Shirley Ridalls graduated from the Calgary General Hospital School of Nursing in 1954 and shortly after joined the Royal Canadian Medical Corps as a reserve nursing sister. Her job was to train medical assistants to provide care to wounded and sick soldiers. After a varied nursing career and 25 years of service to the army she retired at the rank of Captain.
Shirley was continually active in the Military Nursing Sister’s Association and the BC History of Nursing Society. She was always willing to attend nursing association meetings where she could promote the work of the Nursing Sister’s Association and distribute materials describing military nursing activities. Shirley represented the Nursing Sister’s Association at many Remembrance Day Ceremonies at Victory Square in Vancouver. She was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for her service to the Army and nursing sisters.
In her own words “I shall always be thankful and treasure my militia service, for the camaraderie, the life experiences it offered, and the lessons in life to be learned. I hope people understand our Armed Forces dedication and sacrifice then and now”.
As the 75th Anniversary of the end of WW II is recognized, let us remember some of the nurses who served. Biographies of these nurses are found on the BCHNS website (www.bcnursinghistory.ca) under the Archives section.
Barbara Anderson, Maxine Bredt, Christine Charter, Joan Doree, Florence Dougherty, Nancy Dunn, Katherine Ellis, Norma Fieldhouse, Thelma Hamilton, Margarette Handford, Anne Hopkins, Laura Holland, Ellen Keays, Dorothy Ladner, Nancy Lee, Margaret MacLean, Margaret Mainwaring, Joan Matheson, Ruth McIlwraith, Jessie Middleton, Helen Mussallem, June Newton, Marion Pennington, Edin Pringle, Shirley Ridalls, Olive Roblin, Edna Rossiter, Nina Rumen, Pauline Siddons, Hallie Sloan, Anna Swail, Helen Saunders, Ruth Saunders, Martha Anna Twiddy, Peggy Wolfenden.