Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae was a field surgeon with the Canadian artillery during the First World War. He is best known for his famous poem, "In Flanders Fields." McCrae wrote the poem following the Second Battle of Ypres, in which a friend of his, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed. "In Flanders Fields" was first published inPunch magazine on December 8, 1915, and quickly became popular. McCrae died in France on January 28, 1918.