World War I veteran: Nursing Sister
Canadian Medical Army Corps
Christina (Tena) May Stewart was born on May 25, 1881 in Almonte, Ontario.
She graduated from the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1916 and enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) in November 1916. Nursing sister Stewart served in England and was posted to the Duchess of Connaught’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow and Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton. Her sister, Ethel Stewart (Class of 1915) also served during the war with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) and with the CAMC.
In November 1918, nursing sister Stewart contracted bronchitis and pneumonia and was hospitalized for several months. She returned to Canada in March 1919 and was sent to the Gravenhurst Sanatorium in Gravenhurst, Ontario due to poor health. She died there on November 7, 1927 and was buried in the family plot in Almonte, Ontario on Armistice Day – November 1927
War Nurse Dies After Long Fight With Ill Health
Miss Christena Stewart Was With Navel Forces In the Great War
Served in the Mediterranean, In Egypt and Other Parts of War Zone, Her Health Broke Down Under the Strenuous Duties She Underwent.
Mr Alexander Stewart was called to the Military Hospital, London, on Saturday by the very serious illness of his sister, Miss Tena Stewart, R.N., who passed away on Monday afternoon about 3 o’clock. Miss Lizzie Stewart, of Toronto, accompanied by Misses Margaret Stewart of Montreal and Miss Mabel of Toronto, accompanied the body which arrived at home on Tuesday evening. The sympathy of the whole surrounding country goes out to Mr and Mrs Donald Stewart and family in the death of their eldest daughter, Christena May.
Daughter of the Farm
Miss Stewart was born on the farm from which she was laid to rest. Although just in the prime of life, it falls to the lot of few people to see so much or so varied a life. Educated in the Public school at Appleton and at the High Schools of Almonte and Carleton Place and after teaching school for a few years she went to Winnipeg where she and her sister, Ethel, now Mrs Dr (Harvey) Wilkins Morley, trained in the Civic Hospital for the nursing profession. When the war broke, both volunteered for service and were accepted. Miss Tena was with the navel forces in the Mediterranean, in Egypt and other parts of the war zone. So strenuous did the life prove that it left her with a weakened constitution. Instead of being discharged when the war was over, she was sent to the sanatorium at Gravenhurst. From that time until her death she had been putting up a fight for life that was the wonder of all who met her. With a brave bright face and a courageous heart she faced the struggle with ill health, with never a showing of the white feather, faced it as she had faced her job in war time with a smile and a cheery word for all with whom she came in contact.
Seeking For Health
During these years Miss Stewart had taken many a long hard trip in search of health. To Arizona and to Vancouver, she went, and only this summer she made the tiresome trip from Vancouver to Almonte. In the annals of Almonte and Ramsay Miss Stewart will find a high place, She lived a beautiful life and when her country was in the throes of war, she saw her duty and she did it. She made the supreme sacrifice. The immediate relatives to mourn her passing are her father and mother, her brother Alexander on the home farm, and three sisters, Mrs Dr Wilkins Morley, of the U.S.A., Miss Margaret in Montreal and Miss Mabel in Toronto.
The Almonte Gazette, Almonte, Ont., Friday 11 November 1927, page 1
War Nurse Laid To Rest Veterans Bearing Remains
Large Attendance of Mourners At Funeral of Miss C.M. Stewart
Wreath From the Canadian Nursing Sister Was Afterwards Placed In the Hall of Fame at Ottawa On Armistice Day.
There was a very large attendance of mourners at the funeral of the late Miss Christena May Stewart, veteran nursing sister of the Great War, which took place on Thursday. As was stated in last week’s issue of the Gazette; Miss Stewart passed away at London, Ont, on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day after a constant struggle to regain her health since her return to Canada in April, 1919. There was a short service at the home of her parents, Mr and Mrs Donald Stewart, near Appleton, and the remains were taken to St John’s Presbyterian Church, where an impressive service was conducted by Rev W.H. McCracken, minister of the church, assisted by Rev J.M. Rutherford minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Interment was made in the family burying place in the Auld Kirk Cemetery. The pallbearers were six returned soldiers. Messrs W.R. Caldwell, George E. Scroggie, and J.L. Craig, of Carleton Place; Dr E.F. McGregor, Wilmer Campbell and Max Young, of Almonte. Among the many beautiful floral tributes were a blanket of flowers from the family and a wreath inscribed to her memory from the Canadian Nursing Sisters, which was placed on the Nursing Sister’s Tablet in the Hall of Fame, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, during the Armistice Day Service.
The Almonte Gazette, Almonte, Ont., Friday November 18, 1927, page 1
Obituary articles contributed by Gary J. Byron, no. 49329383