A-Z of Personnel

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Hallide Jeanne Macartney

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: London

Hallide Jeanne Macartney

Born in London in 1885. Her father was Sir Halliday Macartney. He was born in Scotland. He was firstly a military surgeon who went on to become diplomat serving the Chinese government during the Qing dynasty. Her mother was Jeanne Agathe Julia Marie Du Sautoy( Lady Macartney).
Hallide came from a large family with six brother and one sister. She spent much of her early years living in London.
In February 1916, Hallide served with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals at Royaumont Abbey in France. From January 1915 to March 1919 the Abbey was turned into a voluntary hospital, operated by Scottish Women’s Hospitals, under the direction of the French Red Cross. It was especially noted for its performance treating soldiers involved in the Battle of the Somme and the final push of 1918. As an orderly and serving between February 1916 – November 1916, Hallide would have been tested as the dying and wounded poured in to the abbey during the Battles of the Somme. The roll of the orderly was not an easy one. The heavy work of lifting patients. The mopping up of blood from the beds and floors, combined with constantly hauling of bundles of laundry up and down stairs, made life at Royaumont, physically demanding and mentally challenging.

After the war in the 1950’s she was living in Perthshire.
Hallide Jeanne Macartney died on 12 May 1960 when she was 74 years old. She was buried at Dundrennan Abbey near Kirkcudbright, in the family grave.(photo above)

Mona MacBean

Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: Nairn

Mona MacBean was born in 26/9/1884 in 7,Albert Street,Nairn.She was the daughter of Tea Merchant, Arthur and Lizzie MacDougall.Her parents had married in 1874 in East India.
1901 census shows that Mona was boarding at a Ladies School at 1,Ettrick Road,Edinburgh.
In 1916,after having served with the SWH,Mona married farmer James Logie MacDonald of Morayston,Petty,Inverness-shire.Mona,aged 31,was a Hospital nurse residing at “Burnside”,Aviemore and the wedding was held at the Cairngorms Hotel,Aviemore After banns according to the Free Church of Scotland.The couple went on to have a family of at least two sons.One,Ronald McDougall MacDonald was killed on 5/11/1944 while serving with the East African Artillery.
Unfortunately,Mona had died on 10/3/1939,aged 54, at 12 Randolph Cres;Edinburgh.Cause of death was given as Gallstones op.(4 days) and Auricular Fibrillation(10 years).Her usual address was Morayston,Petty,Inverness-shire and Informant of death was widower James Logie MacDonald.

November the 1st 1914, Mona joins the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as a nurse and heads to Calais in France. By the 5th of December they were working at Dr Depage’s Hospital. Under the command of Dr Alice Hutchison and Dr Phillips with ten fully trained nurses of which Mona was one. The hospital was battling a typhus epidemic among the Belgian troops that were patients. The hospital had three months of incessant work until the fever was finally over. In July 1915 Mona went back to France, this time to Troyes with the Girton and Newnham unit. In May 1915 the French War Officer let it be known that it was happy to have a unit at Troyes. A 250 bed hospital and all under canvas. At first the hospital was a bit of a novelty with all the tents and female staff, but General de Torcy and General Tousseau were very supportive of the unit. Twenty beds to a large tent and all on wooden floors. The wards were lighten by electricity, with the operations being carried out in the large, light and airy Orangerie. By October the unit was ordered to head to Salonika by the French authorities. Mona sailed from Marseilles a voyage through the Mediterranean with a twist of danger, submarines and mines infested the waters. After a spell nursing at Guevgueli under very difficult circumstances due the Serbs being under attack and the entire Serb nation going into retreat, the unit was forced back to Salonika. Mona in April 1916 made her way home and settled into family life.

Barbara MacGregor

Date of Bith: 1889
Place of Birth: Lerwick, Shetland.

