Dr. John McCrae

Dr. John McCrae Dr. John McCrae (1872-1918). Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and a soldier in the Boer War, where he served in the Canadian Artillery. During World War I, he was a surgeon at the second battle of Ypres. He was the 1898 gold medalist in medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. McCrae then received further training at Toronto General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is best known by the public for his poem In Flanders Fields. The death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in the second battle of Ypres, prompted McCrae’s writing of the poem. Dr. McCrae died of pneumonia in 1918,  and is buried at the Commonwealth Cemetery near Wimereux, France.