Elsie G. Ross of the Canadian Army Medical Corps was the first Canadian woman to receive a funeral with full military honours when she died of pneumonia in 1916 at the age of 33.
For the past 10 years, the Perth-Huron chapter of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) has been laying a wreath at Ross' gravesite in Avondale Cemetary in special recognition of her contribution.
Ross was the first matron of the Military Hospital for Returned Soldiers in Toronto during WWI and was so well-respected by the patients she helped that she was given a military funeral procession down University Avenue in Toronto to Union Station, with a full ceremony once her body was returned to her hometown of Stratford.
This year, the ceremony was joined by Jeremy Ford's grade five class from Avon Public School, who learned about Ross in class and had lots of questions for the VON representatives about her life.
"(She) exemplified care, compassion, and commitment to the sick and wounded returning home from the ravages of WWI," said Shirley McCall Hanlon, retired community support manager for Perth-Huron VON.