Sunday, November 9

Canada's Nursing Sisters

Canadian Nursing Sisters
at No. 3 Casualty Nursing Station
July 1916

In 1885, during the North West Rebellion, Canadian nurses were deployed to care for soldiers for the first time in history. These nurses all belonged to religious order and were designated as Nursing Sisters.

Ever since that time, Nursing Sisters have done their part to care for Canadian soldiers who were fighting. They accompanied the Royal Canadian Dragoons to the Klondike in 1898. Their job there was to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during the gold rush.

From 1914 to 1918, over 3,000 Canadian nurses volunteered their services during WWI. In the beginning they were kept away from the action, but when Casualty Clearing Stations were set up near the Front, the nurses were desperately need to give immediate medical aid to the wounded. Many lives were saved by these brave women who put themselves in danter to tend to wounded soldiers.

WWI claimed the lives of 46 Nursing Sisters from across Canada. Three died when the military hospital in Etaples France was deliberately bombed. Three were killed while in active service while 15 died of disease. Another 15 died when the Llandovery Castle, a hospital ship, was sunk and 7 died after arriving home due to circumstances linked to their service overseas.

During WWII, 4,473 Nursing Sisters served within the Army, Navy and Air Force. Many of these women found themselves at the Front and well within range of enemy guns. Their bravery and determination never wavered. They had a job to do and they did it willingly. Nursing Sisters also served in Korea and Japan during the Korean Conflict of the early 1950s.

Today, Nursing Sisters are known as Nursing Officers. They served in the Gulf War and have aided Canadian peace keepers in Bosnia, Rwanda and Somolia.

These women are unsung heroes who often don't get the recognition that they deserve. As Remembrance Day (November 11) approaches, I would like to recognize these women who have given of themselves to bring our soldiers safely home.

Have a wonderful week and take a few minutes to remember the fallen and those who have given of themselves, that we might live in freedom. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Thanks for highlighting what these women have done and continue to do. As a nurse, I find it very interesting.
    PS - Can you check your e-mail? I have a question about the soldier card. Thanks!

  2. A very interesting bit of history for Remembrance Day. They were brave women in a very dark time of our history. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I love these pieces of history you share, Mary...especially done from a Canadian perspective, because I learn so much!
    These women were truly heroic...

  4. Thanks for sharing this, very interesting my friend.

  5. Mary this is a lovely thoughtful tribute to the brave nurses..I agree that they may be forgotten as well the many prisoners that have survived
    the camps of war mother is one.We must never forget.

  6. Thanks for the reminder of all of the ancillary people who helped and paid the price.

  7. A very interesting topic, and amazed at all the awards you have gotten, wonderful.

  8. A timely post Mary! I don't think veterans get all the respect and honor they deserve-so thank you for this!

  9. Nice story of the nurses. History is my thing. I think it was my eighth grade teachers who turned me on to history. I find myself wondering who lived here before us and what they went through. Thanks for sharing your information!

  10. Dearest Mary,

    We do tend to forget about the heroes who work behind the lines, like the doctors and nurses! I remember one of my uncles who was in WW2 telling me about the nurses and the fantastic care they would give. xoxo

  11. I thought this was a wonderful historical read Mary. You always come up with some fabulous posts. These nurses were heroines in so many ways.

    Thanks for informing us. Great stuff here.

  12. Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing a associate degree in nursing from associate degree nursing schools

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