Nurses of World War I: Gertrude Ethel Comerford

Gertrude Ethel Comerford was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 29, 1892 the daughter of Frederick Comerford and Louise Empey. The father of our subject was a native of Eldorado, a successful farmer on Concession 5, Lot W ½ 16, and served for some years as councillor for Madoc Township.

She was educated in the schools local to Eldorado and was a graduate of the Nursing School in Belleville in 1916. Miss Comerford enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on April 17, 1917 in Kingston.

Height:  5’ 3”

Weight:  125lb

Age: 24

Nursing Sister Comerford served in the # 16 Canadian General Hospital in Orpington, England and later in France. She was hospitalized at the Westcliffe Eye and Ear Hospital at Folkestone, England in October 1917 with Vincent’s Angina (trench mouth).

West Cliff Hotel, used as the Westcliffe Eye and Ear Hospital in World War I

Miss Comerford returned to Canada, setting sail on August 26, 1919 aboard the S.S. Celtic and was discharged on September 11, 1919.

She immigrated to the United States in March 1924 to work for the Detroit Board of Health and later nursed at the Portland, Oregon ENT Hospital. Miss Comerford was united in marriage on November 2, 1928 to Vernon Beckwith Durling, a native of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, a graduate of Agriculture in 1914 from McGill University and a Veteran of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War 1. The couple established themselves at Queen’s County, New York where they raised their family.

Gertrude Ethel Durling died on April 2, 1954 aged 61 years 9 months 3 days. She is interred at the Fresh Pond Crematory and Columbarium in Middle Village, Queen’s County, New York.

Fresh Pond Crematory