Matron Edith Campbell served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during WW1. She is entitled to the Military Medal, the Royal Red Cross first class, the 1914 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1935 Jubilee Medal. Her medals are at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
Matron Campbell does probably have the most interesting WW1 medals group for a Canadian woman. Only 9 of them received the Military Medal, she also got the 1914 Star which is also very rare for a Canadian, she got Mentionned in Dispatches twice. I do not know if her medals group is unique for a Canadian woman but I can say for sure, I can count identical group to this one on one hand.
Matron Edith Campbell medals (Royal Red Cross not shown on the picture)
Picture source – Canadian Museum of Civilization website
Technically Matron Campbell should have received the Military Cross instead of the Military Medal (first medal to the left).
Picture of a Military Cross
The Military Cross was awarded to Officer only and the Military Medal was awarded to non-commission officer or civilian. Matron Campbell had the rank of Captain and was an officer but at that time Canada did not have a Medals and Honour System. Bravery medals were issued by the British Governement with their system. In the British Army, nurses were not officer but rather civilian with no military rank so they were not permitted to receive the Military Cross.
If a British nurses did a bravery action, she received the Military Medal. So the British Government just applied the same rule to Canadian Matron and Nursing Sister, never taking into account that Canadian nurses were Officer and not civilian, so they awarded them the Military Medal.
She was born in November 1871 in Montreal, Quebec
Enlisted on September 24th, 1914 in Quebec, Quebec. She left Canada onboard the H.M.T. Franconia and arrived in United Kingdom on October 24th.
Height : 5′ 7″ Weight : 130 lbs. Religion : Church of England
Eyes : Brown Hair : Brown
Sister : W. S. Clouston Address : Pointe – Claire, Quebec
She was Mentionned in dispatches on June 22nd, 1915 (London Gazette 29200)
She received her Royal Red Cross 1st class June 22nd (London Gazette 29202)
She was Mentionned in dispatches a second time on December 20th, 1917 (London Gazette 30448)
Transferred to the 1st Canadian General Hospital on February 11th.
May 31st, 1918 : The 1st Canadian General Hospital stationned in Etaple, France was bombed by German aviation. Matron Edith Campbell showed bravery in her actions by attending wounded sisters regardless of personal danger.
She received her 1914 Star on June 8th
Military Medal London Gazette 30917 September 24th citation « for gallantry and devotion to duty during an enemy air raid. Regardless of personal danger she attended to the wounded sisters and by her personal example inspired the sisters under her charge»
Sailed from Liverpool, England to Canada on April 14th, 1919 on the ship SS Olympia.
She was demobilised on November 26th.
If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography.