Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering Jessie Mabel McDiarmid

An all-too-familiar column in the July 12, 1918 issue of the Perth Courier (an Ontario newspaper), listed the names of the local people who had most recently lost their lives while serving their country overseas. Among those names was Nursing Sister Jessie Mabel McDiarmid. McDiarmid was yet another casualty of the Llandovery Castle (see other blog posts for more information about the sinking). According to the newspaper, McDiarmid was “survived by 2 brothers and 5 sisters: John, Ashton; Peter, Provost AB; Mrs R P Brown, North Gower; Mrs D McDougall, Glen Isle; Mrs A Howard, Mather MB; and Misses Annie and Jennie, at home.”In her attestation papers, Jessie listed her birthplace as Ashton, Ontario. However, records suggest she may have been born in Scotland. Whatever the case, by 1891 she was living in Lisgar, Manitoba with her widowed father Peter and brothers and sisters. Her father’s profession was listed as “stock raiser.”

Jessie McDiarmid enlisted in the CAMC in London in September 1915. Her attestation papers described her as a tall woman—five feet, five and a half inches tall—with dark brown hair and “dark” eyes. She confidently lists herself as "professional nurse." Her papers are signed by Matron-in-Chief Margaret MacDonald, so she must have been very competent and well-respected. Her records show that at this time, her father was no longer part of her life (he had likely passed away) and Jessie listed her brother John as her next of kin. I am hoping to have more on Jessie in a future blog, as I have contacted people who I believe are her descendants.

Thanks this month to Ontario researcher Glenn Couch for providing me with the obituary in the Perth Courier!

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