This Remembrance Day, the Archives of Ontario is proud to launch a new online exhibit: “In Good Hands: L. Bruce Robertson, WWI Surgeon.” The exhibit features heartwarming letters Bruce received from his patients, expressing their gratitude to him for saving their lives. These letters from the Archives’ L. Bruce Robertson fonds (F 1374), along with photographs, publications, and artifacts, illustrate how Bruce’s new technique in blood transfusion transformed early twentieth-century surgical practices. Through firsthand accounts, viewers learn how his work at the No. 2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station had tremendous impact on the soldiers he treated as well as their families.
The exhibit also provides a glimpse into the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, England. When it opened in February 1916, it was considered one of the most advanced military hospitals in the world. Articles in the hospital’s monthly paper, The Ontario Stretcher, range from heart-rending to comical, and highlight the critical role played by doctors and nurses in treating the physical and emotional condition of those who fought on the WWI battlefields.
This exhibit provides an in-depth look at Bruce’s story, which you can also learn about by visiting the Archives’ WWI onsite exhibit or by borrowing our related travelling exhibit.