Barbara MacGregor was born in Lerwick,Shetland Islands in 1889. She was youngest of seven children born to Edinburgh born solicitor,Alexander and Glasgow born mother,Grace. Barbara’s father died when she was 2 years old, and the family were living ,in 1891, at Braeside,Lerwick. Ten years later,the Census of 1901 show that the family have moved to Glasgow,where mother Grace and three of Barbara’s siblings are living in the Kelvin District at 150 Woodlands Road. Barbara however, wasn’t at home in Glasgow. She was boarding at John Watson’s Institution in Belford Road,Edinburgh. John Watson’s was a school established in Edinburgh in 1762 and the building is now the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. John Watson was an Edinburgh solicitor and Writer to the Signet,who left the residue of his estate for charitable purposes for children in the Edinburgh area. By 1911,Barbara was living in Glasgow at 122 York Drive,Hyndland .She was staying in her sister,Jane’s,house and, aged 22 was studying as a Medical Student. Barbara qualified as a Doctor of Medicine and went on to serve in the SWH. as a Doctor with the Girton and Newnham unit. In October 1915 she headed for Salonika. On arrival at Salonika, the Unit was instructed to proceed to Geuvgueli, just across the border in Serbia where the French were forming a large hospital centre. An empty silk factory was given to the Unit and used for staff accommodation, the operating theatre, X-ray room and the pharmacy. Marqee-ward tents were erected for the patients. By the summer of 1916 malaria and dysentery rife in the region were putting enormous strains on the hospital and staff and Barbara wrote ” the hospital full with always 280-290 and even over 300 patients in it and never a minute stopped, the staff on duty scarcely able to drag on from day to day. Glory and honour and patriotism are fine words. but hopeless uphill work rather removes the glamour of such”. Many of the staff during that hot and difficult summer became ill and several of the nurses died, Barbara herself became seriously ill with malaria and was sent home. Barbara married Lecturer of Classics,John William Pirie at The Grand Hotel,Glasgow,After Banns of the United Free Church of Scotland.At the time of her marriage,Barbara’s address was Belvidere Hospital,Glasgow.

Angusine MacGregor

Date of Bith: 1879
Place of Birth: Birmingham

Angusine Jeanne Macgregor

Born in Harborne, Birmingham in 1879. Her father Angus and mother Jeanne were both from Scotland. Angus was a commercial traveller. Angusine in the 1900’s was a student at Birminghams School of Art.
Angusine served with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in corsica as a house keeper between 1917-1919. In December of 1915 the Scottish Women’s Hospitals opened a Serb refugee hospital on the island of Corsica. The CMO was Dr Blair and her sixteen women were the first but over the next few years others would follow. On Christmas day 1915 the Corsican unit, also known as the Manchester and District unit, began. And as 1915 came to a close hundreds of Serbian refugees poured in on a daily basis. Dr Blair remarked that ” they looked so desolate and forlorn though most put a brave face on it, that we all felt inclined to weep”. The main hospital was located in Ajaccio in a two storeyed building of Villa Miot. As the work load grew so did the hospital and tents were pitched in the gardens for open air treatments. A fever hospital was situated a few miles from the General hospital in Lazaet, a historic building that stood high, over looking the gulf. By this time nearly 3000 refugees and a few decimated regiments had arrived from Serbia. Also a band of a few hundred Serbian boys arrived for a few months recuperation. Thirty thousand boys set off on the Serbian retreat. Such were the conditions and horrors of that journey, that only 7000 made it to safety. Nearly 300 of these lads, after they were rested on the island, were sent on to schools in UK and France. Out- patients hospitals were opened in Chiavari some 20 miles from Ajaccio and St Antoine. The value of the work is indubitable and many a young life benefited from the units endeavours. 79 babies were born during the hospitals tenure, a reminder that life even in the darkest of times prevails. The hospital closed in April 1919.
Angusine Jeanne Macgregor, who after the war was an illustrator with the ladybird books. Little is known of her but she was clearly very gifted. Angusine never married and died on the 26 Feb 1961 at Parkfield Nursing Home, Birmingham.

