From 1914-1918 over 140 graduates from the Winnipeg General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Schools of Nursing enlisted with the CAMC. It is believed that at least 21 of these women also served with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS).
The nursing sisters served in Canada, England, France, Belgium, and Russia and on the Mediterranean Front at Gallipoli and Salonika.
Fifty-three nursing sisters lost their lives while on active duty – some were victims of enemy attack and others died of illness and disease related to their wartime service. Four graduates from Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing were among those who sacrificed their lives. Many nursing sisters received Military Medals, Royal Red Cross Awards and other accolades for their courage and compassion.
This exhibit features biographical information about the nursing sisters from Winnipeg General Hospital and Children’s Hospital School of Nursing who served during World War One. In addition, the exhibit provides information about their enlistment, details of service and the living and working conditions they experienced. In particular, three nursing sisters are highlighted: Alfreda Attrill (Class of 1909) who served in England, France and on the Mediterranean Front; Ruby Dickie (Class of 1916), a member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve; and Ada Janet Ross (Class of 1905), who died in 1918 serving her country.
The content for this online exhibit was developed using archival material, including photographs, journals, diaries, letters and books held at HSC Archives/Museum. In particular, the Winnipeg General Hospital Nurses’ Alumnae Journal was a key source of information that identified their alumni members that served as nursing sisters both overseas and in Canada. Letters written by those serving in the war to their Alumnae Association provided much description and context of the conditions they faced during the Great War. Please note, that some of this information may be incomplete.
This site has been designed to be interactive. Comments have been enabled in the biographical section of the site, as in some cases little is known about a particular nursing sister. If you have something to add, please let us know.
This project was funded by the Province of Manitoba and the generosity of the Nurses’ Alumni Association of the Winnipeg General Hospital and Health Sciences Centre.