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Date of Bith: 1891
Place of Birth: Greenock
Mary Whitelaw Galbreath
Mary Galbreath was born in Greenock in 1891. She was raised by her parents Murdoch and Mary Galbreath. At the time of joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, Mary was living at 2 Finnart Terrace, Greenock.
Mary joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in February 1917. She traveled out to Salonika and then onto Lake Ostrovo where she worked for the next six months driving the ambulances. The field hospital at Lake Ostrovo( Northern Greece) was very close to the fighting in the mountains of Macedonia. Mary’s duties were to transport the wounded Serbian soldiers from the battlefields and onto the hospital at Lake Ostrovo or the various dressing stations. A difficult task as these hospitals were often under attack from aircraft and artillery fire. Flies, wasps and earwigs were a constant nuisance at the camp and out breaks of malaria common place. The drivers were under immense pressure, the roads up and down these mountain passes were treacherous. The fords would boil as they made there way up the mountains and brakes would snap on and off on the way down. Hairpin bends with sheer drops made for difficult journeys.
On her return home Mary returned to Greenock where she married and then the couple moved to Canada. Mary died in Alberta, Canada in 1923.
Date of Bith: 1872
Place of Birth: Birmingham
Elizabeth Mai Genge was born in Kings Norton, Birmingham in 1872. Her parents William Pope & Rosalie Gengeaddress Edgbaston Birmingham Warwickshire. William was a commercial traveller. Bofer joining the Scottish Women;s Hospitals Elizabeth was living in Mavis bank, St Albans.
Joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals In April 1917 she served as Administer on the russian front. Isabella spend a great deal of her time in Reni, Roumania . Elizabeth joined the London unit, who had at that time spent 10 months working the Russian front. The unit’s war was a dramatic one, they were involved in two offensives and three retreats as they supported two Serbian divisions along the Russian-Romanian front. Elizabeth returned home in November 1917.
After the war she married John B Haycraft, Head Professor of Physiology Lewes Sussex in 1919. Sadly Elizabeth died only a few month after being married.
Date of Bith: 1889
Place of Birth: India
Jessie Margaret Gerrard was born about 1889 at CHAKRATA,in India.
The 1911 Census of Suffolk has Jessie,a Hospital Nurse,living at home with her Indian born mother,school mistress Ellen Mary and brother.They were living at The Schoolhouse,Ringshall,Near Stowmarket,Suffolk.In later years,Jessie married a Mr Gibbons and died at Suffolk in December,1958.At the time of joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals she was living in Walkerburn in the Scottish Borders. Jessie was an orderly with the Girton and Newnham unit, firstly at Salonika before moving north to Serbia. The unit finished up working in the Elise Inglis Memorial Hospital in Belgrade. Jessie served with the SWH between August 1918-November 1919.
Emily Louisa Gilchrist
Date of Bith: 1886
Place of Birth: London
Emily Louisa Gilchrist Baptism Date 24 Oct 1886 born 28 August
Father’s name: William Charles Gilchrist Mother’s name Elizabeth Alice Gilchrist – 47 Balfern Street – occupation – porter. Emily at the age of six was living as a paupers inmate in Battersea. In 1901 Emily was working in Wandsworth London as Servant, she was 15 years old. In 1911 she was employed as a sick nurse. In 1916 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as a nurse and headed with Dr Elsie Inglis to the Russian front. The Russian unit, mainly went out to support the Serbs who were fighting on that front, but assisted and administered medical where and when it was required. They were split into two field hospitals. The hospitals were during that period always on the move due to the intense fighting that took place in the region. The hospitals worked not only close to the front line but also between the lines. Witnessing two huge offensives that resulted in the loss of many lives, three retreats that cost the lives of many, many civilians and broke the hearts of many of the women. They also observed and at times were hindered by the uprisings and revolutions in Russia during 1917. It was while Emily was working in Reni, Romania that she was awarded the St George medal for bravery under fire. This award came in March 1917. Presented by Prince Dolgrukov at a time when revolution was in full cry and Russia was now a Republic. A time when all Royal coats of arms, insignia’s and paintings of the Tzar were being torn down. The Tzar himself had abdicated. The Medals were silver but had the Tzars head on one side and “For Valour” on the other. The women were asked to wear it “inside out” thus hiding the image of the Tzar. The Prince himself in 1918 was executed, accused of plotting to rescue the Imperial family by sending secret notes.