Edith Mackay

Date of Bith: 1673
Place of Birth: Australia

MATRON, EDITH JANE MACKAY decorated for her services in the war but who never
discussed that part of her life. Goomeri and district were extremely fortunate to have had the services of such a
highly qualified, outstanding nurse for so many years. She will always be fondly remembered by the townsfolk.
This is an outstanding story.
Edith Jane Mackay was born in 1873 and passed away in 1959 in Byron Bay. Edith’s vocation in life was to
care for others. She did this by taking on a nursing career. Edith found herself in Great Britain at the time when
World War 1 hostilities broke out. In 1915, she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospital Association and was sent
to Lourdes France to work for the French Red Cross. In 1917, Edith was sent to Corsica to nurse war veterans.
She became the Matron of a military hospital in Ajaccio Corsica from 2nd October 1917 to 27th September 1918.
Whilst she was in Corsica Edith became a very much-loved member of their community and was given a beautiful
Brooch by the town’s people. This gold brooch was a small stiletto with a coral handle which fits in its own
engraved gold sheath. Many years later, this brooch would be passed onto a person who had become very special
in Edith’s life during her time at Goomeri. Edith would forever be considered a second Mother to that little girl.
Edith then moved on to the Balkans and she was in Serbia in 1919 where she received the Serbian Medal for
Zeal and later performed relief work during the Russian famine. Edith also nursed in England and Belgium during
her time over there.
Below is an extract written by Sister Edith Mackay from a book that was published about Serbia and the
atrocious conditions for its people and its devoted nursing staff during and after the end of World War 1. This time
was extremely difficult and a strong sense of compassion and the need to help others was the driving force for this
extraordinary woman.
Australian Nurse Edith Mackay described the sad situation she witnessed at a Serbian Hospital. “all day
long sick, illfed and scantily clad Serbs flock around the little dispensary. Tottering old men, weather worn pale
and harassed looking women, sick children in their arms. The day’s work commenced at sunrise and ended
sometimes long after sunset. People came long distances mostly on foot for treating and medicine and dressings
for malaria, typhus, typhoid, influenza, diseases, accidents, dog bite etc.”
Eventually Edith returned to Australia and ended her nursing career in Goomeri. She opened up a private
hospital around 1926 on the outskirts of town on the Murgon Road. This was called ‘Stirling Hospital. In 1930 she
moved into another house in Hodge Street. It would seem she named her hospitals ‘Stirling Hospital’ after her
very good friend Alice Mary Stirling. They nursed together in all forms of the war throughout Europe. Sadly, Alice
passed away in London on 25th April 1925. She was the Daughter of Sir Edward and Lady Stirling of Mount Lofty,
South Australia. They would have spent some horrendous times together but as we know the 2 Australian ladies
would have put their shoulders to the wheel (so to speak) and got on with the job.
Alisa Stanton (nee Perrett) was delivered by Matron Mackay and Dr Underwood in 1930 and spent the first 12
years of her life between her home (next door to the hospital) and the Goomeri Stirling Hospital. Matron Mackay
was to be known to Alisa as ‘Grandpa’ for the rest of her life. Later on, this would become embarrassing for Edith
when she retired and received telegrams on Mother’s Day from Alisa addressed to’Grandpa’. Everyone down
Byron Bay thought she was a single lady. They thought the addresses should have been Grandma. I bet that set
the tongues a wagging.
Below are some recollections of Matron Mackay written by Ailsa Stanton.
Matron Edith Mackay was a devout, humane lady who lived her Christianity daily with all she met, particularly
those in need of tender nursing care.
Although Grandpa employed nursing staff and domestic/maintenance help from time to time she always liked
to do her own cooking. The wood stove not only cooked the meals but provided warmth in so many ways. Much
of the ceiling was lined with timber and rope clothes lines were worked by pulleys. Here the damp clothes dried
and the babies’ clothes were kept warm. No baby ever had a cold nappy. To bath the babies, “Grandpa” would sit
on a wooden stool with a dish of warm water on another stool and a warm, soft towel across her lap. Each babe
would be undressed on her knee, bathed and fondled in the warm water, then returned to her knee for drying and
dressing. She called the babies ‘Gifts from Heaven’.
An example of her dedication is the case of the poor mother who lived with several children in a hessian shack
about a mile out of town. She gave birth to twins, one of which died at birth. The other was so small, ‘Grandpa’
rolled her in cotton wool, put a bootee on her head and placed her in one of her pie dishes. This was her bed till
she was big enough to move to a cot and eventually she grew to a normal child and returned home to her mother.
This lady has the pie dish to this day. Such was the dedication and wonderful ability of a lady who said all babies
were gifts from God to be cared for, treasured and loved.
Not only were babies delivered in this hospital, but broken limbs were repaired, some minor surgery performed
and any general nursing care carried out.27
Tales of the generosity and compassion of this woman are many. Ability to pay was never a consideration when
people needed care. No one in need of medical attention was ever refused admittance. All were treated the same.
I was reminded recently by one of ‘Grandpa’s’ many patients, of my sitting under some patient’s bed signing
‘When it’s Springtime in the Rockies’. We were ahead of the rest of the medical fraternity providing piped music
from under the beds.
Such was her dedication, that working alone as she mostly did, ‘Grandpa’ would sit all night in a chair beside
any patient for whom she held concern, ready to comfort them and attend to their needs.’Grandpa’ would tell me of
her nursing experiences overseas and how in Russia, for her own protection, she wore a pistol on her belt twentyfour
hours a day.
Here was a lady who had been decorated for her services in the war but who never discussed that part of
her life. She obviously felt she needed to leave those times behind her and start afresh in a small town that
desperately needed a hospital and a Matron who wanted to devote her life to a new community.
In 1942, Matron Mackay retired to Byron Bay so she could be closer to her Family. It was during the packing
process Ailsa found a war medal. When asked, Edith admitted being decorated in the war but had never sought
recognition of this in her life in Goomeri and chose not to go into any details. Her time of leaving coincided with
Ailsa leaving Goomeri to go to Boarding School.
The people of Goomeri and district were extremely fortunate to have had the services of such a highly qualified,
outstanding nurse for so many years. She will always be fondly remembered by the townsfolk.
I, on the other hand, feel privileged that this gentle lady found time in the business of running a hospital and
caring for so many sick people, to share her life with me, showering me with so muich love and devotion.
Doris Harris also has many fond memories of working for Matron Mackay. Doris said “once there were 14
patients and some had to be nursed out on the verandah. At night, Matron would have to rig up a towel up over
the heads of the patients so they didn’t wake up drenched from the condensation of the verandah roofing iron.
Doris said Matron was a ‘stickler’ for cleanliness and hygiene and she had to scrub the many steps (at lest 20) at
the back of the hospital every 2 days. Clearly here was a woman who left a profound impression on those she
came into contact with.
Sadly, Matron Edith Jane Mackay passed away in 1959 and is at rest in the Byron Bay Cemetery.
When Edith passed way, Ailsa was given the beautiful Stiletto Brooch she had received in Corsica. This takes
pride of place in Ailsa’s home.
Ailsa Stanton (nee Perrett)

