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John McClare

In Flanders Fields & Other Poems

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Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae, MD was born on November 30, 1872 in Guelph, Ontario. Apart from a stint in the Second Boer War in Southern Africa, in the artillery, his life was primarily one set in the medical field, where he was very gifted. But across the Atlantic Europe was drifting towards a ruinous confrontation and when Great Britain entered the war to end all wars, Canada, as one of its Dominions was also at war. McCrae was appointed as a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery and was in charge of a field hospital during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. When McCrae's friend and former student, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle it is believed this was the event for him to write one of the most famous of all war poems &quote;In Flanders Fields&quote;. On January 28th 1918 John McCrae died of pneumonia and was buried the following day in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission section of Wimereux Cemetery.
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