Emily Louise Gilchrist of Wairike Cottage High Street Lydd Kent spinster died 5 September 1959 at Ashford Hospital Ashford Kent
Elizabeth Gilmour Manuel Arthur
Date of Bith: 28/10/1890
Place of Birth: Airdrie
Elizabeth Gilmour Manuel Arthur was born 28/10/1890 in Fruitfield House,which is now a Grade “C” Listed building.The building is in East High Street,Airdrie ML6 6LF. Elizabeth was the daughter of Medical Practitioner,New Cumnock born Hugh Arthur and Shotts born,Elizabeth Gilmour Manuel.The family lived in Fruitfield House for many years,from at least 1890 until at least 1911. Elizabeth served with Scottish Women,s Hospitals as an orderly at Royaumont Abbey from Feb 1918-Aug 1918. The 1911 Census of Airdrie shows Elizabeth,like her mother and older sisters living off Private Means.Her younger brother was still at school.Interestingly,her uncle also became a Doctor,just like her father.
Gwenda Mary Glubb
Date of Bith: 1894
Place of Birth: Preston
Gwenda was born in 1894 in Preston, England to Major General Sir Frederic Manley Glubb and Frances Letitia Bagot and grew up as Gwenda Mary Glubb.
On August 31st 1916 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. The unit sailed from Liverpool aboard â€ The Huntspillâ€ a small boat described as being extremely unhygienic condition with a very drunken crew. The unit was known as The London Unit due to the donations that came from the city, it was also known as the Fifth Serbian Unit as the mission was to support the First Serbian Army who were attached to the Russian army. The ship followed a zig zag course well into the Arctic Circle. At that time there was evidence of mines in the North Sea and The Channel. The greatest danger was from the highly mobile submarines . Germany had already sunk 51 merchant ships in July and early August. There was an attempt on board to study a language which could prove useful. They studied Russian and Serbian , Russian was the primary choice. Gwenda joined as a driver of the 16 automobiles that went out to Russia. The nurses at this time remained in ignorance of the ships final destination . The Russian unit, mainly went out to support the Serbs who were fighting on that front, but assisted and administered medical where and when it was required. They were split into two field hospitals and Gwenda worked principally in Odessa, Bubbul Mic, Medgidia, Galatz and Reni. The hospitals were during that period always on the move due to the intense fighting that took place in the region. The hospitals worked not only close to the front line but also between the lines. Witnessing two huge offensives that resulted in the loss of many lives, three retreats that cost the lives of many, many civilians and broke the hearts of many of the women. They also observed and at times were hindered by the uprisings and revolutions in Russia during 1917.Gwenda returned home in January 1917. Following her marriage to Colonel Sam Janson, a director of the Spyker car company, on 17 February 1920 in Brompton, Hawkes became interested in motor-cycle racing, competing in events at Brooklands.
In the winter of 1921, Hawkes established the 1000-mile record on a Ner-A-Car motor-cycle and in 1922 took the Double-12-hour record at Brooklands on a Trump-JAP.
Hawkes spent time away from home whilst participating in motor-cycling events, and the close relationship that she developed with Colonel Neil Stewart, who was involved with the company who provided her motor-cycles, resulted in Janson divorcing her in 1923.
Hawkes and Stewart married, and, as a result of night-time restrictions on the use of the circuit at Brooklands interfering with Hawkes’ motor-cycle record breaking activities, the pair moved to France to be closer to the unrestricted circuit at MontlhÃ©ry. At the MontlhÃ©ry circuit, Hawkes broke the world 24-hour motor-cycle speed record on a Terrot-Jap machine.
At MontlhÃ©ry, Gwenda met Douglas Hawkes, who became one of her mechanics. Douglas Hawkes was a director of the Derby engine and car company and was able to source a Miller Special from the United States. In the period between 1930 and 1933, in the Miller-derived car specially prepared by Derby and designated as a Derby-Miller, Gwenda broke the one-mile speed record several times at MontlhÃ©ry.
Gwenda also competed on two occasions, with little success, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, at the wheel of a Derby car using a Maserati engine. In 1935 she became the fastest woman ever at Brooklands, with a lap speed of 135.95 miles per hour which bettered the previous lap record set by Kay Petre.
Gwenda’s affair with Douglas Hawkes resulted in her divorce from Stewart, and her marriage in 1937 to Hawkes as her third husband.In 1940, after the start of the World War II (WWII), Gwenda and Douglas Hawkes moved to England, where Mrs Hawkes took up work in an armaments factory to help the war effort.
After WWII, they moved to the small Greek island of Poros.
