special branches of the nursing service - the Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians and Home Sisters.  Also, the sisters who served on the hospital trains returning the wounded to destinations across Canada.

The end of the Second World War brought the closure of military and station hospitals across Canada.  A total of 80 nurses, 30 RCAMC, 30 RCAF and 20 RCN sisters joined the permanent force and served at military establishments across the country; many more staffed the Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals to care for hundreds of returning Veterans.  (Internet: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/those-who-served/women-and-war/nursing-sisters)

(Photo courtesy of Andrea Folster)

Lieutenant Mary Pauline Montgomery, born 9 Jan 1913, in Woodstock, New Brunswick was one of the Nursing Sisters who served in Northwest Europe during the war.  Her parents were Agnes Josephine Sproul(e) and Charles Augustus Montgomery.  She graduated from Woodstock Secondary School and took a commercial certificate at Carleton County Vocational School.  She later graduated from the Saint John General Hospital School of Nursing.  Before the war she served from 1935-37, Private Duty Nursing;  1937-39 1 year General Duty Nursing at Long Island College Hospital; and 1 year at St John's Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.  1940-41, Private duty Nursing and 2 months floor duty at Montreal Shriners' Hospital.

She enlisted in The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) on 10 Mar 1942 and was appointed as Nursing Sister to the Sussex Military Hospital, New Brunswick, serving there and at Saint John, Sussex (again), and Brockville, Ontario.  On 10 Sep 1942 she was commissioned (Service No. 87349) as a Lieutenant in the RCAMC and on 14 Sep 1943, despite the fact that she was terrified of flying, left Montreal, Quebec on a drafty, noisy flight via Gander, Newfoundland and Reykjavik, Iceland to England to serve with Canadian General Hospital, No. 2 (CGH) at Colchester and Bramshott.  On 10 Aug 1944 she flew to France and was posted at Canadian General Hospital, No. 2, at Bayeux, Normandy and in December at No. 10 CGH at Ghent, Belgium, where she remained until her return to Canada on 30 Jul 1945.  She was returned to Reserve Status on 9 Mar 1946.  Source: Library and Archives Canada, File A-2011-05138 / KJ.  (Official History of the Canadian Medical Services 1939-1945 Volume 1. Organization & Campaigns, Feasby B.A., M.D., W.R., Queen's Printer, Ottawa. 1956).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194289)

Nursing Sisters, Canadian General Hospital, No. 10, Arromanches, France, 23 July 1944.

 (Photo courtesy of Andrea Folster)

Her Service Medals include the  1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal 1939-45; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and clasp; and the War Medal (1939-45).

(Photo courtesy of Andrea Folster)

Nursing Sister Mary Montgomery with a group of Canadian Army Nurses by the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, fall 1944.  Following her wartime service, she took a job with the Federal Government at Dorval Airport in Montreal and then worked at The Montreal General Hospital.  On 20 Feb 1951 she married Hugh Hammond Folster in New Denmark, New Brunswick.   For many years she was an active member of the IODE, the Order of the Eastern Star, and the Auxiliary of All Saints Anglican Church in Grand Falls.  She died on 20 Nov 1991, in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232428)

Canadian Nursing Sister in Blue uniform.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232429)

Canadian Nursing Sister in Blue uniform.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.4232883)

Nursing Sister, blue uniform with apron, Second World War.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232881)

Nursing Sister with Blue uniform & Cap.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583104)

RCAF Nursing Sister, white uniform, 18 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 35831023)

RCAF Nursing Sister, white uniform and with cape, 18 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583106)

RCAF Nursing Sister with dark uniform, 18 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583102)

RCAF Nursing Sister with dark uniform and cape, 18 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583101)

RCAF Nursing Sister with dark uniform, 18 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583100)

RCAF Nursing Sister with dark uniform and overcoat, 18 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583105)

RCAF Nursing Sister with blue uniform and gloves, 18 Dec 1943.

The Nursing Service of the Royal Canadian Air Force was authorized in November 1940.  More than 100 station hospitals were built and the Nursing Sisters were more and more in demand.  Some of them were trained for evacuation by air, 12 served in Newfoundland to participate in air-sea rescue missions and 66 served overseas. By the end of the Second World War, 3,649 Nursing Sisters had served in the Army, 481 in the Air Force and 343 in the Navy.


(Lt Ken Bell, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395947)

Pte. F. Madore with Nursing Sister M.F. Giles waiting for an air-evacuation from an RCAF Spitfire base, Normandy, France, 16 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3198847)

Staff of the Neuropsychiatric Wing, Canadian General Hospital, No. 10, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), Bayeux, France, 2 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4205637)

Nursing Sister Mary Godson tending to P/O Tony White, 9 March 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233321)

Her Majesty's Hospital Ship Letitia arriving at Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia, ca 1944.

(Alberg22Photo)

Her Majesty's Hospital Ship Lady Nelson, ca 1943.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, which lasted for the duration of the war, the Canadian Navy had two hospital ships, the Letitia and the Lady Nelson.  Both were staffed by army sisters.  The navy sisters served on naval bases on both coasts of Canada, in Newfoundland, and at HMCS Niobe, Scotland.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191562)

Nurses and Officers on board of HMCS Letitia, hospital ship, April 1945.

(Archives and Special Collections (Coll. 115 16.07.002), Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL)

SS Caribou, ca 1940.

