The Impact of Early Cold War Canadian Military Policy on one Family's Experience:

"I miss you more than words can tell"

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 

10:00 a.m. on ZOOM* 

* This is part of the History Interest Group's program. To join this group contact the convenor. If you are not a member of CFUW but would like to join us, email cfuwkanata.president@gmail.com  to request a link to our ZOOM meeting. We always welcome new members. 


Dr. Jayne Elliott 


Dr. Jayne Elliott, a retired nurse, was the former administrator of the Nursing History Research Unit at the University of Ottawa.

Like many historians of nursing, Jayne began her career as a practicing nurse. She graduated from the Atkinson School of Nursing at the Toronto Western Hospital and worked in hospitals in Toronto, Kingston, and Yellowknife. 

Her doctoral research investigated the history of the Red Cross outpost hospitals in Ontario.  She had worked at one such, as part of her nursing training.  Subsequent research interests focused on the history of rural hospitals and rural and remote nursing. Her work serves as an important addition to understanding the breadth and scope of women’s healing work as both separate from and part of their professional identities.

A surprising find of personal family letters led to her current exploration of Canadian military life in Germany during the early Cold War period.


 "I miss you more than words can tell."

 The Impact of Early Cold War Canadian Military Policy on one Family's Experience

 In the summer of 1954, Major Robert Elliott, a military surgeon, was posted to Germany to provide medical care to Canadian soldiers already stationed there.  It was eight more months before his wife, Catherine, and their children could join him. 

Major Elliot's letters, which Catherine saved, provide a window into the impact early Cold War Canadian military policy had at the personal level. But as historians have also pointed out, letters can also tell us much about a person’s identity: in this case, Robert Elliott’s identity as a military physician, husband and father.



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