Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1907

Mary Burns, Class of 1907

Mary Irene Burns was born on March 6, 1883 in Woodstock, Ontario. She came west with her family in 1883 and was employed in the late 1890s at the Transportation offices at the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)  for four years prior to entering the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing.   She graduated in 1907.

After graduation, she was employed with the Eye and Ear Department at Winnipeg General Hospital.  She joined the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) in 1914 and was posted at Valletta Hospital with the Red Cross in Malta until November 1915 and then at Hamrun Officers Hospital until February 1916. After Malta, she served at the No. 5 British General Hospital and then at the No. 20 Casualty Clearing Station – both in France.

Mary left the QAIMNS and enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in June 1918. She was posted at the No. 11 Canadian General Hospital, Shorncliffe and No. 15 Canadian General Hospital (Duchess of Connaught’s Red Cross Hospital) Clivedon.

Upon returning to Canada, she was posted at the No. 10 Manitoba Military Hospital (Tuxedo Park) in Winnipeg until 1922. Nursing sister Burns received the Royal Red Cross for her service. She married Wesley Thomas on June 9, 1923.

Mary Burns died on December 16, 1966.


Winnipeg General Hospital Day Staff. Front Row: Della Harvey (1906), Ethel Johns (1902), Mary Burns (1907), Emma Turner (1908), Ethel Reid (1908). Back Row: Martha Matheson (1907), Inga Johnson (1907), Mabel Gray (1907), Margaret A. Coltart (1908), Marion Parlett (1904).

Inga Johnson, Class of 1907

Inga Johnson was born on October 17, 1881 in Gimli, Manitoba. She graduated from the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1907 and was employed as a staff nurse until 1909 when she took a leave of absence. She was appointed Lady Superintendent of Winnipeg General Hospital in 1910 and was in charge of the Social Service Department until 1914.

She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) on August 10, 1916 in Kingston, Ontario and was stationed at the No. 1 Canadian General Hospital in France. In 1917 she transferred to the No. 4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) in France, where she worked with Lieutenant-Colonel S.W. Prowse, a physician from Winnipeg, who was in charge of the CCS. Her last posting was believed to be at Mons and she returned to Canada in 1919.

She received the Royal Red Cross for her service during World War I.  Upon her return, she completed a post-graduate course in Boston and then resumed her duties as head of the Service Department at Winnipeg General Hospital in 1921. Due to poor health, she resigned in December 1921.

In 1926, Inga Johnson joined the staff at Ninette Sanatorium.  In 1933, she was living in Victoria, British Columbia and returned to Manitoba to be Matron of the Icelandic Old Folks’ Home in Gimli.  She died in January 1948.

Annie Forrest, Class of 1907

Miss [Annie] Forrest Op. [Operating Room] Sup [Superintendent]
Annie Forrest was born on November 16, 1880 in Renfrew, Ontario. She graduated from Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1907. After graduation, she moved to Lethbridge, Alberta where she was in charge of the Operating Room at Galt Hospital. In 1909, she resigned and accepted a position in the Operating Room at Winnipeg General Hospital, where she worked until 1914. She then was appointed Lady Superintendent at Ninette Sanatorium.

In May 1915, Annie enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) and served in both England and France. Nursing sister Forrest was posted at No. 5 Canadian Hospital, Shorncliffe and then in 1916, she transferred to a Casualty Clearing Station Hospital in France where she worked alongside Dr. Blanchard (a physician from Winnipeg General Hospital) and Hilda Corelli (Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1909). She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, in 1917 for her war service. In 1918, she was posted to a Canadian Special Hospital for tubercular patients in Lenham, England.

After the war, nursing sister Forrest returned to Canada and accepted a position at the Queen Alexandra Sanatorium in London, Ontario.


Please click on the link below to read about Annie Johnston, Class of 1907, who also served as a nursing sister during World War I.

Annie Johnston, 1907