Lights Out! is a unique memoir chronicling the service of a Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sister in the Great War.
It is the charming, yet powerful story of Kate Wilson, a farm girl from rural Ontario, who enlists at Ottawa in 1915, and serves in hospitals in England, France, and with the CAMC in the Aegean.It is one of only two Canadian Nursing Sister memoirs and it covers, in beautiful detail, a forgotten episode of the war; the story of the Canadian hospitals being sent to the island of Lemnos, in the Aegean. They were to provide additional medical services in support of the last major offensive of the Gallipoli Campaign in August 1915.
However historically significant Kate Wilson’s memoir is, it is the exceptional character of the author that shines through and brings this story to life. Mrs. Wilson-Simmie (she married Captain Robert Simmie, MC, in 1917) is a women of great determination, strength, and charm, with a brilliant sense of humour. In many ways she was a wide-eyed tourist exploring exotic places like London, Paris, Cairo and the Pyramids. Kate saw places she never dreamed she would. But beyond the sight-seeing was the deadly backdrop of war. Her postings included several front-line hospitals and a Casualty Clearing Station, a few miles from the fighting. She handled her responsibilities with great courage and a sense of devotion to the wounded “boys”. In addition, due to the kindness of Kate’s eldest daughter, Helen Godden, the book contains many dozens of original photographs from her personal album.Kate Wilson-Simmie died at Wiarton, Ontario in 1984 .
The Memoirs of Nursing Sister Kate Wilson
Canadian Army Medical Corps
1915 – 1917