April 25th – ANZAC Day: a National Day of Remembrance in the land down under

April 25, 1915, marked the date that ANZAC Forces landed at Gallipoli during the First World War. The enemy Ottoman Empire planned to take the port between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. While the major fighting was going on in the trenches of France and Belgium, 16,000 of the Australian and New Zealand armies were called on to intervene to retain the Dardanelles and allow for the movement of goods for the allies through this important shipping lane.

The inexperienced ANZAC forces had 2,000 of their number killed or wounded on that “DAY” before withdrawing. They dug in and spent the next eight months in their entrenched position.

April 25th, in Australia and New Zealand, is a National Holiday of Remembrance. It is also remembered at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.

I am not aware of any men from our community being involved in this significant event BUT we had a Nursing Sister from Port Elgin arrive there in July and attend to those who were wounded and sick during and after that violent battle.

Her name was Elizabeth Nora Campbell. Following is her story as it is told on the Interpretive Plaque located outside as you enter our Municipal office.


Elizabeth Nora Campbell was born in Port Elgin on June 28, 1884 to Scottish and Irish parents. After graduation from school in Port Elgin, Nora, as she became known, enrolled in nursing training at the Toronto General Hospital where she graduated and worked until 1915. On April 7, 1915, 39 Nurses from Toronto General enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps.

             Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing – Sisters who volunteered and served in Gallipoli

Soon after, Nora arrived at #1 Canadian General Hospital in Étaples France. In July 1915 she left France for England and a few days later left for the Mediterranean. There was violent fighting in North Eastern Greece near Gallipoli, that involved the Australian and New Zealand forces of the British Expeditionary Force. The Canadian Army Medical Corps opened a hospital there as #4 Canadian General Hospital.

Nora served in Greece until December 1916. Unfortunately, she was stricken with contracted bacillary dysentery and became very ill. After five weeks her condition was not improving, and she was removed to Malta. On February 2, 1917 she was well enough to be returned to England.

After an extended period of rest, she was assigned to Lord Kitchener’s Hospital and the Canadian Military Hospital in Basingstoke England for the duration of the war and returned to Canada in July 1919.

On December 10. 1919, she married Dr. John McLeod who was born in Southampton and was in practice in Kincardine, when he enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1918. They both worked at the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto after their marriage.

Sadly, Nora passed away from pneumonia following surgery, in March 1932.

She is buried in the Port Elgin Cemetery in a large plot with many of her family.


May She Rest in Peace

Researched and written by G. William Streeter