On This Day

John McCrae

World War I Soldier, Physician  & Poet John McCrae

Profession: World War I Soldier, Physician & Poet


Biography: Military physician and surgeon, John McCrae served in the Boer War in South Africa, and later, in Belgium during World War I. He is best remembered for his famous war memorial poem "In Flanders Fields", written after the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem popularized the use of poppies to commemorate those killed in the war.

McCrae died of pneumonia while assigned to Canadian General Hospital in Boulange, France.

Born: November 30, 1872
Birthplace: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Died: January 28, 1918 (aged 45)
Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Historical Events

  • 1915-05-03 John McCrae writes the poem "In Flanders Fields"
  • 1915-12-08 John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" appears anonymously in "Punch" magazine

Biographies and Sources