Nurses of World War I: Annie Mabel Foster

Annie Mabel Foster was born at the farm house at Concession 1, Lot N ½ 13 near Moira, Ontario on February 22, 1891, daughter of Owen Foster and Sarah Sills.

She was raised on the Scoharie Road in Prince Edward County and completed her secondary education, graduating from the Picton Collegiate and the Nursing School at the Toronto Wellesley Hospital in 1917; here she graduated with honours and won two scholarships. Miss Foster enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 1, 1917 in Toronto.

Height  5’ 5”

Weight  130lb

Stated age: 25 (actual:26)

Nursing Sister Foster served initially at Camp Borden then proceeded overseas and was stationed at the No. 16 Canadian General Hospital near Orpington, England. This hospital had over two thousand beds filled with battered and war-weary soldiers; after the Armistice she was left in charge of Orpington Hospital for a time until all patients were either discharged or transferred. Following the War, Miss Foster and other Canadian nurses were presented to King George V and Queen Mary; they took a trip to the Continent visiting the principal cities of France and Germany. She returned to Canada setting sail on the S.S. Tunisian on November 14, 1919 and was discharged on January 3, 1920.

Tired and worn from her strenuous duties, Miss Foster never enjoyed as good health afterward. She had contracted Tuberculosis during her service in England and spent the duration seeking treatment at the Mowat Sanatorium and Hotel Dieu in Kingston, the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto and the Calydor Sanatorium in the Muskokas. In December 1938 Miss Foster designed and built a new home at 258 Dundas Street East in Belleville where she resided and also enjoyed a summer home at Oak Lake. She died at the Belleville General Hospital and Nursing Sisters and members of the Legion paid their respects by forming an honour guard.

Annie Mabel Foster died on February 18, 1949 aged 57 years 11 months 26 days. She is interred in the Military Section of Glenwood Cemetery Section L, Grave 93.

Grave at Glenwood Cemetery