Matron Margaret Heggie Smith served in the Boer’s War and WW1 with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. She is entitled to the Royal Red Cross 1st class with bar, Queen’s South Africa Medal with no clasp, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Her medals are at the Bytown Museum in Ottawa.
She was born May 24th, 1872 in Ottawa, Ontario
She was the daughter of William Heggie Smith of Ottawa.
She studied nursing at the Blockley Hospital in Philadelphia.
She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps to serve with the 19th Canadian Stationary Hospital in Harrismith, South Africa during the Boers’ War.
She returned to Canada in late July 1902.
She enlisted a first time on September 25th, 1914. She stated her address as 193 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario.
She was 5’ 6” and her religion was Presbyterian
I do not know why but she enlisted a second time on July 6th, 1917 in Orpington, England with the Ontario Military Hospital. On the paper her rank is Matron.
She served for two years in France, and 4 more years as Matron of the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, Kent, England, which became the No. 16 Canadian Field Hospital in 1917.
Photos of Margaret Smith in France
She was back in Canada in 1919
July 31st, 1919 : In recognition of her exceptional service, King George V awarded a bar to her her the Royal Red Cross. For the link of her award in the London Gazette click hereSmith LG
She died aged 47 on May 12th, 1920 in Atlantic City. Her funeral service at St. Andrew’s Church in Ottawa and conducted by the Reverend George Fitzpatrick. It was attended by a large number of military officers. Obituary from The Canadian nurse and hospital review : “But years of steady and strenuous duty had its undermining effect, and it was in somewhat impaired health that Matron Smith returned to Canada. After some months’ treatment, she had seemingly recovered her health: and it was whilst in the enjoyment of a well-merited holiday, with friends, at Atlantic City, that, without warning, she was elected to join those “Whom God has called to His mysterious rest.”
She is buried at the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, Ontario
Picture of her gravestone
From The Canadian nurse and hospital review of January 1921 “The tablet, which is of handsome design, occupies a prominent place beneath the choir gallery and bears the following inscription: “In affectionate memory of Matron Margaret Heggie Smith, R.R.C., and Bar. Died 12th May, 1920. A Member of the C. A. M. C. Nursing Service since 1902. Served in the South African War and over five years in the Great War. This Tablet is erected by the members of the Overseas C. A. M. C. Nursing Service.“
The ceremony throughout was most impressive. Rev. Mr. Kilpatrick referred feelingly to the life of service and sacrifice led by Matron Smith, and pointed out the relation of such a life to other lives dedicated to Christ. There were three points of contact: 1, the inspiration of love; 2, the swift recognition of need, human and divine; 3, a measureless sacrifice. These things, the preacher said, should call forth notes of thanks giving and pride, as in the old days, at an hour of sacrifice, they sounded the trumpets and sang the songs of the Lord. The memory of Matron Smith, Rev. Mr. Kilpatrick said, should lead to a high resolution to keep faith with those who died for the nation.
As the preacher delivered the words “To the glory of God and in pride and loving memory this tablet is now dedicated,” Mrs. Meighen pulled the cord and a thin silk Union Jack fell away and revealed the tablet. This was followed by a brief dedicatory prayer and the singing of the Doxology.”
If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography