WORLD WAR I
Sarah Edith Young 1900
M.J. Fortescue 1905 & Gladys Irene Sare 1913
Vivian Tremaine 1907
E. Frances Upton 1908
Elizabeth Odell 1915
Memorial to nurses in Ottawa 1926
|One hundred and five graduates of the Montreal
General Hospital, School of Nursing served in the Great
This memorial plaque was erected in their honor by the Alumnae Association
(photo, 1925 yearbook)
Miss Sarah Edith Young
Director of Nursing 1919-1927
Miss Young was born in Quebec City in 1877 and graduated from the Montreal General Hospital, School of Nursing in 1900. After a short time in private duty nursing, she returned to the General and was shortly promoted to assistant superintendent to Miss Livingston.
Miss Young joined the Number 1 Canadian General Hospital in 1916 with postings in England and France. She received the "Royal Red Cross" for distinguished Service. So many wounded soldiers were returning from France that there had to be a reassignment of nursing forces. In 1917, she was recalled to Canada and appointed matron of the Tuxedo Military Hospital in Winnipeg and in charge of the Military District of Manitoba.
When Miss Livingston had to resign in 1919 because of failing health, Miss Young was recalled and succeeded Miss Livingston as Superintendent of Nurses at the Montreal General Hospital on November 2, 1919. She became ill in 1926 and died on December 4, 1927 in Montreal. There was a service in Montreal at the Church of St. John the Evangelist. "...Six undergraduate nurses- Miss M. Swan, Miss L. Foss, Miss W. Kirkham, Miss E.B. Cooke, Miss L. Shepherd and Miss I. Mallalieu - wearing the regulation pink uniform with a cap and apron, formed a bodyguard and stood by the coffin throughout the service....." (Source unknown) The body was later taken to Quebec City for a funeral service with full military honors at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and burial at Mount Herman Cemetry.
From the Star, December 5, 1927 .....'her death removes another of that little band of pioneers who established the nursing profession in Canada on the high plane which it occupies....."
On June 22, 1918 the Canadian Hospital ship "Llandovery Castle" was torpedoed and sunk. Two graduates of the Montreal General Hospital, School of Nursing were among the 14 Nursing Sisters on board who drowned. A tablet was erected by members of the Alumnae Association in memory of Margaret Jane Fortescue, Class of 1905 and Gladys Irene Sare, Class of 1913. A simple brass tablet, with its border of maple leaves, hangs in the main corridor of the hospital, (near Livingston Hall) in memory of the two members who during World War, 1914-1918, made the supreme sacrifice. (Source: 1925 yearbook)
Vivian Tremaine, a graduate of 1907, was born in Montmorency, Quebec in 1880. For six years following graduation she attended private cases and when war broke out she was one of the first to volunteer for service . From her service record issued by the Department of National Defence she was appointed Nursing Sister, C.A.M.C., C.E.F. (1st Canadian Contingent) in 1914 and embarked for England in October of the same year. She served in England and France and was promoted to Matron, Canadian Army Nursing Service in 1916. In 1917 she proceeded to Canada on Transport Duty and returned to England later that year for a variety of postings. In 1919 she was posted for duty with Medical Services Military District No. 5, Quebec and left the service in March 1920.
"When (1915) His Majesty King George was recently injured by a fall from his horse the best of nursing talent available was called upon to care for him. Among those summoned to the King's bedside was Miss Vivienne Tremaine of Montreal, a graduate of the General Hospital ....." (Newspaper clipping, source unknown) Matron Tremaine was in charge of the clearing station at Aire-sur-Lys when the King had his accident. She accompanied the King to England and was on night duty at the palace for several weeks.
She received many honors among which was the Royal Victorian Medal (Victorian Order, 5th class) conferred upon her personally by His Majesty while at Buckingham Palace. In addition, she was awarded the Mons, Victory, and General Service medals, as well as the Royal Red Cross first class.
