The Hospital Ship 'Llandovery Castle' was bound from Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Liverpool, when it was torpedoed on 27 June 1918, 114 miles south-west of the Fastnet Rock, by German submarine U-86. Despite regulation Red Cross lights, the ship was deliberately torpedoed and most survivors, including 14 Nursing Sisters were brutally machine gunned. The 'Llandovery Castle' became the rallying cry for the Canadian troops during the Last 100 Days Offensive of the First World War.
Nursing Sister Fortescue was killed when the 'Llandovery Castle', on which she was serving, was attacked and sunk.
Rank: Nursing Sister
Unit: Canadian Army Medical Corps
Division: "Llandovery Castle" (Hospital Ship)
Honours: Mentioned in Despatches (MiD), British Award/Decoration
A graduate nurse, she enlisted in the CEF on 22 April 1915 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Youngest daughter of the late Joseph Fortescue, Chief Factor, Hudsons Bay Company, and his wife, Sarah Jane (née Mason) Fortescue who was the daughter of the late Rev. Mason, D.D., of Northumberland [the couple married on 14 Sept 1864 in York Factory, Northwest Territories, Canada]; granddaughter of the late Matthew Fortescue, County Court Judge, of Totnes, Devon.
She attested that her next-of-kin was her sister, Miss Gertrude Edith FORTESCUE of St. Catherine's Street West in Montreal; Margaret was also the sister of Matthew, Annie Maude Mary, Caroline Elizabeth, Hugh, Frances Eleanor, Charles Le Geyt FORTESCUE, John Percival, Joseph Edward Barrington and George Godfrey.
Nursing Sister Margaret Jane Fortescue is commemorated on Page 409 of Canada's First World War Book of Remembrance.
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