Essex Farm Cemetery – Flanders

 John McCrae’s Grave

Lt Col John McCrae


A Timeline of the Life of John McCrae

John McCrae – Guelph / Early Years

John McCrae - Early Years

1872 – John McCrae is born on November 30th in Guelph, Ontario Canada
1886 - Joined Highland Cadet Corps at age 14
1888 - Graduated from Guelph Collegiate at age 16
(McCrae was the first Guelph student to be awarded a scholarship to the University of Toronto)
1889 - Enlisted in the Militia Field Battery at age 17
1890 – Became a gunner with the Number 2 Battery in Guelph
1891 – Became Quarter-master Sergeant
1893 – Became Second Lieutenant
1894  - Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree
1896 – Became Lieutenant

John McCrae Medical Education

1898 – Bachelor of Medicine degree plus received a gold medal from U of T medical school
1889 & 1899 – Resident house officer at Toronto General Hospital
1899 – Interned at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore under Dr. William Osler
1899 - Awarded a fellowship in pathology at McGill University in Montreal

Boar War

1899 to 1901 – Served in the Boer War

John McCrae MD – Civilian Life

1902 – Appointed resident pathologist at Montreal General Hospital
1904 – Resigned from military service with a rank of Major
1904 – Appointed associate in medicine at Royal Victoria Hospital
1904 – Traveled to England and joined the Royal College of Physicians
1905 – Started his own private practice
1905 – Appointed pathologist to Montreal’s Foundling & Baby Hospital
1908 – Appointed physician to Royal Alexandra Hospital for Infectious Diseases
1909 – McCrae was contributing writer to Osler’s Modern Medicine, a 10-volume textbook
1910 – Expedition physician for Governor General Lord Grey (Hudson’s Bay canoe trip)
1912 – Co-authored a textbook on pathology
1914 – August – Beginning of the First World War

John McCrae – WW1 & Flanders Fields

1914 – Sept 22, McCrae enlists and takes his horse “Bonfire” to Europe with him
1915 – April – McCrae is in the trenches during the Second Battle of Ypres
1915 – May 2, McCrae’s close friend and former student, Alexis Helmer is killed by a German Shell
1915 – May 3, McCrae composes IN FLANDERS FIELDS while still at the battlefront
1915 – June – McCrae transferred to No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne France as Chief of Medical Services, where he treated wounded soldiers from the battles of Somme, Vimy Ridge, Arras and Passchendaele (3rd battle of Ypres)
1918 – January 5, the first Canadian ever appointed as Consultant Physician to the British Armies in the field
1918 – January 28th, McCrae succumbs to pneumonia and meningitis, he was 45

WW1 Trench - Ypres
John McCrae Memorial – Essex Farm Cemetery

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