John McCrae, whose name was commemorated on the window at McGill University with this description "Pathologist, Poet, Solider, Physician, Man Among Men". He was born on November 30th, 1872, in Guelph and was buried at the Military center at Wimereux on January 28th, 1918. He died of pneumonia and cerebral meningitis in which were caused by years of hard work serving his country. He has had a great impact not only on Canada but also on the world. .
John's family emigrated from Scotland to Canada, in eagerness to start a new life. His parent, Colonel David McCrae and Janet Simpson, entered the business of timber mills, wool mills and, so on. They had two sons and a daughter: John, Thomas and Geills. He attended Guelph Collegiate Institute, which was a secondary school in Guelph. Upon obtaining high academic standards, he received a scholarship to University of Toronto to study biology. In 1892, he took time off and became the resident master at Ontario Agriculture College in Guelph. Eventually, he returned to University and graduating with an honors degree in biology. McCrae graduated from the University of Toronto with a medical degree in 1898. He was awarded a gold medal by maintaining outstanding academic performance. After graduation, he became an intern, training in physiology and pathology, at Toronto General Hospital. In 1899, he trained under the famous Sir William Osler at John Hopkins Hospital. By 1914, he became Canada's leading physician.
John McCrae was trained in the military even before he joined the South African war. John was a child who had respect for military values and he proved it by joining the Guelph Highlands Cadets and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant. In 1899, when hostilities broke out between the Boer and The British, McCrae joined the 16th battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. He was in charge of field artillery in South Africa. He was rewarded with a Queen's medal with 3 clasps, one for each engagement in which he took part in South Africa.