Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

Monday, March 12, 2012

In Honour of NS Jean Templeman

According to an article by Bruce Ward of the Ottawa Citizen, the night before the hospital ship Llandovery Castle left for England, Nursing Sister Jean Templeman wrote to her father in Ottawa. "I am in transport duty and probably will be all summer, perhaps till Christmas." Templeman had been home on leave the previous summer. Now her father was making travel plans to see her the next time the ship called at a Canadian port. As we know from other posts describing the terrible sinking of the Llandovery Castle, NS Templeman would never see her father again.

Jean Templeman was born on June 16, 1885 in Ottawa, Ontario. She was a tiny woman, just five feet tall and 105 pounds. She had grey eyes and brown hair. She enlisted in Montreal on May 21, 1915. She was almost 30 years old. At the time of her enlistment, her home address was 43 Arlington Avenue, Ottawa.

From a short stint in England at No. 1 Canadian General, Templeman proceeded to France, serving from February to July at #21 Casualty Clearing Station (I believe this is a British hospital to which she was seconded) and then on to the Ontario Military Hospital at Orpington, Kent. There she served from May 1917 until her June 1918 posting to the Llandovery Castle. She was finally reported "missing, believed drowned" on June 27, 1918. If you have more to add to this short profile of Nurse Templeman, please write and let me know.

WWI Nurse at Vancouver Archives

Recently I was at the Vancouver Archives to do some research for a book I am working on. I was surprised to see, sitting in front of me, a bust of a Canadian First World War nurse (see photo). The woman turned out to be Nursing Sister Emily Eliza Edwardes, who later married J. S. Matthews, with whom she co-founded the Vancouver City Archives. Edwardes left a number of photos and other records of her WWI service to the Archives. These records reveal that she was one of the survivors of the German sinking of the Braemar Castle, a Red Cross hospital ship torpedoed in the Mediterranean Sea. During her service in the CAMC (1914-1919), she served in Salonika, Egypt and England. Edwardes, who was born in 1875) was a graduate of the nursing program at the Vancouver City Hospital (1904). Nurse Edwardes' files are only one of a number of WWI nurse records at the City Archives. For more information, contact 604-736-8561 or go to The staff are helpful and friendly.