File 76 - Betty Forbes's diary.

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Betty Forbes's diary.

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Physical description

1 photograph : b&w ; 7 x 6 cm
1 sleeve insignia : cotton embroidered on felt ; 6 x 6 cm

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Millicent Elizabeth "Betty" Forbes was born in Hespeler, Ontario on July 10, 1924 alongside her twin sister, Peg, to parents Millicent Lyall and George Alexander Forbes. Betty grew up at the Forbes family estate, Hillhead, in Hespeler and attended Bishop Strachan School in Toronto.

Betty later attended the School for Nurses at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for between 1943 and 1946. In 1946, Betty graduated as a Registered Nurse from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto with a scholarship in Child Psychology from the University of Toronto. Betty nursed in Vancouver before returning to Sick Kids to repay the scholarship. Betty was second in command of the country branch at Thistletown and then at K.W. Hospital.

Betty married William "Bill" Douglas Land on May 29, 1954. The couple had three children: Jennifer, Janet, and Thomas.

Betty passed away on June 30, 2013 at the age of 88 and was buried in New Hope Cemetery in Cambridge, Ontario.

Custodial history

Scope and content

A diary containing daily entries written by Betty Forbes in 1945 during her time as a student at the School for Nurses at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. Several entries describe Betty’s work at the hospital, student exams, patient care, and school dances. The diary includes press clippings, a convocation program, letters, telegrams, notes, pressed flowers, restaurant menus, business cards, event programs, and a photograph likely of Betty and an unknown individual. In addition, numerous entries describe events and activities related to the Second World War including an entry written on Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) on May 8, 1945, an entry written on Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) on August 15, 1945 as well as entries describing food rationing, and the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States (1933–45). Also includes one United States Army Anti-Aircraft Command sleeve insignia. The insignia is circular with an embroidered white background, blue border, and two red capital letter A's in the centre.

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Donated by Janet Land in 2019.


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  • English

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Described by SGL December 2020.
Revised by NM January 2021.

Language of description

  • English

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