We were very pleased to be asked by the people of the Tweeddale Museum in Peebles to look into the women from that part of the Scottish Borders that served in the SWH during WW1.
Our enquiries have found women from Peebles, Innerleithen and Walkerburn. Subject to finding out more information on these women it’s hoped that next year there will be enough information for an exhibition and a presentation by ourselves.
In the meantime here is a list of the women and if anyone has any information on any of the women please let us know.
Miss Elizabeth College, living at Sandridge Farm in Innerleithen, served as an orderly at Royaumont Abbey near Paris from September 1918- December 1918.
Jessie Margaret Gerrard, living at Stoneyhill Walkerburn, served as an orderly with the Girton and Newnham unit in Salonika and Belgrade in Serbia from August 1918- August 1919. In November 1919 she left Salonika for India where i understand she went to visit an aunt.
Nettie Jean Smith, living at Carnethy, Peebles, served as a Nurse at Salonika with the Girton NS Newnham unit between July 1916 – December 1916.
Madge Ramsay Smith, living in Peebles, served as secretary and administrator at Royau mont Abbey from May 1916- March 1919. Much of Madge’s story can be accessed by reading Antonio de Navarro’s book ‘The SWH at the French Abbey of Royaumont’. The Mitchell Library also has a fair amount on her.
Agneta Beauchamp, living and working at Dawyck Estate, worked as a commissioner with the SWH, never really a happy time for her doing that sort of work and while she was in Salonika joined the Red Cross. She later on went to work in Constantinople. She was awarded the OBE and the Croix de Guerre.
The Elsie Inglis headstone is situated in Edinburgh’s Dean Cemetery. The stone itself is now in a poor state of disrepair and over the last few years various attempts have been made to improve the situation. It’s been a frustrating time for all like minded people who want to see the stone restored to its former glory.
However a fantastic gesture has been made by Scotmid Co-operative Funeral Director’s who, at a cost to themselves, will bring in a stone mason to have the stone reinstated so that future generations can appreciate the memorial.
It is hoped the works will be completed by early January 2014 and we plan to hold an unveiling ceremony of the restored stone.