Nurses of World War I: Florence Helena Upton

Florence Helena Upton was born in Trenton, Ontario on June 20, 1884 daughter of Richard Upton and Rachel Pepper. The father of our subject was a blacksmith in Belleville in the early 1880s; Miss Upton, and her brother, consistently identified her birthplace as Belleville on her attestation papers and travel documents.

Lady Stanley Institute, Ottawa

Maternity Hospital, Ottawa

She was educated locally, removed with her family to Saskatchewan about the turn of the century and was a graduate of the Lady Stanley Institute for Trained Nurses in Ottawa on May 28, 1907. Helen was charge nurse of the operating room in the Saskatoon Hospital before establishing herself at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Here she enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on July 1, 1915.

Height:  5’ 4”

Weight: 112lb

Age: 31 (stated age: 28)

Nursing Sister Upton initially served with the No. 1 Field Ambulance Depot, Sewell Camp in Winnipeg and embarked for overseas service on May 19, 1916.

Field Ambulance Depot, Winnipeg

She worked in hospitals in Shorncliffe, England and Étaples, France before becoming ill with bronchitis. After 9 week hospitalization in Étaples and the Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital in Buxton, England she was invalided home to Winnipeg, setting sail on January 31, 1918 aboard the S.S. Olympic; Miss Upton was given a medical discharge on Feb 7, 1919. After the War she was one of 9 Military Nurses employed in the Soldiers Civil Re-Establishment Staff in Winnipeg. She moved shortly thereafter to California where she worked as a nurse for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and was united in marriage to Charles Corlett on January 11, 1945 in Santa Ana.

Florence Helena Corlett died on Nov 5, 1973 in Pasadena aged 89 years 4 months 15 days; her remains were cremated and scattered at sea.