It was on this day in 1918 that First World War Lt Col John McCrae, an army physician from Guelph, Ont., and commandant of No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) at Boulogne, dies of pneumonia after an illness of five days.
McCrae became best known worldwide as the author of the famous First World War poem, In Flanders Fields.
McCrae’s body is buried at Wimereaux Cemetery in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
On Oct, 27, 2008, the eve of Remembrance Day commemorations and the 90th anniversary of the Armistice, the Royal Canadian Mint, in association with the Royal Canadian Legion, issued its latest coloured circulation coin which features the iconic red poppy, Canada’s flower of remembrance.
In a release, the Mint stated: “Between 1914 and 1918 over 650,000 Canadian men and women fought to protect the peace and freedom our country enjoys today. Of those, more than 66,000 gave their lives and another 170,000 would be wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian medical officer during the First World War, was responsible more than any other for the adoption of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance in Canada and the Commonwealth. McCrae was also the author of the famous war memorial poem In Flanders Fields.”