Douglas Hawkes died in 1974 and Gwenda died in 1990, aged 96
Mary Louisa Gordon
Date of Bith: 1861
Place of Birth: Seaforth Lancashire
Mary Louisa Gordon was born in 1861 at Seaforth,Lancashire.Her parents were Manchester born, Hide and Tallow Broker, James and Liverpudlian mother,Mary.
1871 Census of Crosby,West Derby has the family living at Blundell Sands.
1881 Census of Crosby shows that the family have moved to a house named “Kenmore”.Mary has 7 siblings at this time.
Mary trained at the London School of Medicine for Women and qualified as a Physician and Surgeon in 1890.
1891 census has Mary,aged 29,at Ladies Residential Home,Parish of St Giles in London.Mary has now qualified as a Registered Physician and Surgeon.
In 1901,Mary is visiting a fellow surgeon in the town of Cropthorne,Surrey.She is listed as being a Physician and Surgeon,working at home with her “own account”.
In 1908,Mary was the first female Prison Inspector,remaining in the post until 1921.
The 1911 Census informs us that Mary,aged 49,is lodging at 8,Southwell Gardens,St Stephens,Kensington,London.Her occupation is listed as being HM Inspector of Prisons.
The American Unit was given its name due largely to the funding being raised in America by Kathleen Burke a SWH fundraiser who was known as the $1000 a day gal. Mary’s life is well documented as a prison inspector, Author and Feminist.
Her time with the SWH was brief, working as a Doctor for only five months, mainly due to fiction between her and her superiors. Mary went out to Salonika on the 3rd of August 1916, embarking the “Dunuce Castle” hospital ship at Southampton. Mary was a hands on sort and couldn’t wait to “get her sleeves rolled up” with around 60 other women Doctors, nurses, orderly’s, cooks etc she set sail on a journey of around 2-3 weeks, not without its dangers, the waters of the Mediterranean and Aegean sea were filled with mines and submarines. Salonika itself was regularly bombed with the use of Zeppelins and enemy aircraft. Salonika at that point was relatively stable and the decision was make to split the unit with one part under Dr Bennett heading off to Lake Ostrovo(now part of northern Greece) where there was much fighting and plenty of work to be done supporting the Serbians. Mary ended up in Salonika where she was extremely unhappy and very out spoken about her talents going to waste. She left the SWH on the 1 of December 1916.
Jean Paton Gordon
Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: Montrose, Angus
Jean was born and grew up in Montrose, she was the daughter is Mr and Mrs Allan Gordon of Linksfield, Montrose. Jean studied medicine at Edinburgh University and had qualified as a Doctor by the age of 21. Following her graduation she took up various posts including a fever hospital in Birmingham. In May 1915 she took the post of Doctor with Scottish Women’s Hospitals at Troyes in France.The hospital at Troyes was situated at the Chateau Chanteloup and was opened in May 1915. Under CMO Dr Louise Mcllory form County Antrim and Laura Sandeman from Aberdeen, they worked under canvas tents running a 250 bed hospital. In October 1915 she returned home to work at the Edinburgh War Hospital. In 1917 she spent two years working at the expedition hospital in Egypt. Jean then spent four years working as a Doctor in Derby England. In 1923 she moved to South Africa and after many years working in Mental Health, she ran her own private home in Mental Health which was hugely successful. A great traveler she visited America, Norway, South Africa and Europe. After a long illness she died in 1937 in Cape Town. A remarkable and outstanding career and life.
