1914 Star, British War & Victory Medal, with Guy’s Hospital 5 year medal, Sister E.G. Fraser, Civilian Hospital Reserve & Q.A.I.M.N.S.
A rare 1914 star trio to an interesting Nurse, who was the Superintendent, Matron and sole nurse of the First Winnipeg Children’s Hospital on Beaconsfield Street, they are still going today, being part of the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, with 127 beds for children, at first they were staffed only by Miss Fraser, an experienced nurse who had learned at Guy’s Hospital in London and a number of volunteer Doctors, she later became the First Vice-President of the hospital.
The first patient received on their opening in 1909:
“The heart broken mother laid him in the arms of that sweet-faced gentlewoman, Miss Fraser, who is the matron of the hospital. She carried the little sufferer gently away, bathed him and dressed him in dainty warm garments and laid him tenderly in the pretty cradle which some good mother thoughtfully donated.”
1914 Star impressed: “Miss E.G. Fraser, Civ: Hosp: Res.”
British War & Victory Medal impressed: “Sister E.G. Fraser.”
With 60 Page Nurse’s digital service file and other research.
Provenance: Ex DNW 16th December 2003, the Jack Webb 1914 Star Collection, hammer price £310.
Elsie Gertrude Fraser was born in Chorlton, Lancashire on 4th August 1879, the daughter of William Murray Fraser & Mary Ellen Fraser.
She was trained at Guy’s Hospital in London, and earned her 5 year silver badge engraved “Elsie G. Fraser” ‘Certified Nurse on completing five years service.’
She went to Toronto first in 1908, joining the Winnipeg Hospital and returning home to England, returning again from in a boat form Liverpool to Canada on 19th August 1909 arriving at Quebec and intending to go on to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
She must have been an early member of the Civilian Hospital Reserve, as soon as war was declared she was on the way to France with the British Expeditionary Force, disembarking on 17th August 1914.
She was sent to No 4 General Hospital which at the time was at St Nazaire, followed by Versailles from late 1914 until 1916.
She served with barely any rest until she had to be invalided back to England on Sick Leave on 21st January 1917, she had various ailments from her untiring service in terrible conditions, her Charge duties were at the “Acute surgical wards” and her capabilities were described as “Extremely capable and reliable, for the last few months she found the work too much.”
At the time she was at the 26th General Hospital.
Her service filed includes many back and forth letters with Miss Beecher, Matron-in-Chief of the Q.A.I.M.N.S. who took a great liking to her, as soon as her sick leave was over, she immediately wrote for an interview to get back to work but had to humbly accept that she could no longer take part in the strenuous duties in a letter sent 13/4/17:
“Dear Miss Beecher, will you please forgive this breaking of all rules of professional etiquette? I feel I must convey to you the considerations you have shown me. As I am helping to nurse Dr Shackleton – who became rather suddenly