Francis Scrimger’s Victoria Cross donated to the Canadian War MuseumOctober 17, 2005
Francis Scrimger’s Victoria Cross donated to the Canadian War Museum
October 17, 2005, Ottawa, Ontario – In a ceremony held today at the Canadian War Museum, medals belonging to the late Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Scrimger, who passed away in 1937, were donated to the Canadian War Museum by his descendants, the Fraser, Corbett-Thompson and Wootton families of Montreal.
Captain Scrimger was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on April 25, 1915. As a doctor with the 14th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Dr. Scrimger earned his award during the Battle of Second Ypres, the first time that chlorine gas was used in the history of warfare. Scrimger oversaw the evacuation of a first-aid post in the front lines, but stayed behind to complete treatment on a patient suffering from a head wound. Once the patient had been stabilized, Scrimger carried the unconscious man on his back through shellfire to an area of safety.
Scrimger is also purported to have convinced John McCrae to submit his poem, “In Flanders Field”, to the British magazine Punch.
“The human side of war forms the core of the visitor experience at the Canadian War Museum,” said Joe Geurts, Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum. “Francis Scrimger’s valour was expressed in the saving of lives, rather than the taking of them. He was a non-combatant who put himself in harm’s way, demonstrating that humanity is often at its best when facing the worst.”
The Scrimger V.C. medal set consists of the Victoria Cross, the British War Medal 1914–1920 and the Victory Medal 1914–1919. The Victoria Cross is the British Empire’s highest military honour, and has been awarded to 94 Canadians from the nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War. Since that time, Canada has had its own military awards, including a Canadian version of the Victoria Cross, established in 1993. The Canadian War Museum has 29 Victoria Crosses in its collection.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national military history museum. Since its May 2005 opening, some 365,000 visitors have visited Canada’s newest National Museum.
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