16 February 2023

The Day Elizabeth Joined the Army


Elizabeth Agnes Lyons from Lennoxville QC did nurses training at McGill in Montreal, then moved to Lancaster New Hampshire where her Aunt lived. In the 1900 census she was boarding a couple of blocks away as a servant for Dr William Leith, his wife Minnie and their son Eaton. Perhaps it was his influence as a surgeon that persuaded her to further her education, for on 16 Jan 1905 Elizabeth started taking surgical nurse training at Boston City Hospital and was paid $84/ year.  

Elizabeth was appointed as Head Nurse on 29 Nov 1907 and her pay was now $420/ year.

She was working there as a surgical nurse when WWI broke out and in 1916 Base Hospital No 7 was organized at Boston City. Elizabeth enlisted. 

On 9 Jul 1918 the Nurse Corps becomes Army Nurse Corps and pay is increased to $60/ month

After training a few months at Camp Devens MA the first half of 1918, Elizabeth shipped out with her unit aboard the Anchises 21 July 1918, with orders to go to  France. 

Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service Passenger Lists, 1910-1939

Base Hospital No 7 was set up at Joué-lès-Tours France, and Surgical Nurse Elizabeth Lyons arrived in time for the first convoy of sick and wounded to arrive on Aug 18th. 

Elizabeth sailed from Brest, France on 13 Apr 1919 to land in Hoboken, NJ and mustered out on 28 May 1919 when she went back to her Aunt’s in Lancaster NH. 

A month after returning home Elizabeth married Dr William Leith, whose wife had died in 1914. 

After William died at home in 1934, Elizabeth took a position as School Nurse at the Friends Academy Boarding School in Glen Cove, NY. She was there from 1947 to 1954. When she retired Elizabeth moved to Whitman, MA to be near her sister. 

In her 80s Elizabeth was living in Brunswick, ME where she died in 1972.

She was buried beside her husband in the Summer Street Cemetery, Lancaster, NH

Note, see Mavor: Elizabeth Agnes Lyons is one of the five children of Edward Lyons and Agnes Mavor. Agnes died when the children were 3-9 years of age. At that time the children went to live with their Mavor grandparents. Later some went to live with Agnes’ sister Margaret, after she married Curtis Shepherd and they settled in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

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