Nursing Sister’s apron, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC)

Object Name: Nursing Sister’s apron
Manufacturer: Corbett-Cowley
Date Made: Second World War, 1939-1945
Country of Origin: Canada
MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Clothing — nursing; Clothing — uniform — World War II 


More than 4000 women served as military nurses during the Second World War playing a vital role in the care and comfort of wounded soldiers, sailors, and airmen.  As commissioned officers known by rank and title as Nursing Sisters, they served as fully-integrated members of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.  Most of them worked overseas in military hospitals and casualty clearing stations.  After the lean years of the 1930s when there were few available positions for graduate nurses, even with the dangers of warfare, military nursing offered a job with a good salary, benefits, status, and a chance to travel.

This starched apron and blue working uniform belonged to Nursing Sister Miriam Hartrick (1909-2001) who served in England, France, and Italy during the Second World War.  She graduated from the Kingston General Hospital School of Nursing in 1931.  Topped by a long white veil, these distinctive uniforms made nursing sisters clearly identifiable.

Related: Canadian, Military, NursesWomen

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