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Memorable Manitobans: John Neilson Brown Crawford (1906-1997)


Born at Winnipeg on 10 January 1906, son of Robert Crawford (1870-1959) and Janet Kerr Brown (1869-1945, daughter of Alexander Brown), he received medical training at the Manitoba Medical College, graduating in 1930 then taking postgraduate training in pediatrics at New York City. During the 1930s, he practiced at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital, and lectured in pediatrics at the University of Manitoba. He was also a member of the McNulty Clinic, the first private medical clinic in Winnipeg, at 264 Edmonton Street, in partnership with P. H. McNulty and William Black.

In 1933, he became an officer in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, being called for active duty at the onset of the Second World War. He served with Canadian forces at Hong Kong, was taken prisoner and spent 3½ years in a Japanese POW camp, being liberated in August 1945. He remained in the military after the war. Awarded an MBE, in 1956 he retired from the Army and became Director General of Treatment Services in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was later appointed Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare in the Canadian federal government, retiring in 1969. He was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba in 1959.

He died at Ottawa, Ontario on 28 June 1997.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Canadian Armed Services”, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Vol. 74, 1 May 1956.

“Robert Crawford”, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 September 1959, page 35.

“Changing the guard”, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Vol. 93, 16 October 1965.

“Dr. J. N. B. Crawford”, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 October 1963, page 6.

Obituary [P. H. McNulty], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 1967, page 30.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 June 1997, page 30.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 April 2011

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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