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The Story of John McCrae John McCrae is the author of the famous poem In Flanders Field written during the First World War John was born in 1872 and raised in Guelph Ontario and is remembered as one of Guelphs most famous citizensMcCrae was more than a poet and was in fact a doctor soldier author and artist The biological grandparents of John McCrae Thomas and Jean emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1849 and settled in Guelph Their son David married Janet Eckford and they had three children Thomas 1870 John 1872 and Geills 1878 Johns early education was received in Guelph first at Central Public School and then at Guelph Collegiate Institute While at Guelph Collegiate John joined the Highland Cadet Corps which was joined with the school One year later at the age of 15 McCrae became a bugler in the local private army division of artillery commanded by his father He later joined this same division as a gunner At the age of 16 John was awarded a scholarship to the University of Toronto due to his academic achievement at Guelph Collegiate McCrae attended classes at the University of Toronto until 1893 when he took a year off his studies due to frequent problems with asthma During this break from university John was a master in English and Mathematics at the Ontario Agricultural College OAC in Guelph After returning to Toronto and completing his BA John commenced studies in medicine at the University of Toronto and did a medical residency at the Garrett Hospital a Maryland childrens convalescent home He remained a member of the Guelph private army division and was promoted several times finally making the rank of Lieutenant At the same time he was also involved with a Toronto militia the Queens Own Rifles in which he rose to the rank of Captain and commanded the company It was also while John was still at
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