Letter from H. A. Bruce to William Osler [Transcript]
Bruce explains that he was commissioned by the Honourable Minister of Militia of Canada to make an inspection of all hospitals
and institutions to which the Canadian Government is contributing. He hopes to carry out an impartial enquiry into the organization
and administration of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Bruce did not take Osler's letter as an improper threat, but would
have had he not respected and admired Osler as he did.
[Description courtesy of McGill University.]
About this transcript: Soon after Osler's death in 1919, Lady Osler asked their good friend Dr. Harvey Cushing to write
a biography. For this project, Cushing gathered a wide variety of material, including a substantial amount of Osler correspondence
and other memorabilia borrowed from Osler's family, friends, and colleagues. He employed three secretaries to transcribe
these documents, and later donated the transcripts (along with his other working materials) to the Osler Library. Because
many of the original documents were returned to the owners, the Cushing transcripts constitute the largest and most accessible
collection of Osler's correspondence.
Harvey Cushing's "Life of Sir William Osler" was published by Oxford University Press in 1925, and was awarded
a Pulitzer Prize in 1926.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (714,382 Bytes)
1916-08-28 (August 28, 1916)
Bruce, H. A.
Transcriber: [Cushing, Harvey]
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Osler Library Archive Collections, P417: Harvey Cushing Fonds
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
Department of Militia and Defence, Canada
Cleveland House, St. James Sq., S.W.
H. A. Bruce to W.O.
28 August 1916.
My dear Sir William,
Thanks very much, but unfortunately am going to Shorncliffe tomorrow into France on Wednesday or Thursday.
From the tone of your communication you are evidently laboring under a misapprehension as to the work of the committee appointed
in connection with C.A.M.C. For your information I may state that I accepted a commission from The Honorable the Minister
of Militia of Canada to make an inspection of all Hospitals and Institutions to which the Canadian Government are contributing,
and to report on conditions found, together with any recommendations for improvement of the Service. In order that I should
be able to scare a certain amount of detailed information I asked the Minister to give me the help of the following to assist
in this work - Colonel Wallace Scott, Lieut. Colonel Wilson, Lieut. Colonel McKeown, Captain Hunter, and Colonel Reid. Colonel
Reid is the Director of Recruiting and Organization and he has in his Office a vast amount of information which I desire to
use. I have undertaken this work with the sole object of making an impartial inquiry into the Organization and Administration
of the C.A.M.C. and without animus towards anyone. After making a thorough investigation, assisted by this Committee, a report
will be made upon our findings together with recommendations.
If I had received a communication from anybody else but yourself, of this kind, Sir William, I would have looked upon it as
a threat and considered it improper under the circumstances, but having had for many years the greatest admiration and the
kindliest feeling and affection for you, I am quite sure you did not mean it at all in this way.
After my return from France, at the end of another ten days or so, I shall be delighted to run up someday and see you.