Island Studies lecture examines the making of a Canadian military nursing heroine

Author Katherine Dewar will speak Tuesday, April 17 at UPEI
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Katherine Dewar

April’s edition in the Island Studies Lecture Series features author Katherine Dewar speaking about “The Making of a Canadian Military Nursing Heroine.” The heroine in question is Prince Edward Island’s own Georgina Fane Pope (1862–1938) and is the subject of Katherine’s soon-to-be-released book from Island Studies Press: Called to Serve. The April Island Studies Lecture takes place on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:00 pm in the Faculty Lounge of UPEI’s SDU Main Building.

How does a young woman, born in 1862 into privileged circumstances in Prince Edward Island, rise to the top echelons of Canadian military nursing leadership? This presentation discusses Georgina Pope’s path to power through the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th. Among other things, it addresses the significance her privileged and powerful lineage, the influence of her parents on her world view, and the inspiration of Florence Nightingale—who invoked in Pope a “burning desire” to become an “army nurse” in a faraway land. The story takes us from Georgie’s rather sheltered life in Victorian Prince Edward Island to the “Boston States”; to the dangerous and primitive conditions she experienced as superintendent of nurses in two South African Wars; to her work in the formation of the nursing component of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (PAMC); and to the battlefields of Europe during the First World War.

Katherine Dewar is the author of the award-winning book, Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War, 1914–1918. Katherine is retired from a career as a nursing instructor at the PEI School of Nursing and is now committed to researching PEI’s colourful nursing history. Those Splendid Girls was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, won Publication of the Year from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and the City of Summerside’s Heritage and Culture department. Katherine herself is the recipient of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Award of Honour for her outstanding contribution to Prince Edward Island Heritage.

Admission to the lecture is free. All are welcome.

Watch for another lecture about islands—near near and far—May 15. For more information, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.

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