In 1922 the Department of Immigration requested the Red Cross Society to carry on with the work of the nurseries which had begun as a war measure by voluntary workers of the I.O.D.E. and Miss Tremaine was appointed Supervisor of the Canadian Red Cross Seaboard Nurseries. " Nineteen thousand children and 15,000 women cared for, cheered up and sent on their way rejoicing is not a bad record for one year's work in the Red Cross Nurseries of the ports of Quebec, Halifax and Saint John. And this is only part of the recent activities to the credit of Miss Vivian Tremaine of Quebec to whom the Florence Nightingale Medal of the International Red Cross Committee of Geneva has just been awarded. Miss Tremaine, who is in charge of the nurseries of Quebec and Saint John, is one of only three Canadian women to recive this high honor." (Newspaper clipping, source unknown)
Miss E. Frances Upton, A.R.R.C.
Class of 1908
From a newspaper clipping (source unknown) written at the time of her retirement from the ANPQ in 1949
..." Following graduation Miss Upton served successively as Superintendent of a private hospital and acting Superintendent of the Montreal Maternity Hospital until, at the outbreak of World War I, she volunteered for military service and spent four and a half years in England, France and the Middle East. In 1915, she was sent to France on loan to a British hospital and as soon as No.1 Canadian Stationary Hospital was completed in Wimereux, was transferred there and helped to care for the first gas casualties. Shortly afterwards Miss Upton was sent to the Island of Lemnos, where the sick and wounded were cared for during the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign, and was mentioned in dispatches for her work there. After unbelievable hardships, the forces were evacuated to Egypt and a brief respite in Cairo preceded the next move which took her to Salonika for a year and a half before recall to England. From there came a six week leave in Canada and while here Miss Upton was gazetted for the Royal Red Cross. The day after her return to England she was summoned to the investiture at Buckingham palace and an audience with the Queen Mother (Alexandra).
Her next move was to Hastings and, when the Armistice was signed, she was serving at Bramshott Camp. She returned to Canada in 1919 but the recurrence of malaria sent her to hospital, and it was not until 1921 that she was again fit for duty. At that time she became Superintendent of Nurses at the Sherbrooke Hospital.
In search of new worlds to conquer, Miss Upton entered the School for Graduate Nurses at McGill University and received the certificate in administration in schools of nursing and returned to the Montreal General Hospital where she became assistant in the training school office. Then came another major undertaking in which she created a tuberculosis sanatorium out of the temporary soldiers' hospital in Ste. Agathe, gathered a nursing staff and in six weeks, was ready to admit patients. Three weeks later she established the first tuberculosis course in Canada for graduate nurses.
In 1929, Miss Upton was persuaded to leave her beloved Sanatorium to undertake the task of organization for the International Congress of Nurses held in Montreal in July of that year. Her work for the Congress Committee led to the discovery of her organizing ability, and in September she assumed the office of executive secretary and official school visitor for the Association of Registered Nurses of the Province of Quebec (ANPQ). She then turned her attention to the all important work of raising standards of nursing, through better administration of nursing schools and more effective educational programs......
.... In addition to provincial and national resposibilities, Miss Upton has been a loyal member of the Alumnae Association of her own School, and has rendered great service to the School for Graduate Nurses of McGill University"
Flora George, a graduate of the Sherbrooke Hospital and friend of Miss Upton wrote the following for the archives in 1966.
" Following the retirement activities (from the ANPQ) she was not feeling well, so we went to my cottage to rest for a month, as she was to go to Prince Edward Island to make a survey of Nursing and nursing education on July 4, 1949. Miss Upton returned to Montreal, completed her arrangements; she visited sick nurses at the Montreal General Hospital, did some shopping and returned home. She was to have lunch with her successor the following day. She passed away quietly the next morning at her home, June 29, 1949.
She was buried with full military honors and an escort of Nursing Sisters from St. James the Apostle Church, in the family plot in Mount Royal Cemetery."
