Major Margaret C. Macdonald was appointed Matron-in-Chief of the Canadian Nursing Service in April 1914, making her the first woman with the rank of major in the British Empire. She was responsible for over 1900 Canadian nurses serving overseas during WW1. She returned to Canada in 1919 to help reorganize the Canadian Army Medical Corps. In 1926, she unveiled the Nursing Sisters Memorial* on Parliament Hill.
Macdonald’s designation as a person of national historic significance is marked with this plaque at her birthplace of Bailey’s Brook, Nova Scotia. (Also spelled Baileys Brook and Baillies Brook.) It’s quite off the beaten track in Pictou County. Women in the community care for the plantings around the memorial.
Thanks to Katherine Dewar, who very kindly provided these photos. You can read more about Macdonald in Susan Mann’s biography, Margaret Macdonald: Imperial Daughter.
* The initial photos of the Nursing Sisters Memorial featured on Great War 100 Reads showed the damage from the October 2014 shooting rampage. By February 2016, the damage was repaired. See both here.