They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


Agnes Wightman Wilkie


Nursing Sister, O-78010, RCN


Born: 05 Sep 1904, Oak Bluff, Manitoba


Died: 14 Oct 1942 at sea


Book of Remembrance


WILKIE, Agnes Wightman, NS, O-78010, RCN, killed - 14 Oct 1942, HMCS AVALON / SS CARIBOU - Daughter of John and Helen Wilkie, of Carman, Manitoba.


Nursing Sister Wilkie died when the SS CARIBOU, a ferry in which she was taking passage on to Newfoundland, was torpedoed and sunk.


Nursing Sister A. W. Wilkie was the only nursing sister of the three services to die as a result of enemy action during the war and was the assistant matron of R.C.N.H. (naval hospital) Avalon, N/S Agnes W. Wilkie, Carman, Manitoba. She was one of 137 passengers and crew members who were lost in October 1942 when the Newfoundland Ferry Ship Caribou, on which she was returning from leave, was torpedoed and sunk in the Cabot Strait. For more than two hours Miss Wilkie and her companion, Dietitian Margaret Brooke, clung to a raft, until the former lost consciousness in the chilling water. Finally, as the sea roughened, Miss Brooke could no longer hold on to her colleague, who slipped away from her benumbed grasp. The body of N/S Wilkie was recovered and interred with full naval honours in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. John's. Later her name was given to one of the nurses' residences in Halifax. For her heroic attempt to save the life of her comrade, Dietitian Brooke was awarded the MBE - the only naval nursing sister in the Second World War to receive this honour.


Ships served in:

HMCS CHIPPAWA - Enlisted 24 Feb 1942 as a Nursing Sister, RCN. Commenced Active Service 11 Mar 1942

HMCS STADACONA - Appointed to STADACONA 12 MAR 1942 as a NS, RCN

HMCS AVALON - Appointed to AVALON for duty in RCN Hospital, St. John's, Nfld, 17 Mar 1942 as a NS, RCN

SS CARIBOU - for passage to Newfoundland




(AW01) Portrait of Nursing Sister Agnes Wilkie

(AW02) Documents from the Service File of Agnes Wilkie


Article from the Winnipeg Evening Tribune



Second World War Casualty Index