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212   DAYS OF PREPARATION

in the combatant ranks found his "First Aid" training of priceless value, while orderlies and stretcher-bearers found in war an opportunity of demonstrating the value of a policy of "preparedness." Through the Brigade, forty-seven male and two female orderlies enlisted in the service of the Royal Army Medical Corps; two hundred and fifty trained assistants (V.A.D.) were placed at the disposal of the Joint War Committee in Great Britain, while eighty-eight trained nurses were selected, equipped, and mobilized for service overseas. In the Nursing Divisions throughout the country, hundreds of young women eagerly awaited the summons to work overseas, undeterred by the dangers of the ocean and the hard-ships of voluntary auxiliary work in the hospitals.

The splendidly equipped hospital of the Order of St. John at Etaples absorbed the services of many of the Canadian volunteers, and boasted a Canadian ward—equipped by a grant from the Canadian Red Cross Society. This hospital was destroyed by bombs in 1918.

The Canadian War Contingent Association was organized in the first month of the war at the request of the British War Office to care for the welfare of Canadians in the combatant forces overseas, under the leadership of the High Commissioner for Canada.

Before the arrival of the First Contingent., the Association, with the approval of the British Government, undertook the equipment and management of the Queen's Canadian Military Hospital in the residence lent by Sir Arthur Markham at Beachborough Park, Shorncliffe. The hospital, under the direction of well-known Canadian surgeons and physicians, obtained widespread support from Canadians on both sides of the Atlantic and more especially from the Order of Freemasons.

As the Canadian forces reached the camps and trenches overseas, the work of the Association in collecting and distributing comforts developed rapidly, and a very completely organized system was established by which


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