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Greenidge, Hewburn

Corporal Hewburn Nathaniel Greenidge was born on November 1, 1893, to James Daniel Greenidge and Ellen Beatrice (Hope) in Georgetown, British Guiana. Both his parents were born in Barbados. He was the eldest of 7 siblings. The eldest 4 children were sent to Canada to their mother's sisters, both of whom had emigrated from Barbados to Canada sometime in the 1890s.

In 1913, Hewburn journeyed to Canada and entered the University of Manitoba to study Medicine. In November 1916 Mr. Greenidge interrupted his studies to enlist in No.2 Construction Battalion as witnessed by American born George Brooks who also enlisted in Winnipeg.

On March 28th, 1917 Hewburn sailed from Halifax with No 2 Construction Battalion on the SS Southland and arrived in Liverpool England on April 7th. He served in France. In December 1917 , Hewburn was sent back to England as the Canadian Military directed that all medical students be repatriated to Canada to continue their studies.

In January 1918 Hewburn departed England and returned to Canada. He was discharged to return to his medical studies on December 2, 1918. He resumed his studies at the University of Manitoba and graduated in 1920, becoming the university’s first Black graduate.

After graduation, he returned to British Guiana. Sometime prior to his 30th birthday, he died from a lung disease coupled with gastroenteritis.


Le caporal Hewburn Nathaniel Greenidge naît le 1er novembre 1893 à Georgetown, en Guyane britannique, de James Daniel Greenidge et Ellen Beatrice (née Hope). Ses deux parents sont nés à la Barbade. Il est l'aîné d'une fratrie de 7 enfants. Les quatre aînés ont été envoyés au Canada chez les sœurs de leur mère, qui avaient toutes deux émigrées de la Barbade au Canada dans les années 1890.

En 1913, Hewburn se rend au Canada et entre à l'université du Manitoba pour y étudier la médecine. En novembre 1916, M. Greenidge interrompt ses études pour s'enrôler dans le 2e bataillon de construction, comme en témoigne George Brooks, né aux États-Unis, qui s'est également enrôlé à Winnipeg.

Le 28 mars 1917, Hewburn quitte Halifax avec le 2e bataillon de construction sur le navire SS Southland et arrive à Liverpool, en Angleterre, le 7 avril. Il sert en France. En décembre 1917, Hewburn est renvoyé en Angleterre car l'armée canadienne a ordonné que tous les étudiants en médecine soient rapatriés au Canada pour y poursuivre leurs études.

En janvier 1918, Hewburn quitte l'Angleterre et retourne au Canada. Il est autorisé à reprendre ses études de médecine le 2 décembre 1918. Il reprend ses études à l'université du Manitoba et obtient son diplôme en 1920, devenant ainsi le premier Noir diplômé de l'université.

Après avoir obtenu son diplôme, il rentre en Guyane britannique. Peu avant son trentième anniversaire, il meurt d'une maladie pulmonaire associée à une gastro-entérite.



Hewburn’s Greenidge Great War Project.

Page 63 Yearbook

Signed by Ethelbert Lionel Cross.

Link to profile of Ethelbert Cross.

***in June of 1919, Mr. Cross listed his proposed residence after discharge as 156 North Street in Halifax.

The address given was that of the private Amanda Hospital, run by Dr. Clement Ligoure. Dr. Ligoure, from the same Trinidadian town as Mr. Cross, had graduated from Queen’s University in 1916. He was forced to open a private hospital when he was refused hospital privileges. His practice served the people in Halifax’s north end

Before World War I, Dr. Ligoure and Mr. Cross helped found the Atlantic Advocate, a periodical “published monthly by the Atlantic Association devoted to the interests of the colored people.” In addition, Dr. Ligoure was recruited recruited heavily for No. 2 Construction Battalion as a Lieutenant. .

Mr. Cross later earned a law degree from Dalhousie University and became Toronto’s first Black lawyer. See KKK 1930

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