Content by: Alan K. McRae
My mother Iris Olive McRae always had a fascination for Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae as her father who fought in the Canadian Army had lost an arm in the First World War. Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae also served in
Belgium and France. She had an admiration and appreciation for the Army medical men and nurses and had a scrapbook with various newspaper cuttings relating to Army Physician John McCrae. Unfortunately my mum passed away before the “McCrae” note was issued. John McCrae was born in Guelph in Ontario in Canada on 30th November, 1872, and became a doctor before the outbreak of the Boer and First World Wars.
The Bank of Canada note (right) featuring John McCrae’s poem “In Flander’s Fields” was the first in the new series of bank notes for use in Canada with the words appearing on the reverse of the note. The words include – “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow; Between the crosses, row on row; That mark our place, and in the sky; The larks, still bravely singing, fly; Scarce heard amid the guns below.” It is probably one of the most recognised First World War poems.
The purple coloured ten dollar note was issued on 17th January, 2001, and was part of the series known as “Canadian Journey”. The reverse deign incorporates not only the poem but also a returned serviceman and maybe his two grandchildren standing beside him, memorial arch and other service personnel as well as white doves, a wreath of poppies along with a banner with “Lest We Forget” - all symbols of remembrance and peace.