Viola Allan Abrum, born on June 9th, 1911, graduated from the Brockville General Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1933. After graduating, she worked as a private duty nurse before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. From 1941 to 1945, Captain (Matron) Viola Allan worked as a Nursing Sister in France and Belgium, as well as in England where she took care of Canadian prisoners of war at the No. 9 Unit in Horsham.
As a Lieutenant, she received the military commission in 1943. After the war, in 1946, she was decorated as an Associate of the Royal Red Cross.
Upon returning to Canada in 1946, Allan worked in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a nurse and administrator until 1962. She went on to become Regional Administrator for three homes for the elderly– Carleton Lodge, West End Ottawa, and Brantford House, Island Lodge on Porter’s Island for the Rideau Health Centre. Remembered for her work in modernizing and improving the living standards and operating procedures of the homes she ran, the 260 bed home at the Island Lodge was named Allan House in her honour. Allan retired in 1976, and passed away at the Brockville General Hospital in 2007– the very same hospital at which she had trained to become a nurse all those years ago.