Mary MacKenzie

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Lochinver

Mary was born on 9 January 1885, in Baddidarroch Lochinver

On the 1st of march 1915 Mary joined the Scottish women s hospitals as a nurse and was posted to Mladenovac in Serbia, her CMO for the unit was Dr Beatrice Macgregor , its was however a thankless task with Serbia on the retreat the men were pouring in, mainly suffering from exhaustion. Col Getitch of the serb army wrote of the unit saying” the SWH unit at Mladenovac were always first in the field ,first when the war broke out and first when the bombs fell” On the 8th of October Belgrade fell, Mladenovac had to be evacuated and the hospital moved for a short time to Kraguievac 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, 100’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 “The Great Serbian Retreat” The retreat as witnessed by Mary and her group 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. 100,000’s 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 after returning home for a short period,then joins the SWH in December 1916, she joins the same unit as her sister Florence. The Girton and Newnham unit by 1916 was situated at Salonika. 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. Mary worked with the unit until the 1st of May 1919.

Florence Annie Mackenzie

Date of Bith: 1888
Place of Birth: Baddidarroch, Assynt

Florence (registered at Birth Flora Anne) was born 22 September 1888, in Baddidarroch, Assynt presumably in the family house at Glendarroch.In the 1911 Census Flora Mackenzie is shown as being a Hospital Nurse, age 22, born Lochinver, Sutherland, fluent in Gaelic and English. This was recorded in the Enumeration Book of Ruchill, City of Glasgow, Fever Hospital.

Florence joined the Scottish women s hospitals as a nurses on 4th of June 1915 and went to work for the Girton and Newnham unit, Her first post as a nurse was in Troyes France in the Champagne district. The hospital was a building know as chateau chantalops ( now a home for the disabled ), the unit was working on behalf of the French War Office and was around 30 miles from the front line. By October the unit was requested to move to Salonika in Greece, they sailed from Marseilles and were forced to land in Malta due to the activity of German submarines in the waters at that time. During their stay in Malta they set up camp and tended the men returning from gallipoli. The unit went on to Salonika and after a few weeks went on to the hospital in guevgueli, , just across the border in Serbia where the French were forming a large hospital centre. An empty silk factory was given to the Unit and used for staff accommodation, the operating theatre, X-ray room and the pharmacy. Marqee-ward tents were erected for the patients – all French soldiers, many of them Senegalese.

