"Finding the 47" is dedicated to the Canadian military nursing sisters who lost their lives while serving their country during the First World War. The number 47 is not exact--historical sources give varying numbers for the women lost. One source, historian Dianne Dodd of Parks Canada puts the number at 61. Researcher Tighe McManus now places the number even higher at 76. (More about Tighe's research soon.) Part of the reason for the discrepancy is that many nurses died a few years after the war from illness caused by their service. Whatever the number, these women need to be remembered--they served their country with distinction and courage in a war from which Canada emerged a scarred but stronger nation.
I hope that many will learn from this site and use it as a basis to undertake their own research. If you want to use the information provided or quote from this blog, please cite this blog as your source. The writing here is copyright Debbie Marshall (except, of course for the materials I have quoted), but I am glad to share the knowledge and memory of these women.
I am an Alberta writer and editor with a special interest in women and the First World War. My work has appeared in anthologies such as Dropped Threads II and in magazines such as The Beaver, United Church Observer, Legacy, Alberta Views, Exchange, Mandate, Compass, Our Canada, as well as other publications. My most recent book was Give Your Other Vote to the Sister: A Woman's Journey Into the Great War (University of Calgary Press: 2007). I can be reached through comments on my blog posts or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.