Fonds MCC16 - Mabel Eliza Lewin

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Mabel Eliza Lewin

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • 1915-1919, 1937-1951 (Creation)
    Lewin, Mabel Eliza

Physical description

30 cm of textual records
ca. 57 photographs
ca. 125 postcards

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Biographical history

Mabel Eliza Lewin was born in Benton, New Brunswick, in 1876, the daughter of Charles and Mary Lewin. Mabel Lewin was a 1915 graduate of Newton Hospital, Newton, Massachusetts. After her training, she worked as a private duty nurse in Massachusetts and Maine. During World War I, Mabel Lewin joined the Harvard Unit, a group of plastic surgeons from major American universities. In early 1915, British Ambassador Robert Bacon had convinced the universities of Harvard, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins to sponsor the first Harvard Unit which consisted of thirty-five physicians and surgeons, three dentists, and seventy-five nurses. This unit became the British Army's first maxillofacial (face-jaw) treatment centre in France.

She later enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Lieutenant Nursing Sister. Lewin made twenty-two crossings of the Atlantic Ocean on transport duty, bringing the wounded home to North America. Her war record includes service in France with the 22nd General Hospital. Lewin also cared for individuals wounded in the Halifax explosion in 1917. Lewin received a commendation from the president of Harvard College for her participation in the war and was the recipient of a war service badge of the Canadian Expeditionary C.A.M.C. Force. After the war, Lewin returned to private duty nursing and was later a resident nurse at the student union, "The Fenway," in Boston, Mass. In 1970, Mabel Lewin died in Saint John, New Brunswick.

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Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This fonds documents Mabel Lewin's service as a nurse during the First World War. The fonds contains correspondence between Lewin and wounded WWI soldiers who were in her care, postcards of locations she served and of places where the soldiers she corresponded with served in Europe, and snapshots taken of nurses and officers whom Lewin met and served with. There are also magazines and newspapers dated 1937-1951.

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  • English

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