Georgina Pope (1862-1938) was the first Matron in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, a position she attained in 1908. She served as a military nurse in the Second Boer War, which earned her the Royal Red Cross Medal for meritorious and distinguished service in 1903. She was the first Canadian to receive this honour. Her WW1 service was in Canadian hospitals in France and the UK. She was 55 years old when she went overseas in 1917.
This bust is part of the Valiants Memorial on Confederation Square near the National War Memorial.
The Valiants Memorial is a collection of nine busts and five statues of individuals who played key roles in military conflicts throughout Canadian history. The memorial was dedicated in 2006.
The focus on individuals is a sharp contrast from the other elements of remembrance on Confederation Square: The National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier honour collective action and loss. I’m inclined to think the Valiants detract from that. That said, the individual statues sometimes become the conduit of other messages. Montreal Canadiens fans once dressed them in Habs jerseys during an NHL playoff series against the Ottawa Senators. And on a biting cold day in January 2014, an anonymous knitter wrapped them in warm scarves free for the taking by those in need.
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