Norman Bethune

Extraordinary Canadians

Norman Bethune

Surgeon, inventor and political activist Norman Bethune headed the Canadian Medical Unit during the Spanish Civil War, developing the world’s first mobile medical unit. He later went to China to help the Red Army fight the Japanese, where he died of blood poisoning in 1939. Born in Hong Kong the same year Norman Bethune died, Adrienne Clarkson’s family fell victim to the Japanese invasion and lost their property. Clarkson and her parents came to Canada in 1942. She was appointed Governor General of Canada in 1999.