Isobella Warren Gordon
Date of Bith: 1873
Place of Birth: Tain,Ross-shire
Isobella’s father was James Gordon a Police Inspector at Dingwall. James would later become Supt in charge of Isle of Lewis before being appointed Chief Constable of Ross & Cromarty in 1888. Prior to joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in October 1915, Isobella had been working at Street Lane, Leeds, a center for the East Leeds War Hospital. She joined the Girton and Newnham unit and sailed to Salonika where she joined Dr Anne McIlroy, the CMO. Deployed to Gevgelija, a frontier town just across the border in Serbia and established a hospital there in a disused factory. In December 1915 the hospital was abandoned and evacuated to Salonica as the allies retreated in the face of the advancing Bulgarian and German armies. The hospital was re-established in Salonica and treated both French and Serbian casualties. In the autumn of 1916 the â€œAmerican Unitâ€™ of the SWH joined the Girton and Newnham Unit in Macedonia and in the summer of 1918 Isabel Emslie became its CMO. Isobella would spend many years teaming up with Emslie, a friendship and great working relationship. Isobella like many of the women during what time off they had loved to perform plays and entertain each other and the troops. A some point Isobella returned home and stayed with her sister Margaret in Grange Loan, Edinburgh. The summer in Macedonia in 1916 was very hot and brought with it the attendant problems of dysentery, flies and, worse of all, malaria. The nursing duties would have been very heavy indeed. In 1917 Isobella would have witnessed and helped nurse those effected by the great fire of Thessaloniki. The hospital tents themselves were close to burning down. The unit took part in the rapid French and Serbian advance that broke the back of the Bulgarian army and followed them providing assistance to both casualties and civilians as they pursued the retreating Germans and Bulgarians to Skopje, Nish and eventually Belgrade. The hospital at Belgrade was established, equipped and functioning by January 1919, a remarkable achievement. Against the advice of Isabel Emslie, who strongly believed that the SWH had a key role to play in post-war Serbia, in the autumn of 1919 and in accordance with the wishes of the SWH Committee, the hospital was handed over to the Serbian government. Isobella left the SWH in May 1919. Isobella seemed to have made her own way after that and in the early 1920;s was running the British Women’s Club in Constantinople. Later she ran a Boarding House in Genoa until being interned as an enemy alien in 1940. After WW2 she lived at Via Ponte, Annibale,Rotondo, Rapella, Isobella died in October 1959.
In 1917 Isobella was awarded the MÃ©daille des EpidÃ©mies.
Mary Isabella Gordon
Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: County Cavan, Ireland
Both parents it seems were natives to Morayshire, her father John and mother Helen. At the time of joining she was living in Garmouth, Moray. Known as Tibby she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in July 1915 as a nurse and headed to Valjevo, Serbia. Tibby joined the unit of twenty five women Doctors, nurses, cooks and orderly’s in attempt to save the lives of the men, women and children who were battling the deadly typhus epidemic. Valjevo, a town some 80 miles south of Belgrade had that winter gone through its own personal hell. Thousands of its citizens and thousands of soldiers had perished in a typhus outbreak that was destroying huge parts of Serbia. Valjevo had itself been turned into one large field hospital and many, many men lay wounded and untreated due to the lack of Doctors and nurses.The unit worked completely under canvas on a hillside just outside the town and although it was an improving picture by the time they reached there, there was still plenty of work to do. Dr Alice Hutchinson and her unit are fondly remembered today in Valjevo for their bravery and helping to bring stability to the towns people. Unfortunately for Tibby and her party six mouths after reaching the town they were on the move again. By October Belgrade had fallen and Serbia was forced into retreat. During mid-august the big guns had returned. This time it was the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians and Bulgarians, and Serbia stood alone encircled by 500,000 fighting men. In October, German and Austrian troops attacked Serbia with such huge force that by the 12th of October the unit had no choice but to evacuate the hospital as the town was on the main railway line. They fled south to Kraguievac and regrouped, opening an emergency dressing station where 100â€™s of Serbian causalities poured in. With the Bulgarians joining the assault on Serbia they were forced to move down to Kraljevo and open another dressing station. Finally in early November all hope was gone and the SWH were forced to choose between retreat to the Adriatic Sea or remain and fall into enemy hands. On the 5th of November Dr McGregor and her nurses joined â€œThe Great Serbian Retreatâ€
The retreat as witnessed by Tibby and her band of women was an endless procession of men, women and children, a beaten nation, attempting in the frozen depths of winter with very little or no food and poorly clothed to trek for weeks covering hundreds of miles over the Albanian and Montenegrin mountain. Hundreds of thousands of Serbians poured like blood from the heart of the motherland. Estimates state that well over 150,000 men, women and children died, killed or were lost along the way. History has few parallels to this mass exodus. Tibby with around 20 other SWH members after 7 weeks walking through the snow and mountains finally made to the Adriatic sea, where they were taken by ship to Brindisi in Italy before making their way home. On the 23rd of December they were home, however they too had suffered as Caroline Toughill a nurse was killed on the mountains of the Ibar valley. Tibby died in 1970.
Isobella Cartho Gow
Date of Bith: 1889
Place of Birth: Dundee
Isobella, or Ella as she was known was born in Dundee in 1889. She came from a large family and her father John was a licensed Grocer in the city. They lived at 3 Argyle street and later moved to oakbank, Maryfield.
