More than 2,800 nurses served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, as fully-enlisted officers in the specially-created all female rank of “Nursing Sister”, during World War I. Nicknamed “bluebirds” because of their blue uniforms and white veils, Canada’s nursing sisters saved many lives by caring for wounded and sick soldiers during this horrific conflict in France and Belgium during the Great War (1914-1919). Their valour and dedication to the war effort, however, is often overlooked. One of these Nursing Sisters has a unique connection to Medicine Hat and her story is one that should be told as part of another interesting chapter in the history of Medicine Hat.
On June 16th, 1945 Major Mary Minor Mills, R.C.A.M.C was awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal by King George VI at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Major Mills has a unique and special connection to Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta and Southwestern Saskatchewan and her story is a story worth telling as it forms another interesting chapter in the history of Medicine Hat.