Nursing Sister Gertrude Petty Donaldson

Nursing Sister Gertrude Petty Donaldson served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps. She is entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Born on August 14th, 1892 in Sarnia, Ontario

Height: 5′ 4″     Weight: 125 lbs.           Religion: Church of England

Enlisted on February 2nd, 1916 in Toronto.

Embarked on November 17th, 1917

Posted with the Ontario Military Hospital.

Posted with the 1st Canadian General Hospital on November 5th, 1917.

Posted the 16th Canadian General Hospital on November 14th.

Permitted to resign on December 15th, 1917 probably to get married. Nursing Sister were not allowed to be married and serving with the army at the same time. Although in some cases Nursing Sisters served with the Canadian Army in non-combat zone (Canada and United Kingdom) and were married but they were the exceptions.

Her father was G.C. Petty Hensall of Ontario

Demobilized on July 13th 1919 (papers were signs in Ottawa at this date).

Died on July 29th, 1919 at the age of 26. She is buried in Union Cemetery in Hensall, Ontario

Her medals, Memorial Plaque and Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to her husband  John Milton Donaldson who was living at 259 6th Street Brandon, Manitoba.

At the time the Memorial Cross was given only to the “wife” of the deceased contrary to today’s rule that state that the Cross is given to the “spouse” of the deceased. Yes the choice of word is important here. Technically her husband should have not received the Memorial Cross but I guess that the person in charge of issuing the Cross at the Canadian Government found the rule discriminatory and issued a Cross to her husband. Matron Jessie Brown Jaggard (her story can be found by clicking here) was the only other Canadian whose husband also received the Memorial Cross.

But the rule was not applied equally; Nursing Sister Jean Olgivie Alport also died during her WW1 but her husband did not receive her Memorial Cross. I think the strict rule was applied in her case and they were more “opened” in the case of Nursing Sister Donaldson and Jaggard.

Her Memorial Cross were sent to her mother.

If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography

Picture of Nursing Sister Donaldson gravestone

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