August 24, 1919 - June 22, 1945
Vera Catherine MacDonald was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia to Neil Archibald MacDonald and Isabelle MacDonald. She had one brother, John, and two sisters, Doris and Mrs. J. D. MacPherson, all of Glace Bay. The family was Roman Catholic.
She attended St. Anne's School in Glace Bay, graduating in 1937. Prior to becoming a nurse, she was a cashier for T. Eaton Co. Ltd. in Glace Bay. She was a member of the Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia and was working at the Halifax Infirmary (Hospital), where she had trained, graduating in 1942, when she enlisted.
Upon her enlistment in Sydney, Nova Scotia on January 11, 1944, she stood 5'2" tall, weighed 126 pounds, had brown hair and hazel eyes. She had a scar on her upper lip.
She was initially posted to the Sydney Military Hospital with the RCAMC in January 1944, then went to Debert, Nova Scotia January 16, 1944 for a qualifying course, which she passed. She returned to Sydney Military Hospital then transfered to No. 6 District Depot on May 31, 1944. She was sent overseas on June 11, 1944 to England to be attached to Nos. 1, 2, and 4 Canadian General Hospitals. She had lived her entire life in Nova Scotia up to that point.
Lt. Vera Catherine MacDonald died as the result of a jeep accident on June 22, 1945 in England.
A Court of Inquiry was struck to investigate. The driver, H/Capt A. J. Barker, Roman Catholic Chaplain, No. 7 Cdn Repat Depot, was tried by General Court Martial on August 1, 1945, charged with negligently driving a military vehicle as to cause an accident resulting in the death of Lt. (NS) V.C. MacDonald. In his statement, he said, "I had with me in the vehicle Lt (NS) Vera McDonald (sic), Lt. (N/S) Dorothy Taylor, Lt. J. Fitzgerald of the US Army and Pte Beauchamp, the driver of the vehicle. At about 1 1/2 miles passed Farnham, I relieved the driver of the vehicle as I was very familiar with the road. After proceeding about a mile, at about 30 mph, the vehicle suddently swerved to the right. I tried to right it, but in doing so, swung too far to the left. I applied the brakes, but the vehicle struck the embankment and turned over. All the occupants were thrown clear. I lost consciousness for a few minutes. After regaining consciousness, I helped place the two nursing sisters in a station wagon, which happened to be passing and they were taken to Bramshott Military Hospital. As the overturned vehicle was not fit to drive, I waited for the ambulance and was taken, together with Lt. Fitzgerald and Pte Beauchamp to Bramshott Military Hospital."
It was decided that H/Major Barker was not qualified as a driver, but had considerable experience driving civilian and military vehicles in Canada, Italy, and England. He was convicted and sentenced to a severe reprimand and put under stoppage of pay in the sum of 11 Pounds, 15 shillings, being the amount of damage to the vehicle involved in the accident. He had been on a duty journey to visit a Major Lesage, an outpatient at 22 CGH, Bramshott, to make arrangements with him concerning the holding of services on the following Sunday. It was ascertained that Major Barker had two or three drinks prior to the accident, the Court of Inquiry felt there was ample evidence that he was sober. They felt he was responsible for losing control of the jeep resulting in the accidental death of Lt. Vera MacDonald.
In her list of belongings, MacDonald had clothes, toiletries, a swim suit, snapshots, money belt, notebooks, a writing case, religious medals and plaques, travel pamphlets, a menu from a ship, jewellery, and a variety of coins.
Lt. MacDonald is buried in Surrey, UK, at the Brookwood Military Cemetery,