A relief fund for nurses in need was established in Miss Upton's memory by the Association of Nurses of the Province of Quebec in 1955. Also, to perpetuate her memory, and that of Miss Mabel Hersey, the Alumnae Associations of the Montreal General Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital, Schools of Nursing donated sufficient funds to equip the Association's library (ANPQ), opened in 1969.
Elizabeth W. Odell
Class of 1915
Excerpt from the Pilot, December 1951, on the retirement of Elizabeth Odell from Evanston Hospital as Director of the School of Nursing and of Nursing Service after 26 consecutive years.
"Miss Odell's training and earlier experience prepared her for the Evanston Hospital position. A graduate of the University of Bishop's College, Lennoxville, Canada where she received a Bachelor's Degree in 1909, she also graduated from the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing, in Montreal, Canada in 1915, and took a year of graduate study at McGill School for Graduate Nurses, McGill University, Montreal in 1923.
Miss Odell served four years in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in the first World War including three years spent overseas. For her work she received a Royal Red Cross, First Class."
(Source: The Pilot, Vol 16, December 1951, Number 7, Evanston, Illinois)
Memorial to nurses in Ottawa
Photo by Hands Studio, Bank Street, Ottawa
The 13th annual convention of the Canadian Nurses Association was held in Ottawa in August, 1926. This memorial to nursing sisters was unveiled at that time. The following is an excerpt from the 1927 yearbook of the The Montreal General Hospital, School for Nurses.
"Tuesday afternoon (August 24, 1926) there was an the unveiling of the memorial to the nursing sisters who lost their lives in the Great War. Here we can briefly tell the history of the war memorial movement, as outlined by Miss Jean Gunn, Lady Superintendent of the Toronto General Hospital and who was the convenor of that committee. The work began at the annual meeting (CNA) in Vancouver in 1919. A committee was appointed and in 1921 it met in Quebec and then decided to erect a memorial in Ottawa to be placed in the Hall of Fame.
After a great deal of work on the part of various committees, in December 1924, a full sized model was sent to the Prime Minister at Ottawa for his approval.
The raising of the funds was the least of the difficulties. This was accomplished through the independent efforts of some 10,000 Canadian nurses. Miss Gunn stated that although the memorial was to cost $35,000, $37,613 had been raised.
The model selected was designed by the sculptor Mr. G. W. Hill, of Montreal. It is of the finest Italian marble and the work was done in Italy.
The unveiling of this monument, which is the first to be placed in Canada's National Hall of Fame, was one of the most brilliant functions ever seen in Ottawa. The tribute of remembrance to the valiant women was shared alike by representatives of His Excellency the Governor General, the churches, federal, provincial and civic representatives and military officials, within a reserved section on the green in front of the Tower of Victory. Nurses and representatives of women's organizations from all parts of Canada, United States and Great Britain were seated, while half way up the steps the overseas nurses in their uniforms of blue and white took up their position.
Following the singing of "O God! our Help in Ages Past" Major the Rev. G.G.D. Kilpatrick offered the opening prayer and several speakers, among whom were Dame Maud McCarthy* and the Acting Prime Minister, Sir Henry Drayton, spoke a few word, paying tribute to the nursing sisters who lost their lives.
The ceremony was then transferred to the Hall of Fame near the entrance of the Parliamentary Library, where the memorial stands. Dame Margaret McDonald, Matron-in-Chief, Canadian Overseas Nurses, unveiled the monument, while a guard of honor stood at attention and two minutes'silence was observed. The last post was then sounded and the ceremony ended. Scores of floral offerings were laid at the foot of the monument, conveying the tribute of people in many countries"
* Dame Maud McCarthy, Matron-in-Chief of the Territorial Army Nursing Services of Great Britain, and veteran of the South African and World Wars.
Home / This 'n that / History / Guess Who? / World War II