CEF Soldier Detail

Henry Norman Bethune

Regimental Number:
33018
Survived War:
Yes
Force:
Air Force
Regiment:
Royal Air Force
Battalion:
Medical Branch
Company:
Place of Birth:
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Country:
Canada
Next of Kin:
Rev. M. M. Bethune, 19 Harboard St., Toronto, Ontario
Address at Enlistment:
Date of Birth:
March 4, 1890
Trade or Calling:
Medical Student
Marital Status:
Single
Prior Military Experience:
Yes
Place of Enlistment:
Valcartier, Quebec
Date of Enlistment:
September 25, 1914
Age at enlistment:
24
Height:
5 Feet 10 Inches
Chest:
38 1/2 Inches
Expansion:
4 Inches
Religion:
Presbyterian
Enlisted or Conscripted:
Enlisted
Saw service in:
Europe    
Cause of Death:
Survived
Battle Died/Wounded:
2nd Ypres
Date of Death:
Age at Death:
Buried at:
Plot:
Commemorated:
 
Prisoner of war:
No
Interned:
Gender:
Male
Ethnic Origin:
Caucasian
LAC Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 705-14
Rank Regiment Unit Company
Royal Air Force Medical Branch
Royal Naval Air Service HMS Pegasus
Private Canadian Army Medical Corps No. 2 Field Ambulance
Images
Lieutenant Surgeon Bethune - 1917
Known widely as an innovative thoracic surgeon, a vigorous advocate of democratic medical services, and an international humanitarian, Norman Bethune is revered in China as a hero in the successful struggle for the establishment of its first united republic in 5,000 years. Mao Zedong, who received Bethune after his arrival in China early in 1939, wrote with great appreciation of Bethune’s spirit of absolute selflessness as proven dramatically in his tragic death on the battlefront in northwestern China from blood poisoning on November 12, 1939. His spirit and Mao’s tribute to his life and work became primary sources of inspiration in the new China. When Canada entered the First World War in August 1914, he enlisted immediately as a stretcher bearer. Badly wounded by shrapnel at Ypres (29/05/1915), he spent six months in hospitals, first in France and then in England, before being invalided home. On completing his university studies and qualifying for his medical degree, he re-enlisted and served as a surgeon in the British navy. During the last six months of the First World War, he was a medical officer with Canadian airmen in France.