Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
|Nurses first women to be allowed to vote in Canada|
|Posted on: 4/9/2017 11:57:56 AM|
|Just wondering whether the nurses of other countries who tended to their troops in WW1 were members of the military?|
Or were nurses members of an auxiliary group but not soldiers?
I just discovered recently that the 2800 nurses who tended to the wounded of members of the Canadian Corps, were among the first women to be granted the vote in Canada.
Apparently all of the nurses in the Corps were commissioned officers and I want to know whether this was the norm in the other allied forces.
Now these women weren't fighting to gain the vote. Others at home were doing that.
It wasn't until 1919 that women were given the right to vote in federal elections. Some provinces had granted that right earlier than 1919
But these nurses as members of the military benefited from the Military Voters Act of 1917.
I want to believe that the government of the day, a Conservative one under PM Robert Borden, actually had the interests of women as the focal point of the legislation but that would be a lie.
Borden had spent 2 months in Britain just after the battle of Vimy Ridge and he had spent a good deal of time in the hospitals visiting Canadian soldiers.
He became convinced that conscription was necessary and he pushed through that legislation at the end of 1917.
It nearly ripped the country apart and PM Borden had to fight an election just after this.
So his government passed the Military Voters Act which granted the vote to serving soldiers. These people would be pro-conscription.
The Wartime Elections Act also gave the vote to the wives and sisters of soldiers.
Among those military voters were the nurses of the Canadian Corps.
So were the soldiers of your country permitted to vote and were your nurses part of the military?