Nursing Sister Georgina Fane Pope (1862-1938)
Born in Charlottetown, Georgina Pope was the daughter of William Pope, a "Father of Confederation." A product of P.E.I. gentility, Georgina doubtless could have had a comfortable marriage and become an Island socialite. Instead, she attended the leading American school of nursing at Bellevue in New York. She remained in New York until October 1899, when she returned to Canada to seek a position as a nurse with the troops departing for South Africa.
Four nurses accompanied Canada's first contingent to South Africa and four more joined the second, all with the honorary rank of lieutenant. For five months after their arrival, the first group, with Georgina Pope as senior sister, served at British hospitals just north of Cape Town. Then, Nurse Pope and another sister proceeded north to Kroonstadt where, despite shortages in food and medical supplies, they took charge of the military hospital, successfully caring for 230 sufferers of enteric fever. In January 1902, Pope returned to South Africa a second time as senior sister in charge of a second group of eight Canadian nurses. Three other nurses among them were also returning for a second tour of duty. They served at a hospital in Natal until the end of the war in May.
In 1906, Nurse Pope began work as a member of the permanent Canadian Army Medical Corps at the Garrison Hospital in Halifax. Two years later, she attained the position of matron, the first in the history of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Nurse Pope went overseas in 1917, but was invalided back to Canada at the end of 1918.