Nurses of World War I: Edith May Allison

Edith May Allison was born at the farm house on Concession 2, lot 37 near Marysville, Tyendinaga Township, Hastings County on May 14, 1878 daughter of Jonathan Allison and Sarah Prentice.

Detail from Belden Atlas showing Allison property in Tyendinaga Township

She was educated locally, was a graduate of the Nursing School in Belleville in 1898 and worked at the Belleville Hospital for some years before removing with her family to Calgary, Alberta.

Entry for Edith Allison in the 1899-1900 City of Belleville directory

Edith enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in Calgary on April 5, 1917.

Height:  5’ 7”

Weight:  150 lb

Stated age: 35 (actual: 38)

Nursing Sister Allison initially served in hospitals in Brighton, Sussex and was then posted to No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Outreau, France between June 1918 and March 1919. She returned to Canada, setting sail on April 3, 1919 aboard the S.S. Lapland, and was transferred to the Colonel Belcher Hospital in Calgary, a facility recently opened for treatment of War Veterans; Miss Allison was discharged on January 15, 1920. Here she served as Matron-In-Charge until  1933.

Her obituary stated: Miss Allison has been a sincere and sympathetic worker in the interests of all ex-servicemen and her kindness and generosity endeared her to all those who came under her care. In 1934 the Calgary Branch of the United Empire Loyalist’s Association furnished a room in the Colonel Belcher Veterans Hospital in her honour.

Edith May Allison died on July 10, 1933 aged 55 years 1 month 26 days. She is interred at the Deseronto Cemetery.

Edith May Allison's headstone in Deseronto Cemetery
Edith May Allison’s headstone in Deseronto Cemetery