Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Update on NS Mary Frances Munro

Thanks to Susan Dutton, the archivist at Bishop Strachan School in Ontario, I am able to update the information I provided on NS Mary Frances Munro, as well as provide some wonderful archival photographs. The following information about Munro was contributed by Susan:

Munro preferred to be called by her middle name, "Frances," although her military records include her birth name of Mary Frances Munro. Munro attended Bishop Strachan School for the 1885-1886 school year. The Pupil Register of 1867-1887 listed her as "Frank", a boarder from Morrisburgh. Her age at admission in September 1885 was 19and her guardian was M. Munro. She was a wonderful student and got the top mark in the Senior Form that year, earning the "Silver Medal presented by His Excellency the Governor General." She also won the French Prize, tied for the English Literature prize was second for the German Prize (all from the 1886 "Concert & Distribution of Prizes" programme).

The Bishop Strachan Magazine of Easter 1907, says that "One of the former pupils of the Bishop Strachan School has recently distinguished herself in a somewhat unusual way. Frances (Frank) Munro was Governor-General's Medalist in 1886 and her schoolmates will remember that she won special distinction in modern languages. After leaving school she spent a year and a half abroad, and after a further interval of 4 or 5 years went into training in a New York hospital where she again distinguished herself. Since that time she has practised her profession, taking intervals of travel and rest, long or short as her health required. [Munro suffered from breast cancer.] Last autumn she was in France and with two companions, also trained nurses, happened to be on a train that was wrecked at a small town not far from Paris. She and her friends fortunately received no very serious injuries, and she with her fluent French added to her surgical experience was able to take command of the situation at once, and the French papers vied with one another in praising the skill, the presence of mind and the philanthropy of the foreign lady who with only two assistants had, in less than three hours, some three score badly injured men, women and children bandaged and ready to be taken in comparative safety and comfort into the Paris hospitals."

Munro was listed in the October 16, 1915 "British Journal of Nursing" in an article entitled "Our Roll of Honour" about the death of Nurses Jaggard and Munro in Lemnos. "A sympathetic obituary notice of the death of Nursing Sister Mary Eliza Frances Munro, Canadian Army Medical Corps, who died at Mudros, Island of Lemnos, on September 7th, also appears in Canada. She was a Canadian, a graduate of the City Hospital, Boston, USA, and a member of the Society of Superintendants of Training Schools, USA. She died of overwork and dysentery, and will be deeply mourned."

Susan Dutton says that the minutes of the Bishop Strachan School Association(organization of alumnae)on Oct. 22, 1915 notes that, “A letter to Miss Grier [school principal] written by Nurse Frances Munro while working in France was read and listened to with much interest.“ [This letter is published in this blog.] The minutes from May 11, 1918 states that "a legacy of $100 from Nursing Sister Frances Munro" was received. It was added to the Chapel Fund (built in 1926).

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