In Flanders Fields: John McCrae as Physician, Poet, Soldier.
John McCrae (1872-1918) was a Canadian physician, poet, and soldier who fought and died in the First World War. He penned perhaps his most memorable and lasting poem, "In Flanders Fields," shortly after the death of a comrade at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. The poem gained almost instant popularity, being used for recruiting efforts and victory bond sales throughout the remainder of the war, and solidified forever the symbol of the poppy as a memorial token for the service members who had perished. His death towards the end of the war, like that of so many others in the perilous years between 1914 and 1918, cut short the trajectory of what had already amounted to a brilliant career. As a close friend of such titans of medicine as William Osler and Harvey Cushing, as well as acquainted with the likes of Rudyard Kipling, it is not difficult to imagine the impact that his passing had upon the future of medicine and literature.
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