Ella joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in May 1916 and worked at the Hospital in Corsica. Ella served as a cook at the hospital set up in December 1915 to assist with Serbian civilians during the occupation of Serbia during ww1. Ella as well as cooking for the staff would have fed the many Serbian Children at the hospital, many of who were malnourished. Ella returned home in January 1917. We know she never married and died in Dundee in 1947. Ella was awarded the French red cross.
Date of Bith: 1878
Place of Birth: East Riding, Yorkshire
Lilias was born in the East Riding of Yorkshire about 1878.She was the fifth child of Devon born Robert A.P.Grant,who was Surgeon Major in the British Army and Moray born mother Jane. 1881 Census of the Parish of York has the family living at 2 Seafield Cottage,Fishergate. Lilias married York born,Ceylon Tea Planter,Dacre Dyson in 1922.They lived in Ceylon until at least 1938 and, after WW2 were living in Burley,Hants;England. Lilias lived with Ethel Moir in Inverness before she joined the SWH. She died in 1975.
Lilias departed from Liverpool, with her good friend Ethel Grant on the troopship Hanspiel on August 30th 1916. The Hanspiel also carried thirty Serbian soldiers and six officers returning to the battlefields. Their ship was escorted by a naval destroyer past the coast of Northern Ireland, before heading west into the stormy Atlantic and then north over the Arctic Circle, passing close to Iceland and through the Barents Sea. The Hanspiel finally made land at Bacheridza, about five miles from the seaport town of Archangel in Russia, on September 10th 1916. Lilias and her companions would continue their journey by train. Plans to go to Petrograd were changed because on arrival at Archangel a wire was waiting for Dr Elsie Inglis. Ethel writes, â€œPlenty of work awaiting us â€œdown southâ€ we hear, so Dr Inglis wants to hurry on as quickly as possibleâ€.
The Russian unit, mainly went out to support the Serbs who were fighting on that front, but assisted and administered medical where and when it was required. They were split into two field hospitals and Lilias worked principally in Odessa, Bubbul Mic, Medgidia, Galatz and Reni. The hospitals were during that period always on the move due to the intense fighting that took place in the region. The hospitals worked not only close to the front line but also between the lines. Witnessing two huge offensives that resulted in the loss of many lives, three retreats that cost the lives of many, many civilians and broke the hearts of many of the women. They also observed and at times were hindered by the uprisings and revolutions in Russia during 1917. Lilias worked as an Orderly with the London unit from August 1916- March 1917. Extracts from her diaries can be found in the book “between the lines” by Audrey Fawcett Cahill.
Mary and Margaret Gray
Date of Bith:
Place of Birth: Oakley
Sisters Mary and Margaret Gray came from Oakley, their father James at the time of the girls growing up worked as secretary for the West Fife Coal Company Ltd.
At age 25 Mary would leave the family home and become the Queens Nurse in Crieff before joining sister Margaret in December 1914 to sign up for the SWH. After boarding the ship to Calais they would make there way to Royaumont in France where the Royaumont Abbey Hospital would remain open during the entire war. Witness to some of the wars bloodiest battles, the women would work day and night lifting the shattered bodies on to stretchers and into their care. Sadly Mary died at Royaumont in January 1916 after she was operated on for appendicitis.She was buried at Asnieras-sur-Olse cemetery and remembered at the war memorial in Scoonie Leven, York Minster and St Giles in Edinburgh. Margaret would see the war out at Royuamont, playing her part in saving the lives of men during the battle of the Somme before leaving in 1919 when, with the war now over, she would retire to Greenock.
Norah Neilson Gray
Date of Bith: 16th June 1882
Place of Birth: Carisbrook, Helensburgh
Many thanks again to Phil Worms of the Helensburgh Heroes for providing us with the information on Norah.
Norah Neilson Gray
Norah Neilson Gray was born on the 16th June 1882 at Carisbrook in West King Street, Helensburgh, on Scotlands west coast, the second youngest daughter of seven children, to George William Gray, a Glasgow ship owner and wife Norah Neilsen.
The large family garden stimulated Norah’s early love of flowers and colour. Another early influence for Norah was the Gray’s Nanny who told the girls wonderful stories of fairies and Celtic legends. The effect of these stories can be clearly seen in Norah’s later works.
Norah began her artistic career at”The Studio”, a private drawing establishment at Craigendoran with her teachers Miss Park and Miss Ross.
Norah moved to Glasgow with her family around 1901. Between 1901 and 1906, Norah studied at Glasgow School of Art under Fra. Newberry and the Belgian Symbolist painter, Jean Delville.
