The Story of John Mcrae

Essay by cormzHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

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The Story of John McCrae

John McCrae is the author of the famous poem, In Flanders Field, written during the First World War. John was born in 1872 and raised in Guelph, Ontario and is remembered as one of Guelph's most famous citizens.McCrae was more than a poet, and was in fact a doctor, soldier, author and artist. The biological grandparents of John McCrae, Thomas and Jean emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1849 and settled in Guelph. Their son David married Janet Eckford and they had three children, Thomas (1870), John (1872) and Geills (1878). John's early education was received in Guelph, first at Central Public School and then at Guelph Collegiate Institute. While at Guelph Collegiate, John joined the Highland Cadet Corps which was joined with the school.

One year later, at the age of 15, McCrae became a bugler in the local private army division of artillery commanded by his father.

He later joined this same division as a gunner.

At the age of 16, John was awarded a scholarship to the University of Toronto due to his academic achievement at Guelph Collegiate. McCrae attended classes at the University of Toronto until 1893, when he took a year off his studies due to frequent problems with asthma. During this break from university John was a master in English and Mathematics at the Ontario Agricultural College (O.A.C.) in Guelph. After returning to Toronto and completing his B.A., John commenced studies in medicine at the University of Toronto and did a medical residency at the Garrett Hospital, a Maryland children's convalescent home. He remained a member of the Guelph private army division and was promoted several times, finally making the rank of Lieutenant. At the same time he was also involved with a Toronto militia, the Queen's...