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John McCrae Secondary School

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Municipality/Province: Ottawa (Nepean), ON

Memorial Number: 35050-129

Type: Building; school

Address: 103 Malvern Drive

GPS Coordinates: Lat: 45.27962   Long: -75.762413

Contributor: Richard Turcotte

The John McCrae Secondary School was named in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, best known for composing the poem “In Flanders Fields”.

Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae (1872-1918) was born in Guelph where he became a member of the Guelph militia regiment. McCrae studied at the University of Toronto and joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. In 1893, he trained as an artilleryman at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He returned to university, completed his B.A. and went on to study medicine.

McCrae served in the artillery during the Second Boer War and upon his returned taught at the University of Vermont and McGill University. Joining at the very start of the First World War, McCrae worked as a field surgeon and was in charge of a field hospital during the Second Battle of Ypres when McCrae’s friend Lt Alexis Helmer was killed in battle. His burial inspired the poem “In Flanders Fields” which was written on 3 May, 1915 and published later that year.

In June 1915, McCrae was made responsible for No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) at Dannes-Cammiers near Boulogne-sur-Mer. On 28 January 1918, while still in command, McCrae died of pneumonia. He was buried in the Wimereux Cemetery with full military honours and in the presence of General Sir Arthur Currie.

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John McCrae Secondary School

Officially opened October 7, 1999

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board 


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