Doctors Norman Bethune and John McCrae : Lest We Forget

mao rem

Kenny Warren, Lest We Forget

(ISN) – You can never knock the way these two shepherd docs tended

their military flocks. From Bangkok to Germany’s Rostok around

the clock they worked on the wounded with every ticktock and little blood stock.

Stormin’ Norman: Whether in storm or warm, Norm was on

the battlefield in uniform able to perform a swarm of (often 50)

operations a day. Norm invented the form for field hospitals.

It was a boon that Bethune could commune and be medic to a

whole Chinese platoon. But one afternoon, during a surgery in a

monsoon, Bethune wasn’t immune to an inopportune cut that soon

had Bethune himself in a dangerous swoon. However, this doc, the

rock, continued foolishly to tend his soldier flock. But too soon the

platoon could no longer commune with Bethune. He died at noon of

blood poisoning, and no bagpipes to play a funereal tune.


So in Changchow, Chairman Mao wrote an essay that would

endow Bethune’s memory and selfless spirit in the minds of Chinese

students forever. In fact Mao told teachers they must know how to

make students memorize his essay and bow to this vow. Even now

Chinese students learn and avow the Bethune essay written by Mao.

Remembrance Day   Poppy

McCrae’s Doomsday: Dr. John had gone to France where he

shone in World War One. He was Captain McCrae, disembarking

on the ship’s gangway. He knew he was confronting doomsday. In

Ypres, McCrae was in the fray, in harm’s way, every day. When the

Huns did slay his best friend Clay, McCrae, in dismay, saw where he

lay in Flanders and decided to pay his respects in this way: he wrote

his famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ in just twenty minutes sitting

in the back of an ambulance. It was a grey day with explosions every

which way around McCrae, but he wouldn’t betray honouring his

friend’s doomsday. While McCrae tried to portray the heroic way

of every soldier’s workday, and the horrible price many must pay,

he too got caught in the fray and to our dismay, McCrae died in a

different way than his bloody buddy, Clay. It was pneumonia that

took McCrae away. NO WAY! WAR IS NOT OKAY, EH?


(Ed. Note: ‘Clay’, the nickname for Lt. Alex Helmer, 22, for digging

trenches. He was, ironically, killed as he left his dugout.)

Hooray, Canadians, please play a tune for Bethune and a yea, yea,

for McCrae and Clay!