The Allied attempts at saving Serbia were, however, too late and the hospital had only been fully operational a short time before the Unit was commanded to retreat along with the Allied forces to Salonika. Here, the Unit re-established the hospital on a piece of swampy waste ground by the sea – the only place they could find in an area overflowing with refugees and retreating army

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..With the Serbian army on retreat the hospital was moved back down to Salonika, Florence worked there until march 1919, although we know she came home for some rest. She also worked with her sister Mary during 1916-1919. After the hospital was decommissioned at Salonika, the unit was then sent to Belgrade in Serbia to help the Serbs set up there own hospitals, Florence was one the very last nurses to leave Belgrade. In June 1920 she was still in Serbia working. One of the very last women to serve in Serbia with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals.
Florence and Mary died in 1970

Myra MacKenzie

Date of Bith: 1876
Place of Birth: Perthshire

Myra MacKenzie was born in 1876 at Auchtergaven, Bankfoot, Perthshire. Her father William was a Linen manufacturer. In 1881 Myra was living at the family home on Dunkeld Road, Bankfoot, Perth with her sisters Charlotte and Sheila and her mother Miriam. By 1901 the family had moved to Aberdeen and were residing in Castle Terrace. Myra by the age of 24 had became the first women to qualify as a Doctor at Aberdeen University and was awarded the position in The Royal Aberdeen Hospital for Sick Children. In July 1901 Myra was appointed House Surgeon of the Sick Children’s Hospital in Sheffield. In 1911 Myra was working as a School Medical Inspector on Princess Road, Hartshill, Stoke on Trent, she was living with her mother at the time. She moved home by 1917 and was living at Whitecliff, Rowley Park Stafford. In 1918 she moved to London to stay with her mother and in late February joined the Scottish Women’s Hospital as Assistant Medical Officer.

Myra joined the American Unit at Ostrovo, a Field Hospital set up in1916. The unit of 200 tents situated near Lake Ostrovo, Macedonia, was under the command of the Serbian Army. The unit got its name as donations came pouring in from America, mainly due to the work of Kathleen Burke. At Ostrovo the enemy was not the Austrians but their ally Bulgaria. Myra would have worked often at times day and night and all under canvas. The conditions were very hard going, Cases of malaria, gas gangrene, amputations all a common sight. The hospital which was under canvas was also frequently under attack from bombings. 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. How excited the 52 members of the unit must have felt, pushing back into Serbia with the soldiers and people they were all so clearly fond of. All the staff made the trip and the unit set up in an abandoned army barracks in Vranja. On two separate occasions Myra and the rest on the unit slept out in the open.
At Vranje Myra worked under the command of Dr Isobel Emslie, they were always on great terms, had a huge respect for each other and were the best of friends. The hospital at Vranje was a large ex army barracks and packed with hundreds of patients with a whole manner of appalling conditions, pneumonia, pleurisy and serious surgical cases. Sadder still was one women’s account of the children ” the injuries are terrible, we have had several poor little hands to amputate and often they have terrible abdominal wounds”
Cold weather came to Vranje and with it typhus, Nurse Agnes Earl of Cumnock by this time was the sister in charge and had being doing a fantastic job and the death rates were very low. However while dressing a gangrenous limb she got a scratch which turned septic and two days later she was dead. Myra was well known to work all hours and also took the time to assist local people when she could by spending an hour per day treating the children. Myra also was involved in providing medical aid to the Austrian and Bulgarian prisoners of war. This work was important as in the winter of 1918 Typhus returned to Serbia. Prevention was really the only way to help control this awful curse on the Serbian people. On entering the hospital the men were stripped, clothes boiled, all body hair removed and scrubbed. By early 1919 to the summer of 1919 the unit were beginning to get all the various problems at Vranje under control. Dr Isobel Emslie and Myra both felt more work was needed at the hospital but the committee decided to close the hospital in September and move the unit to Belgrade to work along side the Girton and Newnham unit at the Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital. Relationships were strained and as war was over the women felt their salary’s were in need of improvement. In December 1919 Myra returned home to live with her mother at 27 Hampstead Hill Gardens in London. Myra returned to Belgrade just a month after returning home, however in April the Elsie Ingis Memorial Hospital in Belgrade was closed. I am certain Myra traveled to the Crimea with Dr Isobel Hutton and would have helped identify the graves of the SWH members who died in Serbia. Myra in 1920 was working for the British Relief Committee in Sebbastopol in the Crimea. And in July 1920 was working in Constantinople. Dr Myra Mackenzie died in Willesden, Middlesex in 1957. Myra was awarded the Serbian Royal Red Cross 1st Degree.

