World War II and the Beginning of Expansion
The forties and the fifties
CANADA DECLARED war on Germany on 10 September 1939. Almost immediately, Dean Rankin offered his services to the Department of National Defence and was promptly appointed director of hygiene for the military services of Canada, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Before he left for Ottawa, the university's Board of Governors granted him a leave of absence, gave him an assurance that his position as dean would be protected during his absence and that his pension payments would continue uninterrupted--and appointed John J. Ower as Acting Dean. 1
When a country goes to war, it has an immediate and pressing need for medical practitioners, and not just for the obvious reason of treatment of the wounded. All service personnel, in army, navy and air force units, wherever they were stationed, required medical care and treatment, enlistment and discharge procedures called for medical examinations, and numerous medical and advisory boards required the active participation of medical practitioners. In the first month of the war, the number who enlisted in Military District No. 13, with headquarters in Calgary, "taxed the capacity of medical boards." 2 The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps set up general hospitals in Great Britain and in Europe, and field hospitals and casualty ambulance units accompanied all land forces. By the end of November 1944, Canada had established ten general hospitals in Great Britain, with a total capacity of 7,000 beds, and another twelve in Europe.