Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Frederick William Elias Burnham (1870-1955)


Born at Peterborough, Ontario on 7 June 1870, son of Frederick Ernest Burnham and Ellen Elizabeth Cluxton (c1845-1925), he graduated from the Manitoba Medical College in 1894. On 2 January 1900, he married Anna Bartle (?-?) of Chippawa, Ontario. They had no children. He practiced at Morden and Winnipeg then, during the First World War, he became known as the “hero of Montenegro” for his medical work in the Balkan states of Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania. He later organized the Canadian White Cross to aid displaced people. He died on 19 February 1955 when the sanatorium at the Halcyon Hot Springs near Castlegar, British Columbia, which he and his wife had directed, burned to the ground.

See also:

‘One of our own’: Ethnicity Politics and the Medicalization of Childbirth in Manitoba by Hans Werner and Jenifer Waito
Manitoba History, Number 58, June 2008


Marriage registration,

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“City man to share big estate,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 December 1959, page 12.

“Dr. F. W. E. Burnham 1872-1957: A Life of Strange Adventure,” Manitoba Medical Review 46(9): 569-570 (1966).

We thank Nathan Kramer and Alma Ademaj for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 March 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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