Dr Myra MacKenzie is in the photo above.

Edith Mabel Mackenzie

Date of Bith: 1888
Place of Birth: Fort William

LHB8/12/8 – Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive.

Born in March 1888 Edith’s father Nigel Banks Mackenzie, a banker & Solicitor originally from the island of St kilda They lived at Bank House in Cameron Square which used to be the British Linen Company Bank and manager’s house combined. Still extant, it is now home to the West Highland Museum collection; there are several good images online. Nigel B Mackenzie was, without a doubt, one of the most influential men in Fort William. Edith joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in August 1916 as a driver, Edith in fact took charge of the kitchen truck. On August 31st 1916 the unit sailed from Liverpool aboard ” The Huntspill” 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. 16 automobiles and a great deal of equipment were included in the cargo. 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. 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. Edith in December returned home with 4 other drivers and she had been unwell. Sadly for Edith in the 1930’s thing took a dramatic turn for the worse when she was confined in the Royal Asylum in Montrose. Poor Edith would remain there until she died in 1942. A doleful end to what had started as a bright, spirited and adventurous life.

Geraldine Mackenzie

Date of Bith: 1887
Place of Birth: London

Geraldine Mackenzie

Geraldine was born in London in 1887. Her father George Mackenzie was a captain in the army.

Geraldine served with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals an Orderly. From April 1916- May 1917, Geraldine worked at Royaumont Abbey 30 miles outside Paris. In 1914 the Abbey was turned into a voluntary hospital. Operated by the Scottish Women’s Hospitals(SWH), under the direction of the French Red Cross. On arrival the staff found that the buildings were in a deplorable condition. They were dirty; there was a shortage of practically every amenity that they would need to run an efficient unit. There were no lifts; water had to be carried to where it was needed. By dint of much hard work the hospital was eventually given it certificate by the Service de Sante of the French Red Cross. Their work was unremitting, the winters bitter and I was left with unstinting admiration for this very gallant band of doctors, nurses, orderlies ambulance drivers, cooks, who gave so much to their patients throughout the war. The hospital was situated near the front line and nursed 10,861 patients, many with serious injuries. The fact that the death rate among the mainly French servicemen was 1.82% is a testimony to the skill, endless compassion and boundless energy shown by the women. Geraldine wrote a poem dedicated to the orderlies at Royaumont. It can be found in the book “The Women of Royaumont”.
After the war Geraldine married, but she was tragically killed in a road accident in Switzerland in 1923.

Florence Margaret MacLeod

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Durham

Florence Margaret MacLeod b c1885 in North Shields,Co.Durham. We also know Florence was educated at Edinburgh’s St George School for Girls. Florence was daughter of Scottish father Alexander(Boiler- maker Foreman)and South Shields born mother Mary.1901 and 1911 Census Returns show that Florence and her family were living in Hartlepool,Co Durham.1911 Census informs us that Florence’s occupation was School Teacher.

In December 1914, a small group of young women were photographed in Edinburgh before leaving for Serbia. They smile shyly, dressed from head to toe in grey: grey skirts to their ankles, grey capes, grey jackets with tartan facings and grey hats. Amongst them were four doctors, 10 nurses, a matron, several orderlies, and a clerk. They were leaving for this beleaguered country under the auspices of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, an organisation with strong links to the suffrage movement, formed only two months previously. Little did they know the sort of conditions they would soon face or the fact that three of their unit would not survive the epidemics that were then raging across Serbia.

