Sisterhood of Newfoundland Nurses
This project explored the military service of 12 graduate nurses from Newfoundland, and the connection between the General Hospital School of Nursing and Memorial’s BN (Collaborative) program. The project featured the creation of two interpretive panels that have been mounted at the entrance to the School of Nursing as a new permanent memorial to the nurses of the First World War. Nursing students and faculty were engaged in the project to uncover the lost stories of the nurses and to create an awareness of their role in the First World War. As a Dominion of the British Empire, Newfoundland graduate nurses served with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in the Canadian Army Medical Corp, the British Expeditionary Forces in the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve, and the British Red Cross. Two nurses served with the American Expeditionary Forces in the United States Army Nurse Corps. The nurses’ military and medal records reflect their heroic efforts in the face of traumatic war experiences and personal injury and disease. As graduates of the first nursing education program in the province, the General Hospital School of Nursing, these nurses are also part of the unique history of nursing education in Newfoundland. Memorial’s BN (Collaborative) program is a direct result of collaboration between Memorial University, the General Hospital, the Salvation Army Grace General Hospital, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, Western Regional Memorial Hospital, and the Centre for Nursing Studies. The story of the sisterhood of these Newfoundland graduate nurses who served overseas in the First World War has an important role to play in the military and nursing education legacy of this province and this is reflected in the two interpretive panels that are now on display at the entrance to the School of Nursing.