Nurses of World War I: Mary Graham

Mary Graham was born at the farm house near Elmvale, Simcoe County on February 7, 1887 daughter of Richard Graham and Agnes Ritchie.

Mary attended the local schools where she completed grade 9, worked on the family farm and then worked as a nanny for a minister in Toronto. She was a graduate of the Nursing School at the Montreal Western Hospital in 1913 and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on April 14, 1915 at Quebec.

Nurse Graham in France

Height:  5’ 4”

Weight:  130lb

Age: 28 (stated age: 27)

Nursing Sister Graham served at the Imperial Stationary Hospital and Canadian General Hospital in Rouen and Étaples, France and in December 1917 was transferred to the West Cliff Eye and Ear Hospital in Folkestone, England; here she was admitted in March 1918 for treatment of influenza. During her time in France Miss Graham met a theology student and non-commissioned soldier, Alexander Archibald, with whom she was united in marriage on March 12, 1919 at Basingstoke, England. He had risen to the rank of Captain, was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai and suffered an amputation of his right leg. Mrs. Archibald returned to Canada setting sail on March 25, 1919 aboard the S.S. Scotian and was discharged on April 18, 1919.

Alexander Archibald and Mary Graham

Captain Archibald required convalescence at the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto following which he trained as a teacher at the Ontario College of Education. In 1925 they moved to Belleville where he taught at the old Belleville High School and the new Belleville Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. Mary served as a nurse at the Red Cross Blood Donor Clinic, helped organize the Young Women’s Guild and was a member of the School for Leisure, an organization which helped women in strained circumstances learn to keep house. They resided at 180 Dufferin Avenue.

180 Dufferin Avenue, Belleville

Mary Archibald died at Belleville on June 28, 1984 aged 97 years 4 months 21 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section G Row 8 Grave 17.

Grave marker for Mary Graham