SS Caribou

Sub-Lt. Agnes Wilkie died following more than two hours of struggle to hold out in a life boat, after the sinking of the SS Caribou by U-69 on 13 October 1942, in the Cabot Strait off Newfoundland.  As a civilian vessel, she had women and children on board, and many of them were among the 137 who died.  Her sinking, and large death toll, made it clear that the war had really arrived on Canada's and Newfoundland's home front, and is cited by many historians as the most significant sinking in Canadian-controlled waters during the Second World War.

(Angus J. McIntyre Photo)

Nursing Sister Betty McIntyre, Windsor, Ontario, 1954.  She is wearing medals she earned during the  the Second World War: 1939-1945 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, and the War Medal 1939-1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194287)

Nursing Sisters of Canadian General Hospital, No. 10, RCAMC, landing at Arromanches, France, 23 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395920)

Nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) rolling bandages in a British hospital in the Normandy bridgehead, France, 17 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520575)

Nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) rolling bandages in a British hospital in the Normandy bridgehead, France, 17 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3604053)

Nursing Sisters, Canadian General Hospital, No. 13, 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396842)

Canadian Nurses in France, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524623)

Nursing Sisters of No. 5 Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, led by Captain M.M. Kellough, taking part in an Easter church parade, Oss, Netherlands, 1 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3382713)

Nursing Sister with RCAF aircrew and patients, Mercy Mission, Newfoundland, 2 Sep 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222276)

RCAF Nursing Sister with an infant patient onboard a Consolidated PBY Canso Flying Boat, 2 Sep 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL-026873)

Patients at a No. 6 (RCAF) Group watch a movie under the auspices of the Canadian YMCA and ENSA, the British entertainment organization for the Forces, c1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, 3223004)

Nursing personnel of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) administering physiotherapy treatment, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, July 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3624888)

Canadian Nursing Sisters talking with members of the Bob Hope Show, 24 July 1945.

At the end of the Second World War a total of 80 nurses, 30 RCAMC, 30 RCAF and 20 RCN sisters joined the permanent force and served at military establishments across the country; many more staffed the Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals to care for hundreds of returning Veterans.  Nursing Sisters continued to serve with the Armed Forces after the end of the Second World War.  During the United Nations Operations in Korea, 60 RCAMC Nursing Sisters served in Japan and Korea.  RCAF Sisters qualified as Flight Nurses, flew air evacuation with casualties to Canada.  Others served on the Air Ambulance in Canada.  Another specialty was the formation of a para-rescue service with five RCAF Nurses volunteering, four of whom received the Para-rescue Badge.  With Canada’s commitment to NATO, Canadian nurses served in Europe with the RCAMC in Soest, Germany, while RCAF Sisters served at fighter bases in France and Germany.

Nursing Sisters Who Lost Their Lives in the Second World War

1940

Lieutenant (N/S) Marion Elizabeth Bell, RCAMC.

1941

Flying Officer (N/S) Jessie Margaret MacLeod, RCAF.

Lieutenant (N/S) Frances Winnifred Spafford, RCAMC.

1942

Sub-Lieutenant Agnes Wightman Wilkie, RCN.

SLt (N/S) Wilkie was the only nursing sister of the three services to die as a result of enemy action during the Second World War.  She had been the assistant matron of RCN Hospital Avalon.  She was one of 137 passengers and crew lost in a U-boat attack on 14 Oct 1942 when the Newfoundland Ferry SS Caribou was torpedoed and sunk in the Cabot Strait.  Numbed by the cold waters SLt Wilkie died in spite of the efforts to save her by Dietitian Margaret Brooke, who was later awarded the MBE - the only naval nursing sister in the Second World War to receive this honour.

1943

Lieutenant (N/S) Ruth Louise Ashley, RCAMC.

Lieutenant (N/S) Frances Eunice Polgreen, RCAMC.

Flying Officer (N/S) Marion Mercedes Westgate, RCAF.

1944

Lieutenant (N/S) (Occupational Therapist) Mary Susannah McLaren, RCAMC.

Lieutenant (N/S) Margaret McCullough Parkinson (nee Stirling), South African Military Nursing Sisters (SAMNS)

Lieutenant (N/S) Nora Hendry Peters, RCAMC.

1945

Lieutenant (N/S) Margaret Agnes Briggs, RCAMC.

Lieutenant (N/S) Frances Ellen Cooper, RCAMC.

Lieutenant (N/S) Gladys Helen Fitzgerald, RCAMC.

Lieutenant (N/S) Vera Catherine MacDonald, RCAMC.

1946

Lieutenant (N/S) Marie Cecile Dussio, RCAMC.

Lieutenant (N/S) Frances Eileen Gannon, RCAMC.

1947

Matron Nellie Josephine Enright, RCAF.

Women's Ambulance Corps, Second World War

Women's Ambulance Corps, Vancouver Unit, March 1944.  (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM1545-S3-: CVA 586-2348)

Women's Ambulance Corps, Vancouver Unit, March 1944.  (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM1545-S3-: CVA 586-2347)

Women's Ambulance Corps, Vancouver Unit, March 1944.  (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM1545-S3-: CVA 586-2349)

Reference Books

NICHOLSON, G.W.L. Canada's Nursing Sisters.  (Toronto, Samuel Stevens, Hakkert and Company, 1975).