January 16, 1922 - May 11, 1943
Olive May Wallace was born in Woodrow, Saskatchewan, daughter of John Seymour Wallace and his wife, Amy Mabel Wallace, later of Kingston, Ontario. Olive had two older brothers, Lorne John Wallace (1917-2013), gunner in the Canadian Army, of Raymore, Saskatchewan, and Pte Ralph Thomas Wallace (1920-1910) in the Canadian Army, later of Regina. The family was Anglican. Olive and her parents resided in Saskatchewan for almost 20 years, moving to Ontario five months prior to when Olive enlisted with the CWAC.
Olive stood 5' 8 1/2", weighing 143 pounds, with a 1" scar on her scalp. She worked in her father's store in Saskatchewan, and in Kingston, she was a waitress, cook and kitchen helper, including at the British American Hotel in Kingston, where she and her parents were living at time of enlistment.
She was a storewoman in ordnance. She received her full Corporal stripes in Winnipeg where she took her Provost Course in September 1942. She was acting Sgt while in Ottawa and her mother believed Olive's salary was "in the neighbourhood of $50 every two weeks, inclding subsistence allowance."
In May 1942, Olive was admitted to hospital in Kingston for appendicitis. It would be three weeks before she was considered fit for duty. On June 5, 1942, she had a check up. "Skin: scaly patches varying in size are present on both knees and elbows, evidence of milk psoriasis." On July 20, 1942 until August 11, 1942, she was admitted to hospital once more, this time for chronic constipation. "Well until appendectomy on May 22, 1942....Personal and family history irrelevant. No previous abdominal trouble. Abdominal pain one hour post food, lasting two hours, aggravated by further food. Nausea and vomiting at times...bowels never constipated until after operation; requires nightly laxative (Milk of Magnesia); very uneffectual of late...Examination (general): tall, rather pale girl; thin, fair development in no apparent distress. Teeth good...appendectomy scar well healed. A little tender to manipulation." She had an x-ray on July 28th, but it was negative for lesion of stomach and duodenum. No evidence of obstruction." Upon discharge, her condition improved. She was to take mineral oil regularly.
On April 20, 1943, she was again in the hospital. "This girl's course in hospital was very hectic. Her initial history was difficult to obtain but apparently, she had a severe pain in her lower abdomen while on the street and was cared for in a private home, after fainting, by a local physician during which time she had an acute gastroenteritis. On discharge, she was admitted to hospital with a hacking cough and some fever. Her temperature rose rapidly. Her breathing was distressed and she complained of pain in her right lower chest and pain on the top of her right shoulder when she took a deep breath. Her x-ray on admission was normal, but three days later, showed evidence of early consolidation, patchy in nature, in her right base together with a rise in her blood count...repeated x-rays and examinations merely showed a continuing spread of pneumonia...a second course of diazine was tried without any effect."
Corporal Olive May Wallace died in Ottawa, at the Rideau Military Hospital on May 11, 1943 of primary atypical pneumonia, plus a toxic gastric ulcer with haemorrhage; an autopsy was conducted. There they found a small superficial abscess at the apex of her left upper lobe which was unexplained. Olive was buried, with full military honours, at the Beechwood Cemetery, in Ottawa.
Olive's CWAC-issued clothing and supplies were returned into QM Stores of No. 38 Coy, CWAC, Arglye Barracks, Ottawa. "There are no deficiencies." Her Barathea uniform with all badges and accessories were supplied for her burial. From her lodgings, her personal effects included clothing, a bag of ribbons, two writing cases, two cigarette cases, toiletries, photographs, religious books, two boxes of candy, one box of nuts, plus a glass bank.
Olive's medals were undeliverable in 1951. In 1983, one of her nephews, Mr. Terry J. Wallace, wrote to the Canadian Government about his aunt and her medals. The medals were sent to him in Edmonton.