About Marie Pauline Valerie Depage
Marie Depage- Picard
- RMS Lusitania victim
Marie Depage was born Marie Picard in 1872, a decendant of Belgian royalty. She was a nurse and wife of Dr. Antoine Depage, born in 1862, the surgeon to King Albert and the head of the Belgian Red Cross. Together they had three sons; the middle child, 17, was named Lucien.
In 1907, Antoine Depage created the first Belgian medical school, l’École Belge d’Infirmières Diplômées (The Belgian School of Registered Nurses), in Brussels. For the first director of this school, Antoine selected English nurse Edith Cavell. The administration of finances was entrusted to Marie Depage. The school opened on 1 October of that year. A daily newspaper wrote in particular: “this school is a machine of war against the chocolate éclairs [is this a translation error?] which, for a thousand years, have looked after our patients.”
When the nuns threatened to strike in 1910, Antoine Depage telephoned the ladies “of the best company,” and the following day, at 7 a.m., all in white blouse and skirt and Marie Depage at their head, the women went to the hospital to replace the nun strikers.