Born in Guelph Ontario, John McCrae went on to study Medicine at the University of
Toronto, where I have been told by some members, he joined the Fraternity of Zeta Psi.
He then went on for a time to teach at McGill University in Montreal.
He was during this time an accomplished author, publishing several texts on Medicine, as
well as writing poetry.
He went on to serve in the army as a surgeon in both the Boer War and World War I, and the horrible suffering inflicted by war always disgusted him. The day after having to bury a close friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, McCrae sat down for about twenty minutes, and
wrote his most famous poem, In Flanders Fields.
It almost did not get published, McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and attempted
to throw it away. One of the other officers with him retrieved it, and submitted it to some
London newspapers on his behalf. It was originally published in Punch on the 8th of
December, 1915. In time it came to be recognized as one of the best poems on war. It is read at every Remembrance Day ceremony, at least here in Canada. Some of his other works of poetry include: Anarchy, The Anxious
Dead, and The Night Cometh.
He died in 1918 from pnemonia