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Henry Norman Bethune

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PERSONAL INFORMATION

Date of birth: 1890-03-04
Place of birth: Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
Next of kin: Rev. M. M. Bethune, 19 Harboard St., Toronto, Ontario
Marital status: single
Occupation (attested): Medical Student
Religion: Presbyterian

MILITARY INFORMATION

Regimental number: 33018
Rank detail
  1. , Medical Branch, Royal Air Force (Air Force). 1920-02-01 to 1920-10-23
  2. , H.M.S. Pegasus, Royal Naval Air Service (Royal Navy). 1917-08-01 to 1918-10-01
  3. Private, No. 2 Canadian Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps (Army). 1914-09-25 to 1915-11-03
Degree of service: Europe
Survived war: yes
Battle wounded/killed: 2nd Ypres

Images

Lieutenant Surgeon Bethune - 1917
Lieutenant Surgeon Bethune - 1917

RESEARCH INFORMATION

LAC ID: 42162
Attestation record(s): image 1, image 2
Service file: B0705-S014
Uploader's Notes: 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.
Uploader's Research notes: 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.

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION

Date added: 2005-03-09
Last modified: 2011-04-08