In 1909, Norah joined the staff herself after completing training, and taught fashion-plate drawing at the School.
Norah also taught at St Columba’s School for Girls in Kilmacolm, where she was known as ‘Purple Patch’ because Norah was always asking her pupils to look for colour in the shadows.
By 1910 she had a studio in Bath Street and had held her first one-woman show in Glasgow, at Warneuke’s Gallery, having previously submitted works to exhibitions at the Royal Academy, the Glasgow Institute and in Paris. In 1914 Norah became a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.
She went on to study at Glasgow School of Art and is now regarded as part of the group known as the “Glasgow Girls”, which included Evelyn Carslaw, Eleanor Moore and Margaret Macdonald.
Norah spent the First World War years, 1914-18 serving in Elsie Maud Inglis’s “Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service”, the all-women staffed hospitals that served in the battlefields of France, Serbia and Russia. Norah served in France as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse at the Royaumont Abbey, outside of Paris.
Despite not having a great deal of spare time whilst serving as a nurse in the casualty receiving area at Royaumont Abbey, she began painting the scene in the crypt of Scottish nurses tending the wounded French soldiers.
This experience inspired some of Norah’s most powerful paintings, many of which have been acquired by public collections over the years.
One of her most famous paintings from this period Ã¢â‚¬Å“HÃƒÂ´pital Auxilaire DÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ArmÃƒÂ©e 30, Abbaye de RoyaumontÃ¢â‚¬Â was gifted to the people of Helensburgh by the artist’s sister, Dr Tina Gray, on her death in 1984.
Interestingly, after the War Norah had offered this painting to the Imperial War Museum because she believed it depicted an accurate reflection of the period in history and served to record Ã¢â‚¬Å“what the British had done for the French Military in the way of hospitals.
She stated: “it was painted from within, at the time and absolutely true to fact”.
The offer of the painting was declined on the grounds that the Museum’s acquisition funds for the General Section had been exhausted but the painting could be procured and displayed in the WomanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Work Section gallery, a compromise that Norah was not willing to accept. For Norah, it was General Section display or nothing, given the subject matter.
A year later, however, the Imperial War Museum commissioned her to paint the surgeon Frances Ivens, with hospital staff and patients in the abbey cloisters. The resultant painting, The Scottish Women’s Hospital, is now contained within the Museum’s collection.
After the war, Norah returned to her native Scotland to continue with her arts career. In 1920, Norah was commissioned to record the Scottish Women’s Hospital for the Imperial War Museum, a commission that she gladly accepted because she felt “it was painted from within, at the time and absolutely true to fact”.
1921 was to prove a very successful year for Norah. One of her paintings from the war period, The Belgian Refugee won Norah a bronze medal in Paris in 1921 and she became the first woman to be appointed to the Hanging Committee of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, alongside artist James Whitelaw Hamilton and silversmith Bailie Robert Laing. The Committee’s responsibility as “hangers” was to group the pictures exhibited in as effective a manner as possible, to enhance the overall effect.
Despite ill health, Norah suffered from cancer, she continued painting and exhibiting in Scotland, London and Paris (winning further medals in 1923 Paris Salon) until her early death on 27th May 1931 in Glasgow.
