We Remember all our Military who serve and served

Lieutenant Commander Stephanie Buckingham

I joined the Naval Reserve in1970 during the October Crisis.  I served with HMCS Malahat, HMCS York and HMCS Carleton.  I retired from the Naval Reserve in 1997 moving to the Supplementary Ready Reserve.  My last position was Interim Commanding Officer HMCS Carleton in Ottawa, Ontario. We thank Stephanie for her past service in the military and also those who are serving our country today!

Stephany Grasset 1931 – 2022

Tribute to Stephany Grasset  1931 – 2022

Born in Bulgaria, Stephany studied philosophy and history at the Sorbonne in 1949.  She immigrated to the US, and from there to Canada in 1961.  She graduated with a BSc from Louisiana State University in 1953, and from UBC in Public Health Nursing in 1968.  Her many positions have included adolescent counselling, instructor in nursing, and district nurse for the VON.  She has also been a nurse practitioner and Public Health nurse.  She regards her internship in the Palliative Care Hospice at Victoria General Hospital in Montreal as a highlight in her career.

In the latter part of her career, especially, she was involved in work, research and teaching in the psychiatric field, especially at UBC and BCIT.  From 1977-1985 she instructed in the Psychiatric Nursing program at BCIT, during which time she also lectured in UBC’s SON and other institutions.  In 1985-1986 she consulted in Psychiatric and Geriatric Nursing for the WHO in Barbados.  From 1989 she instructed in Acute Psychiatric Nursing in BCIT’s RN diploma program.  She was President of RNABC in 1980-1981.

Stephany passed away peacefully on March 17 and is survived by her children Antoinette and Stephen and grandson Rylan.  She’ll be remembered for being well read and outspoken.   She also had a unique ability to meet and surround herself with a diverse circle of good friends. Her amazing hospitality and the wonderful foods she lovingly prepared will be very fondly remembered and missed by all.

We are grateful to Stephen Grasset for notifying us of his mother’s passing, for this photo and message.

Tribute to Nina Rumen 1927 – 2022

Tribute to NINA RUMEN  1927 – 2022

Nina Rumen, a founding member of the BC History of Nursing Society has passed at age of 95 years, following many years in a Care Facility.

Nina was born in 1927 in what was then Poland, now Belarus.  At age 2 she “brought her mother to Canada” to join her father, who had immigrated earlier to the Fernie/Cranbrook area of BC.   She graduated from St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in Vancouver in 1949 and joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1951.  She was sent to Churchill, Manitoba [1952-54], then to Iserlohn, Germany with the British Army of the Rhine, then to Lahr, Germany.  She served with NATO from 1970-72. 

Nina completed her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Toronto.  Following retirement from the Services, she moved to Vancouver working on short term contracts with various agencies.Continue reading

Museum Week

Photo credit BCHNS

A few members of the BC Nursing History Society celebrated Museum Week on May 17th  with a private tour of the Seaforth Museum, directed personally by Archivist,  Adrian French, who has been a friend to the BCHNS for several years.  The Military Medical Museum is an official Canadian Forces Museum in the Seaforth Armoury, Vancouver, BC.

More New Books

On 27 June 1918, the Llandovery Castle, a Canadian hospital ship returning to England, was sunk by a German U-boat in contravention of international law. Two hundred and thirty-four crew members died, including fourteen nursing sisters. It was the most significant Canadian naval disaster of the First World War.

Anna Stamers, a thirty-year-old nursing sister from Saint John, was on the ship. Now, her story will finally be told. In this well-researched volume, ASLEEP IN THE DEEP author Dianne Kelly explores Stamers’s childhood and nursing education in Saint John; her decision to enlist and her transition to military nursing; her service during the war in field hospitals in both England and France; and her final posting aboard HMHS Llandovery Castle. This vivid reconstruction of Stamers’s life is both an illuminating biography of a young woman’s experience of war and an important examination of the role nursing sisters played during the Great War.

Asleep in the Deep is volume 28 of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series. Published in 2021 by Goose Lane Editions with the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society.


A Canadian Nurse in the Great War is a fascinating collection of letters from a Maritime nurse who served overseas during the First World War. More than two thousand Canadian women served as army nurses overseas during the First World War. Reading a diary written by one of these women is a unique privilege.

The book grants a peek, through the diary of Ruth Loggie, into a little-known moment of our history. It also offers a glimpse into forbidden territory-women at war. Loggie’s diary provides a daily commentary on life as she experienced it and as the events of the Great War unfolded. How did she cope? What were her thoughts as she lived through what she knew were world-altering events?

Edited by author Ross Hebb and published in 2021 this is a special document.





Remembering Nurses Who Served covers the lives of two hundred graduates of the Victoria General Hospital School of Nursing and describes their lives before, during and after serving in WW1, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. Four nurses made the supreme sacrifice in WW1 and one nurse in WW2. The ships they were transported or served in, their hospital units, and the battles and conflicts in which they were connected are also described in detail. At the beginning of the book, the evolution of the VG Hospital, the Nursing School, the VG Alumni, and the VG Archives are described, as well as why these four conflicts occurred.

Written by author Gloria Stephens and published by MacKenzie Publishing in 2020, the book is 8.5 x 11 and contains numerous photos, including nurses and their graduation pictures, in its 276 pages. The book is dedicated to all nurses who served in wars and those still serving.




In the Company of Sisters celebrates the “sisters”-military and civilian- who ventured overseas during the First World War and their courageous march along the path towards equality and self-determination.

When Canada entered the First World War in August 1914, it embarked on a major war effort at home and abroad. The nation’s women worked tirelessly to help and support the troops fighting overseas, and among them were many who chose to “do their bit” overseas by serving and volunteering in areas of the war zone from Britain and the European mainland to the Middle East and Russia. Spearheaded by the nurses who were sent to various theaters of war, plenty of other determined souls channeled their energy into a wide range of much-needed work and, in so doing, broke new ground. These remarkable women played an important part in a multitude of ways. What they experienced had a marked impact on their own lives, and in some cases acted as a catalyst for what they went on to accomplish in later life.

Written by esteemed author Dianne Graves and published in 2021 by Robin Brass Studio this book is dedicated to the women of Canada who were part of the war effort at home and overseas during the years 1914-1919.