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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Name: Adruenna (Addie) Allen Tupper Rank: Nursing Sister Unit: Canadian Army Medical Corps Division: No. 2 Canadian General Hospital Honours and Awards: Royal Red Cross, Class 2 (June 3, 1916) Date of Birth: October 13, 1870 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: September 25, 1914 Place of Enlistment: Quebec City, Quebec Age at Enlistment: 43 Height: 5 Feet 4 Inches Profession: Trained Nurse Marital Status: Widow Religion: Baptist Next of Kin: (Mother) Mrs. Mary E. Trefry, Bridgewater, N.S. Date of Death: December 9, 1916 Age at Death: 56 Cemetery: Uxbridge (Hillingdon) Cemetery, Middlesex, United Kingdom Grave Reference: Plot: UC. 8. Commemorated on Page 175 of the First World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 20 Memorial Stone in Brookside Cemetery, Bridgewater, NS Commemorated on the Yarmouth Monument Addie Tupper was the daughter of Mrs. Mary E. Trefry, of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. For a time, as a younger woman, she lived in Beaver River, Yarmouth County. At the time of her enlistment at Quebec City, she was the widow of William Stanley Tupper. William died July 9, 1899. In 1914, Addie Tupper was 54 years old. She was 5’ 4” tall, with dark brown hair, and brown eyes. When she enlisted she gave her birth date as 1870, not 1860. If she had given her true age she may have been rejected for service. She sailed with the First Contingent from Valcartier and arrived in England on October 16, 1914. She was placed on observation duty in military hospitals. Her first Canadian military duty was at Salisbury. She was sent to France April 6, 1915 and served at No. 2 Canadian General Hospital where she had charge of 60 beds. She remained there until May 30 when the strain of heavy work caused her health to fail and she was invalided to England. She remained in the Convalescent Home for Nursing Sisters. Her next duty was at Clivedon and Shorncliffe. She was then sent with other nurses in charge of 800 Canadian wounded soldiers to Canada for convalescence arriving in Halifax November 15, 1915. She returned to Bridgewater and remained there until December 2. During her time at home she visited various places in western Nova Scotia and gave talks and lectures on the hardships undergone at the front. Large sum of money was raised for soldierly comforts. Returning to England in December she registered for duty at Ramsgate in the special Canadian Hospital; however, desiring to be near the front she was sent back to France in February 1916. In February 1916 she received word she had been awarded the Royal Red Cross decoration, granted only to those in charge of the sick and wounded. The medal was presented to her December 2, 1916 by the King at Buckingham Palace, seven days prior to her death. Nursing Sister Tupper served in France until November 1, 1916 when she was sent back to England for winter duty at the Canadian Hospital at Uxbridge. Shortly after the presentation of her medal she contracted a cold that developed into pneumonia. She died on December 9, 1916 and was buried on December 12 with full military honours. The following is the last letter written to her mother, received ten days following her death.
Adruenna (Addie) Allen Tupper
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I got a letter from you yesterday sent back from France. One thing in it was heart breaking to me, but I’m still hoping things were not as you feared they would be. You wrote that the young Corkum boy was returning to Bridgewater from war; that the day was so rainy you feared he would have not but a few at the station to meet him. God grant your next letter will tell me he had a splendid reception. Any man, woman or child whose health permitted should welcome these boys home. If not, I fear the home people have little realization of what these boys go through. Day after day in trenches of mud and water, cold and weary. seeing their companions, often their friends - killed, blown in pieces beside them, expecting the next shell will be their death, perhaps seeing comrades buried by shell bursts or being buried themselves. Or, worse yet, seeing such shell-shock that makes the boys blind, deaf, speechless or, often, insane. I cannot understand the condition of weather that would keep people from crawling, if necessary, to give the boys a “welcome home.”
© IWM (WWC H22-4