Ã‚Â©Helensburgh Heroes – A Scottish Charity hoping to create a Digital Academy and Entertainment Centre in Helensburgh. Plans within the Centre include a Wall of Fame to honour the local men and women, such as Norah Neilson Gray, that have made significant contributions to society. For details: www.heroescentre.co.uk
Mary Hughes Green
Date of Bith: 1867
Place of Birth: Inverness
Born Mary Hughes Gowenlock her father William worked with the railway in Inverness. She became Mrs Green when she married Charles Green in 1889, apart from joining the Scottish Womens Hospitals in 1914 little else is know of Mary. Mary’s story stands out in the service of the SWH due to a number of factors, firstly she was married, not uncommon but certainly not the norm. Mary was also much older than her fellow members, but more importantly she one of the longest serving members and one of the most loved by staff and patients alike. In July 1915 she joined the SWH as housekeeper at Mladenovac in Serbia. She was sent out to join Dr Beatrice MacGregors unit as part of a reinforcement group of 9 to help prepare the hospital for the coming months. Serbia had really just got herself back on her feet after much fighting and a winter of typhus that near brought the nation to collapse. Serbia stood alone and it was only a matter of time before she would be under attack again. As housekeeper she was required to take control of making sure all the supplies, food and medical equipment was ordered, ready and where it was meant to be. Not an easy feat in war time. The hospital was doing a quite fantastic job supporting the Serbs. Then in October German and Austrian troops attacked Serbia with such huge force that by the 12th of October the unit had no choice but to evacuate the hospital as the town was on the main railway line. They fled south to Kraguievac and regrouped opening an emergency dressing station, 100â€™s of Serbian causalities poured in. With the Bulgarians joining the assault on Serbia they were forced to move down to Kraljevo and open another dressing station. Finally in early November all hope was gone and the SWH were forced to choose between retreat to the Adriatic Sea or remain and fall into enemy hands. On the 5th of November Dr McGregor and her nurses joined â€œThe Great Serbian Retreatâ€ The retreat as witnessed by Mary and her band of women was an endless procession of men, women and children, a beaten nation, attempting in the frozen depths of winter with very little or no food and poorly clothed to trek for weeks covering hundreds of miles over the Albanian and Montenegrin mountain. Hundreds of thousands of Serbians poured like blood from the heart of the motherland, estimates that well over 150,000 died, killed or were lost along the way. History has few parallels to this mass exodus. Mary was devoted to the Serbs, she understood them and they in return they adored her. In May 1916 she returned to help them again, in Corsica where a large unit had been set up to support the Serbs who had been forced to leave their country. She continued her work there until April 1917 when she decided to join the American unit who’s CMO was Dr Emslie Hutton, an Edinburgh Doctor full of spirit and remarkable talent. The unit took part in the rapid French and Serbian advance that broke the back of the Bulgarian army and followed them providing assistance to both casualties and civilians as they pursued the retreating Germans and Bulgarians . This time she was invited to be the hospital administrator at Lake Ostrovo. By November 1918 the Serbs were on the march home and Mary moved to Vranje in Serbia. The hospital at Vranje was a large ex army barracks and packed with hundreds of patients with a hole manner appalling conditions, pneumonia, pleurisy and serious surgical cases. Sadder still was one womenâ€™s account of the children â€ the injuries are terrible, we have had several poor little hands to amputate and often they have terrible abdominal woundsâ€
Cold weather came to Vranje and with it typhus, Mary and her co workers were doing a fantastic job and the death rates were very low. However while dressing a gangrenous limb Agnes Earl received a scratch which turned septic and two later she was dead. Mary remarked â€ she had done heroic work in the typhus ward, never sparing herself in any way, a handsome girl, tall and strong and with a splendid characterâ€ The hospital pushed its way to Belgrade and with it the end of Mary’s war, in 1919 she left Serbia and returned home. Dr Joan Rose said of Mary ” delightfully soft, drawling Highland intonation and i thought her very sweet and good natured” In 1920 Mary was combing the north of Scotland, she had the position of travelling sales representative. But in the spring 1921 confessed that the venture was a failure. The world at that time, was not ready for Mary Green.
Date of Bith: 1880
Place of Birth: Glasgow
Margaret Campbell Greenlees was born on 29 May 1880 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Her father was Matthew and her mother was Wilhelmina. She had two brothers and three sisters. Margaret lived in the family home in Partick and later in Govan, Glasgow.
In November 1917 Margaret joined the SWH as an orderly. She was employed in what was know as the American unit. Margaret joined the field hospital unit of some 200 tents, situated near Lake Ostrovo, Macedonia. The Unit was under the command of the 2nd Serbian Army. It was called The America Unit as the money to fund it came from America and except for a few dressing stations, it was the Allied hospital nearest the front. These hospitals were often under attack from aircraft and artillery fire. Flies, wasps and earwigs were a constant nuisance and out breaks of malaria common place. On 30 September 1918 the unit received news of the armistice with Bulgaria and on the morning of 23 October the unit started for northern Serbia with a convoy of nine vehicles on a 311 kilometre trek. All the staff made the trip and the unit was set up in an abandoned army barracks in Vranja, Serbia. The scenes at Vranje were awful, the entire city was one huge unattended hospital, disease, soldiers requiring urgent attention and homeless women and children often dying with starvation and frostbite. Margaret with the unit heading into Belgrade after the unit in Vranje closed. Margaret continued to work in Serbia after the war. She joined Evelina Haverfield at Bajina Bashta on the river Drina and helped run the orphanage and children’s health center. After Evelina died in March 1920 she returned home to Scotland with Vera Holme and Margaret Ker. For a time they all lived in Stirlingshire. Margaret Campbell Greenlees died in 1952 when she was 72 years old.
