Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

Monday, June 22, 2015

Recognition of a Groundbreaking Nursing Sister

I have good news to report in today's post. An Edmonton school is to be named after Roberta MacAdams, a nursing sister who enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the First World War. MacAdams served at the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, Kent. In 1917, she was elected to the Alberta legislature as a soldier's representative. In doing so, she became one of the first two women elected to a legislature anywhere in what was then the British Empire (Louise McKinney was voted into the Alberta legislature during the same election). Roberta would advocate for pensions and benefits for soldiers and nurses and would table the first private member's bill ever brought forward by a woman in the British Empire. It was a piece of legislation incorporating the Next of Kin Association, an organization dedicated to the families of veterans. It is especially fitting that MacAdams' name has been chosen for a public school, since she was superintendent of domestic science in the Edmonton School Board in the years just before the war. I am ecstatic that this honour has been paid to Roberta. She is truly one of Alberta's "unsung heroes." Hopefully her story will also create more interest in the nurses of the First World War.

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