Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae (1872- 1918) was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the battle of Ypres. He was born in McCrae House in Guelph, Ontario, the grandson of Scottish immigrants. He worked on his BA at the University of Toronto from 1892-3. He later studied medicine on a scholarship at the University of Toronto. While attending the university he joined the Zeta Psi Fraternity (Theta Xi chapter; class of 1894) and published his first poems. McCrae served in the artillery during the Second Boer War, and when the United Kingdom declared war on Germany at the start of World War I, Canada, as a Dominion within the British Empire, declared war as well. McCrae was appointed as a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery and was in charge of a field hospital during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. His friend and former student, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle, and his burial inspired the poem, In Flanders Fields, which was written in 1915 and first published in Punch magazine.