Soldier Spotlight: Olive Fell Watherston

Image: A view of the settlement at Halcourt, ca. 1928 (SPRA 032.08.08.0952)

Rank: Sister
Branch: Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service

Olive was born in Hinckley, England. As a young woman, she received training as a nurse and midwife. Early in World War I, she joined the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Olive served as a nursing sister at a Casualty Clearing Station in France; she was mentioned in dispatches several times in 1918. In 1921, she came to Canada and joined the Alberta Department of Health. She was appointed a district nurse at Halcourt. In 1924, the Department of Health formed the traveling Clinic; Olive accompanied the traveling clinic for eleven years. When World War II began, Olive was on holiday in England and offered her services as a nurse and midwife in London. She resumed her work as a district nurse when she returned to Alberta. In 1950, she retired and moved to Victoria. Olive died on November 29, 1969.

Sources: Where the Red Willow Grew p. 278; Beaverlodge to the Rockies p. 370; mentioned in “Prepared to Care: Nurses and Nursing in Alberta, 1859 to 1996,” available in the SPRA reference library

Note: Click Glenbow Archives link below and enter “Watherston” in “People” field to view photographs of Olive during her military and medical careers

Medal Card
Glenbow Archives (Search Olive Watherston)
Fonds 586, Series 1

The Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.