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Fonds F1279 - Theodora McKay fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Theodora McKay fonds


  • 1906-1945, predominant 1912-1919 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

25 cm of textual records. -- 48 photographs

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Ethel Theodora Paynter, 1885-1981, grew up near Beulah, Manitoba, and trained as a nurse at the Manitoba Medical College, graduating in about 1912. She worked at the Winnipeg General Hospital, and then served as a nursing sister with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in the First World War. She went overseas around 1916 where she nursed the wounded William A. McKay, 1892-1957, whom she married in 1920. By 1918 she was attached to the 4th Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in France and the following year was stationed at the 11th Canadian General Hospital at Shornecliffe, England. In the fall of 1919 she worked at the No.10 Manitoba Military Hospital in Winnipeg. She and William had three children, Ken, Jean (Lowe) and Verna (Arnold). She and William lived on a farm near Cessford, Alberta, and she continued nursing. She remained on the farm until 1973 and then moved to Calgary to live with Verna.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Verna T. Arnold, 1982.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Theodora's First World War records, including letters from soldiers in the trenches (especially Ralph Burman and Howard Green); a plan of the No. 4 CCCS; a map of the Mons area used on the last day of the war; dance cards and greeting cards from various military units; souvenir postcards and travel guides from France, Belgium and Italy; an invitation to Buckingham Palace to receive her Royal Red Cross decoration; and photographs of nurses and patients. The fonds also consists of miscellaneous records of her life before and after the war, including wedding invitations, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, etc.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

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Title based on contents of records.

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