Laura MacDonald of the Falkirk Community trust contacted us with regards to a Margaret Crowe, Margaret was born in Falkirk and served with SWH in Serbia during 1915. Laura is working on a project that will involve school kids from that area understand and remember the bravery and sacrifice of the local people that served during ww1.
Here is what we found on Margaret.
Served as a nurse in Mladenovac, Kraguevac and Kralievo in Serbia from the 1st of February 1915- November 1915, nursing the Serbian Troops often around the clock in desperate conditions, the soldiers at that point were suffering from exhaustion, starvation and frostbite. On top of that their were out breaks of typhus and diphtheria, it was often the case due the sheer numbers of soldiers coming in to the hospital that men often underwent amputations without any anesthetic. However the women were incredibly successful in the saving of lives and Margaret for her efforts not only as a nurse but also for her kindness was awarded the Serbian Cross of Mercy. By mid November 1915 Serbia could fight no more, out numbered by 10/1 and with very little ammunition left the decision was made to retreat. The retreat was to be know later as the Great Serbian Retreat and took men, women and children manly on foot in the dead of winter hundreds of miles down through Serbia and into Kosovo and over the Albanian and Montenegrin mountains and down the Adriatic sea, its estimated that some 200,000 men , women and children perished on the route. Margaret with her Chief Medical Officer Beatrice MacGregor in charge went on the retreat and tried to save as many lives as possible, sadly a Nurse Toughill was killed when the vehicle that Margaret was also in, rolled down an embankment. Margaret looked after her in the days before she died, she had lost a very dear friend. On arrival at Adriatic sea she boarded a ship for Brindisi Italy and from their came home via France. Margaret then went on to join and serve the rest of the war with The Russian Medical Relief Expedition.