The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre has a vast history commencing in 1905 when The Salvation Army rescue home became The Salvation Army Maternity Hospital on Esther Street.

A small memento from that history was recently shared with Marilyn Rook, our President & CEO, by family members about their grandmother who graduated from The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Hospital School of Nursing in 1913. Many nurses from our former School of Nursing went on to be dedicated nurses serving others here in Canada and overseas.Grace pin 1 cropped

Here is Winnifred’s story:

  • Winnifred Jessie Stagg was born on July 1, 1888.
  • She entered Harbord Collegiate in 1902.
  • Graduated from The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Hospital School of Nursing in 1913.
  • In 1915, Lt. Winnifred Stagg joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, and was stationed at the No. 4 General Hospital in Salonika, Greece. There she treated Serbian refugees fleeing the Germans and Bulgarians.  (See article from the University of Toronto archieves.)british red cross uniform
  • This is where Winnifred met her husband Dr. Gilbert Royce.
  • The Hospital in Greece operated from October 1915 for two (2) years, then Winnifred and Gilbert went to England where Gilbert worked at Bromley Convalescent Hospital until October 1918.
  • Winnifred went home to Canada for some of 1917 and returned to England in late spring 1918.
  • Winnifred (age 29) married Dr. Gilbert Royce (age 48) on May 25, 1918 in Bromley, Kent, England.
  • The Royce’s returned to Canada in the fall of 1918.WinnWedding 001
  • They had one (1) child Allan Henry born July 10, 1919 (father of Diane, Gordon and Carolyn).
  • Dr. Gilbert Royce died in 1939.
  • Winnifred Jessie Stagg Royce died in June 1974.

Thank you to Diane Royce and family for sharing their grandmother’s graduation pin from the Toronto Grace Hospital School of Nursing in 1913, and for the commemorative pictures from their grandparent’s significant service and place in Canadian history.

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