Canvas of War [ Home ]Masterpieces from the Canadian War Museum
No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Doullens
Painted in 1918 by Gerald Moira (1867–1959)

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Housed in a converted citadel near Amiens, the hospital was bombarded by German forces in May 1918.

Was the First World War a Christian war?

Many Canadians saw the First World War as a Christian battle fought under the banner of Christ. Gerald Moira’s three-panel painting of a Canadian hospital in France thematically links Christian ideology to the role of nursing sisters in the conflict.

Nursing sisters wear white veils and blue dresses, clothing traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, in whose name the war was being fought. More specifically, above the nursing sister carrying bandages is a sculpture of Mary cradling Christ. Just as Mary was critical to the life of Christ, nurses are shown as being critical to the lives of soldiers.

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