Eliza, Stephenson Greig
Date of Bith: 1876
Place of Birth: Laurencekirk.
Laurencekirk is a small town in the old county of Kincardineshire, modern county of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, just off the A90. In 1876 Eliza was born and lived in the family home. Her father James Booth Greig was an agent for the Bank of Scotland. Eliza was known as Lila and had four siblings. Lila spent part of her young life living with her sister Greta who was a school teacher at St Pancras, London. In 1901 she had qualified as a Doctor at Glasgow University.
In March 1918 Lila decided to serve in the Scottish Women;s Hospitals in Salonika, Greece. She worked as a Doctor at the large and impressive “Calcutta Orthopedic Centre”. A huge hospital, one and a quarter miles long and had over 500 beds. The centre gained its name as it was supported and funded by the subscriptions from that city. A vast hospital with operating rooms and an X-ray room, a dental department, massage and mecano- therapy department, a pharmacy and a bacteriological laboratory were put in place. The hospital of course has a vast amount of storerooms, tents and huts for accommodation and workshops. There was even a small farm yard, effective when food was short or expensive. By 1918 the Serbs were in the north pushing for home so the hospital was mainly supporting the French and although the hospital itself was named after its sponsors, the unit was know as the Girton and Newnham unit, so called after the college at Girton and Newnham funded the unit that not only served in Greece but also in France over a four year period.
Lila Stephenson Greig of The Red House, Flore near Weedon, Northamptonshire died 2 September 1937. She had served as a Doctor in Salonika from March 1918- October 1918.
Edna Mary Guest
Date of Bith: 1883
Place of Birth: Ontario Canada
Dr Edna Mary Guest joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, as Chief Medical Officer at the Corsica unit on the 31st of October 1917. The unit at Corsica began in December 1915 as a result of Serbian refugees pouring into Salonika as Serbia was completely overtaking by invading forces. Dr Guest and her unit were responsible for the welfare and recovery of mainly children during that time. The hospital at Ajaccio was based at the Villa Miot and the grounds were also required for tents to house the sick. Dr Guest worked at Ajaccio until June 1918. She spent the next few months working with the SWH at Royuamont Abbey leaving in August 1918.
Edna spent some time working in a French Military Hospital after the war until she returned to Canada where she a had a quiet brilliant career in medicine. In 1932 she was awarded an OBE for her work in medicine.
Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: caithness
Isabella Manson Gunn was born on December 9, 1884, in Olrig, Caithness. Her father, Alexander was a carpenter. When Isabella was born he was 34 and her mother, Elizabeth, was 33. She had five brothers and four sisters. Isabella, in 1916 was living at Elm Cottage Castletown, Caithness. Joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals In July 1917 she served as cook on the russian front. Isabella spend a great deal of her time in Odessa. And as mentioned in her file, she sent money home to the family when she could. The unit’s war was a dramatic one, they were involved in two offensives and three retreats as they supported two Serbian divisions along the Russian-Romanian front. Isabella returned home in November 1917. In February 1918 she headed to Serbia to support the Elsie Inglis Unit, again working as a cook. The unit supported the Serbs push for home. In September 1918 she returned home.
She died in November , 1946, at the age of 61. Isabella was buried in Inverness.
In the photo Isabella is on the left.
Alice Annie Guy
Date of Bith: 1879
Place of Birth: Newport
Alice was born in Newport, South Wales. Her father Daniel was a pork butcher and farmer. Alice’s mother was Sarah and they lived at the family home at Claremont Farm, Malpas, Newport.
Alice joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals on the 24th of July 1916 as a nurse. She joined the Girton & Newnham Unit, so called after the enormous amount of funds generated and donated by the college.
Alice headed for Salonika where she joined her unit and the hospital which was entirely under canvas. At the time of joining, the hospital had up to 300 patients and due to a very hot summer that year a large amount of them were suffering form malaria and dysentery. Also during that summer Bulgaria was attacking and occupying parts of Macedonia. Although the heavy fighting would start in the autumn, fighting was underway and the wounded were brought to Salonika.
The conditions worsened and many of the staff became very ill. Sadly Alice Guy died of dysentery shortly after her arrival in Salonika, only having worked days at the hospital. For Alice there would be no adventures and no stories to tell her family. Dr Mcllroy wrote” she had been there less than a week when she became ill, she feared the climate and from the outset of the illness she had no hope of herself” Alice died on the 21st of August 1916 and is buried in the military hospital at Salonika
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