Flamborough Nursing Sisters

At the onset of World War I, young women from across Canada bravely enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps and the American Red Cross to offer their services in the war effort. Women enlisting with the CAMC had to be unmarried and fully trained causing many interested in serving overseas as a nurse without a formal education to enlist with the American Red Cross where regulations were less stringent.

The research of Professor Jonathan Vance, University of Western Ontario, has led to the discovery of several women from the Flamborough area that served as nursing sisters during World War I. Through a collaborative World War I veterans research project with Waterdown District High School, many of these brave young women have had brief biographies written about them by students to acknowledge their contribution to the war effort.

The Flamborough Archives has compiled the following listing from Dr. Vance’s initial research, the information found by the WDHS students over the course of their project, and work at the Flamborough Archives, notably by Ms. Jessica Darlison, student archivist. Our hope is that interested readers will be able to appreciate the contributions that these Flamborough nurses made to World War I while recognizing their connection to local history.

Nursing Sister Ethel Eva Cutter (1888-1966)

  • Born 12 March 1888 in Aldershot.
  • Attended Aldershot Public and Waterdown Continuation Schools.
  • Trained briefly in Vancouver as a Nurse before moving to Los Angeles November 1914 to train further at Good Samaritan Hospital.
  • Joined the American Red Cross as a Nurse as she was working in the U.S.A. at the time and it was therefore easier than returning to Canada to enlist with the Canadian Army Medical Corps.
  • Moved to Honolulu September 1920 where she worked as a Nurse at Queens Hospital for four months.
  • Married Clarence E. Baxter in 1922 in California; divorced two years later.
  • Married Harold L. Jayson 4 December 1964 in Santa Barbara.
  • Died 31 August 1966 in Kern, California.

 

Nursing Sister Jean Isabel “Jennie” Drummond (1892-1985)

  • Born 28 July 1892 in East Flamborough Township.
  • Attended Waterdown Public and Continuation Schools.
  • Trained as a Nurse at Episcopalian Hospital in Philadelphia.
  • After graduation she returned to Canada and worked in a Toronto hospital.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 17 March 1918 at Base Hospital, Toronto.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps, Base Hospital, Military District No. 2. Was instrumental in organizing blood donor clinics.
  • Married Arthur Thomas Field 22 June 1921 in Waterdown.
  • Died 28 October 1985 in Burlington.

 

Nursing Sister Margaret Eaton (1865-?)

  • Born 11 June 1865 in Carlisle.
  • Worked as a Nurse in Winnipeg in 1901 while living with her brother, Dr. John Murray.
  • Travelled to Havana in 1911 with brother, Dr. John Murray, and Dr. Peter H. Bryce of Ottawa possibly to provide medical assistance to the Cubans.
  • Worked as a Nurse in London in 1916.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 2 June 1916 in London. Listed her date of birth as 21 June 1878 on her Officer’s Declaration Paper so that she could meet the age restrictions of the Canadian Army Medical Corps.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps. Served in England and Canada until 1920.

 

Nursing Sister Gertrude Lagoria English (1888-1980)

  • Born 29 September 1888 in Waterdown.
  • Attended Waterdown Public and Continuation Schools.
  • Trained as a Nurse at Grace Hospital in Detroit.
  • After graduation she continued living and working for the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit.
  • Joined the American Red Cross as a Nurse in 1918 as she was working in the U.S.A. at the time and it was therefore easier than returning to Canada to enlist with the Canadian Army Medical Corps.
  • Visited Waterdown September 1918 before returning to Detroit to be shipped to England for service.
  • After the War, she returned to Detroit and continued to work as a Nurse for the Packard Motor Car Company.
  • Became a naturalized American citizen 19 September 1921.
  • Returned to Waterdown after 1952.
  • Died 25 May 1980 in Waterdown. Buried in St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church Cemetery, Waterdown.

 

Nursing Sister Agnes Annie Forbes (1887-?)

  • Born 12 September 1887 in East Flamborough Township.
  • Trained as a Nurse at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
  • After graduation she returned to Waterdown and worked as a Nurse for a year before returning to White Plains in 1914 with her step-sister Student Nurse Ethel Ryckman.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 22 August 1916 in Montreal.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps.

 

Nursing Sister Isabella Flora Frid (1889-1987)

  • Born 28 October 1889 in Waterdown to Doctor John Owen McGregor.
  • Married Herbert Percival Frid 27 January 1917 in Waterdown.
  • Joined the American Red Cross as a Nurse in 1917 as she had no formal training and was married and therefore could not serve with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Served chiefly in England.
  • Died 8 October 1987 in Hamilton. Buried in Union Cemetery, Waterdown.

