M2002.1.1 | David and Janet McCrae, about 1918

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David and Janet McCrae, about 1918
About 1918, 20th century
15.5 x 10.2 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Guelph Museums
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Keys to History

It must have been difficult when John (affectionately known as Jack) McCrae's twice-weekly letters to his mother Janet ceased. Her son-in-law James Kilgour wrote that it was "hard to conceive of a more complete intimacy and comradeship and two-sided devotion than existed between Jack & his mother".

His parents coped stoically with their grief, supported by their strong faith and the pride they could take in the memorials commemorating their son.

Janet died in 1920 after a sudden short illness. She was never to wear the Memorial Cross or Silver Cross awarded to mothers and widows of Canadian soldiers who died during W.W.I. His father, David, died in 1930.

  • What

    Having survived their son's death, the McCrae's are seen in this photograph near the end of their lives.

  • Where

    David and Janet McCrae posed in front of the porch of their home on Paisley Street in Guelph, Ontario.

  • When

    The photo was taken between 1911 (when they moved to Paisley Street) and Janet McCrae's death in 1920.

  • Who

    John McCrae was also survived by his brother Tom and his sister Geills. After their marriage in 1905, Geills McCrae and James Kilgour (a barrister and friend of the McCrae family) moved to Brandon, Manitoba. The couple had four children, Margaret, Katherine, David and Jack. Thomas McCrae married William Osler's niece Amy Gwyn in 1908 in Dundas Ontario. A successful physician, Tom McCrae held positions at Johns Hopkins Hospital and as Professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College, and was physician to the Jefferson & Pennsylvania Hospitals in Philadelphia. He also co-authored and edited the many editions of Osler's medical textbook Principles and Practice of Medicine.