Original Image Source: George Metcalf Archival Collection
It is easy to understand why Canadian nurses were nicknamed “bluebirds” when catching a glimpse of their white veils and blue uniforms. Nurses were provided with a light blue service uniform, seen on the left, as well as a navy blue ceremonial uniform worn by the nurse on the right. Both are displaying the nursing cape with crimson lining. More details about the uniform and other items included in a nurse’s kit can be found on the Collections Canada website.
In total 3,141 sisters volunteered for the Canadian Army Nursing Service between 1914-1918. But nursing behind the front lines was not without danger; 47 Canadian nurses gave their lives during the First World War, which includes more than a dozen who were killed when a Canadian hospital ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1918.
You can find out more about the role of Canadian nurses in the Great War and the names of those that gave their lives from the Veterans Affairs website.