Ida Mary Harcourt

I M Harcourt PN2014_05080
PAMA, William Perkins Bull fonds, series 8, file 970

Nursing Sister Ida Mary Harcourt was born on May 27, 1890 in Streetsville, Ontario, the daughter of Richard Barker Harcourt, a shoemaker, and his wife, Annie Hill. Richard, the son of Joseph and Hannah Harcourt was from Streetsville, as was his wife, Annie, the daughter of Thomas and Maria Hill. They were married in Streetsville on November 7, 1883. They had six children, Ida Mary being the fourth born. Both Richard and Annie are buried in Brampton Public Cemetery.
Ida, a graduate nurse, enlisted on June 27, 1917 in the Canadian Army Medical Corps at the Base Hospital, Toronto, Military District No. 2, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. She gave her mother, Annie Harcourt of Brampton, as her next of kin, her age as 27 and her religion as Church of England.  

Canadian Nurses
Canadian Nurses in Service Dress Uniforms
George Metcalf Archival Collection, Canadian War Museum

During the First World War, over 3,000 nurses served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and over 2500 of them went overseas. Ida left Canada for England on June 25, 1918 and was posted to No. 11 General Hospital in Bramshott and No. 16 General Hospital in Orpington. She returned to Canada on board the SS Megantic, on August 15, 1919. For her service, Ida was awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal, 2nd class.
On November 25, 1919, shortly after her return, Ida married Clarence Victor Charters. Clarence Charters, a printer by occupation, was the son of Samuel Charters, the publisher of the Brampton Conservator, and an Ontario politician. Samuel had represented Peel as a Conservative in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1908 to 1913 and as a Member of Parliament from 1917 to 1935. He also served as Mayor of Brampton in 1907 and again from 1911 to 1912.
Clarence Charters was responsible for publishing A History of Peel County: To Mark its Centenary as a Separate County, 1867-1967, under the authority of the Corporation of the County of Peel, 1967. 
Their son, Robert Burns Charters, born in 1923 in Brampton, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War as a bomber navigator and was shot down over France in 1944. He managed to escape capture by the enemy thanks to the help of members of the French Resistance who hid him for more than a month. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal as well as the French Croix de Guerre.
Ida Mary Charters died on September 30, 1983 and is buried with her husband, Clarence, in the Charters’ plot in Brampton Public Cemetery.

 

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