Nurses of World War I: Margaret Vitaline Foster

Margaret Vitaline Foster was born at the farm house on the 5th Concession near Bancroft, Dungannon Township, Hastings County on July 28, 1894 daughter of Ira Foster and Agnes Brown.

She was educated in a one-room schoolhouse and walked three miles to school and back every day; the farm house had no electricity and no indoor plumbing. Margaret was a graduate of the Nursing School in Belleville in early 1917, worked at the hospital for three months and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on May 5, 1917 at Kingston.

Height: 5’ 7”

Weight: 156lb

Age: 22

Staff and patients at the Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden (Grace Waters album)

Nursing Sister Foster served at the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden, near Taplow, England. She resigned her commission on January 10, 1919 and was united in marriage to Reverend Ernest Harston on January 11, 1919 at Maidenhead, England. He served in England and France with the Canadian Chaplain Services and rose from Private to Captain. After the wedding they were posted to Kinmel Park, North Wales for four months, were present during the riot of March 1919 and returned to Canada, setting sail on May 24, 1919 aboard the S.S. Metagama. Mrs. Harston kept house for the 23 years of her married life and after her husband died returned to her nursing career at the Toronto East General Hospital and later at the Lockwood Clinic.

Margaret Vitaline Harston died on May 1, 1990 aged 95 years 9 months 3 days.