Canadian Military Nurse Deaths in the First World War

TitleCanadian Military Nurse Deaths in the First World War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDodd, Dianne
JournalCanadian Bulletin of Medical History
Volume34
Issue2
Pagination327 - 363
Date Published2017
Abstract

This paper examines the lives of sixty-one Canadian Nursing Sisters who served during the First World War, and whose deaths were attributed, more or less equally, to three categories: general illness, Spanish Influenza, and killed in action. The response by Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) physicians to the loss of these early female officers who were, in fact, Canada's first female war casualties, suggests a gendered construction of illness at work in the CAMC. While nurses tried to prove themselves good soldiers, military physicians were quick to attribute their illnesses and deaths to horrific war conditions deemed unsuitable for women. This gendered response is particularly evident in how CAMC physicians invoked a causal role for neurasthenia or shell shock for the nurses' poor health. The health profile of these women also suggests that some of these deaths might have occurred had these women stayed in Canada, and it encourages future comparative research into death rates among physicians and orderlies.

Entry by GWC Assistants / Work by GWC Assistants : 

Time Period:

Countries:

Library Location: 
Call Number: 
7138836296

Library: