Section 29, Lot 29
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto
Born in Alliston, Ontario in 1891, Frederick Banting received his early education in that small town, west of Toronto. Moving to Toronto in 1911, he attended Victoria College, graduating in medicine from the University of Toronto in late 1916. He served overseas during the First World War, winning the Military Cross, and was wounded in France while serving as medical officer with the 44th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.
In the years following the war, Banting gave up a promising medical practice in London, Ontario to commence his quest to find a cure for diabetes at the University of Toronto. In 1921, assisted by Charles Best and J. B. Collip and under the supervision of J. R. R. MacLeod, Banting managed to isolate and purify insulin which, while not a cure for diabetes, helped stricken patients live a near normal life. Banting and MacLeod were awarded the Nobel Prize of the most important medical discovery of 1923. Annoyed that Best was overlooked by the selection committee, Banting decided to share his half of the $11,200 award with his colleague and friend. Following Banting’s lead, MacLeod did the same with Collip.
On February 21, 1941, while flying to Great Britain on “a mission of high national and scientific importance” the Hudson aircraft in which Banting was a passenger, crashed near Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland. The doctor died of his injuries before rescue crews arrived. The body was brought back to Toronto for burial, which took place on March 4, 1941 following a service at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall and funeral procession to Mount Pleasant Cemetery.