 

Nursing Sister Evelyn Grace Galloway (1893-1987)

  • Born 4 April 1893 in Freelton.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 2 May 1917 at Base Hospital, Toronto with her sister Nurse Ruby Lorena.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps, Base Hospital.
  • Served in France 1917-1918.
  • Married Albert Edgar Richards 14 October 1920 in Hamilton.
  • Moved to Poughkeepsie, New York in 1928 where she ceased working as a Nurse.
  • Died July 1987 in Poughkeepsie.

 

Nursing Sister Ruby Lorena Galloway (1888-?)

  • Born 17 August 1888 in Freelton.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 2 May 1917 at Base Hospital, Toronto with her sister Nurse Evelyn Grace.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps, Base Hospital.
  • Served in France 1917-1918.
  • After the War, she worked in New York City as a private family Nurse.

 

Nursing Sister Marion Belle Harvie (1892-1981)

  • Born 9 April 1892 in Kirkwall.
  • Trained as a Nurse in Toronto.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 4 October 1918 at Base Hospital, Toronto.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps. Served in the Burlington Military Hospital until August 1919.
  • Pursued Post-Graduate studies at Albany General Hospital in 1925.
  • Died 25 June 1981 in Cambridge. Buried in Kirwall Presbyterian Cemetery, Beverly Township.

 

Nursing Sister Elizabeth Muriel McGregor (1887-1987)

  • Born 12 November 1887 in Waterdown to Doctor John Owen McGregor.
  • Trained briefly in Canada as a Nurse before moving to New York City August 1912 to train further at Roosevelt Hospital.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 31 March 1917 at Base Hospital, Toronto.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps.
  • Married Orrin Hugh Baker 9 June 1923 in Waterdown.
  • Died 23 November 1987 in Hamilton. Buried in Union Cemetery, Waterdown.

 

Nursing Sister Lillias Adelaide Morden (1890-1976)

  • Born 20 September 1890 in West Flamborough Township.
  • Trained as a Nurse in Hamilton.
  • Worked in the Toronto Base Hospital as a Nursing Sister with the Army Medical Corps from 1914 until enlistment.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 23 July 1916 at Base Hospital, Toronto.Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps.
  • Served in Europe 1917-1919.
  • Married Brigadier Ormond O. V. Cavanah 20 January 1927 in Peterborough.
  • After her husband’s death in 1933, she moved back to Flamborough.
  • Died 11 February 1976 in Flamborough. Buried Grove Cemetery, Dundas.

 

Nursing Sister Isabel Wallace Peebles (1892-c.1920s)

  • Born 16 December 1892 in West Flamborough Township.
  • Trained as a Nurse in Winnipeg.
  • Travelled to England in 1916 to work as a Nursing Sister with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Reserves.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 15 October 1917 in London, England.
  • Assigned to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, Army Medical Corps. Served in Europe 1917-1919.
  • After the War, her family moved to Oakland, California where she worked as a private family Nurse and at a Sanatorium.
  • Died sometime between 1920 and 1936.

 

Nursing Sister Margaret Jane Riddle (1879-1973)

  • Born 19 August 1879 in Beverly Township.
  • Worked in Queen’s Canadian Military Hospital in Kingston as a Nursing Sister with the Army Medical Corps from 19 March 1916 to 20 May 1916.
  • Enlisted on an Officer’s Declaration Paper signed 1 June 1916 at Queen’s Canadian Military Hospital.
  • Served in Europe 1916-1919.
  • Married Dr. Matthew Poole Corrigan sometime between 1919 and 1944.
  • Died 1973 in Beverly Township. Buried Kirkwall Presbyterian Cemetery, Beverly Township.

 

Nursing Sister Ethel Gertrude Ryckman (1890-?)

  • Born 3 June 1890 in East Flamborough Township.
  • Trained as a Nurse at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.
  • After a brief vacation home while studying, she returned to New York City in 1914 with her step-sister Graduate Nurse Agnes Forbes.
  • Joined the American Red Cross as a Nurse as she was working in the U.S.A. at the time and it was therefore easier than returning to Canada to enlist with the Canadian Army Medical Corps.

 

Nursing Sister Gertrude Walker (1891-1972)

  • Born 19 December 1891 in East Flamborough Township.
  • Trained as a Nurse at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.
  • Joined the American Red Cross as a Nurse in 1917 as she had not completed her formal training and therefore could not serve with the Canadian Army Medical Corps.
  • Served at the No. 15 U.S.A. Base Hospital in France until 1919.
  • After the War, she worked as a private Nurse in Hamilton. Was a chartered member of the Canadian Nursing Sisters Association of Canada.
  • Died 29 February 1972 in Burlington. Buried in Union Cemetery, Waterdown.