The Chief Medical Officer of the first Serbian unit was Dr Eleanor Soltau,
Eleanor with her unit of 40, boarded the ship at Southampton on the 1st of December 1914 and headed for Serbia via Salonika. At the time of crossing the mission looked bleak as large parts of Serbia including Belgrade had fallen into enemy hands. But on arrival at Salonika they were greeted and uplifted by the tremendous news that Serbia had been victorious in the battle of the ridges and despite heavy losses and an epidemic of typhus had pushed the Austrian/Hungarian troops out of Serbia, the first allied victory in WW1.

At Salonika the units orders were to en-train for Kragujevac a military key point near Belgrade. The unit arrived on the 6th of January and was geared for a 100 beds but immediately had to admit 250 patients and soon after 650. Florence and the unit worked around the clock trying to save as many lives as possible. The magnitude of the disaster was everywhere, thousands of men and civilians were scattered in buildings all over the town. Kragujevac was really one large hospitals. Broken limbs, gangrene, frostbite and open infected wounds were just some of the conditions endured by the men. Many lay dying with no medical help. Unfortunately things were set to get worse with the outbreak of typhus, Eleanor wired to HQ for more nurses,” dire need for more fever nurses” unable to use the word typhus, the Serbs not wanting her enemy’s to know the fragile condition it was in. Elsie Inglis got the message and dispatched 10 more nurses.In march, sadly three nurses, Jordan, Minshull and Fraser all died in consecutive weeks during March

Florence joined the SWH as an orderly on the 1st of December 1914 although she returned in June 1915 her six months working in Serbia at that time were without question the worst of times.

Norah Miller Macnaughton

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Pitlochry

Norah Miller Macnaughton was born on December 14 1885 in Pitlochry to James Macnaughton and Martha Eliza Dunlop. She was a cousin of Edith Macnaughton. James Macnaughton and Alexander Macnaughton were brothers. They were the founders and operators of A&J Macnaughton – a tweed manufacturers and woollen mill – in Pitlochry. This company is extant but no longer based in Pitlochry. The shop named for them is still in Pitlochry but no longer in family ownership.

Norah on the 29th of April 1916 joins the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as an orderly at Royaumont abbey, near Paris, France. War had broken the tranquil and peaceful ambiance of the 13th century cistercian abbey. Royaumont Abbey north of Paris, France became during WW1 an all women hospital run by the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and by the end of the war had saved and aided thousands of lives. The women who served and devoted a slice of their life, helping mainly the French soldiers are remembered by plaques on the walls and in the grounds of the Abbey.
Without question their most testing time came in July 1916. For anyone connected with the Battle of the Somme these were horrendous, dangerous and difficult days. The women of Royaumont proved time and time again that they had the metle and expertise to face all the horrors of this war. Norah left the hospital and service in September 1916. She had served the minimal six months required under very difficult circumstances.
Norah died on September 15 1982 in Edinburgh. She never married.

Edith Macnaughton

Date of Bith: 1891
Place of Birth: Pitlochry

Edith Mabel Macnaughton was born on December 4 1891 in Pitlochry to Alexander Macnaughton and Georgina Agnes Laird. Alexander Macnaughton and James Macnaughton were brothers. They were the founders and operators of A&J Macnaughton – a tweed manufacturers and woollen mill – in Pitlochry. This company is extant but no longer based in Pitlochry. The shop named for them is still in Pitlochry but no longer in family ownership.

Edith joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in December 1915. Working as on orderly at Royaumont Abbey, near Paris. Edith served at the hospital for a full year leaving in December 1916. The hospital was situated near the front line and nursed 10,861 patients, many with serious injuries. The fact that the death rate among the mainly French servicemen was 1.82% is a testimony to the skill, endless compassion and boundless energy shown by the women. Orderly’s took on all hard and often unpleasant work, mopping up blood and carrying stretchers up and down flights of stairs, were very much normal day to day choirs. Edith volunteered to do this work as orderly’s were not paid, only board and lodgings were paid for along with the uniform. They worked until exhausted, sleeping was a luxury, often the women became sick from all the endless hours of contentiousness work. The Abbey was massively involved in the saving of lives during the offensives of 1915, the Somme battles of 1916 and the final push of 1918.
Edith after the War married Leslie Charles John Crowther (1887 – 1936) in 1919 in London. There were two children : Elise Margaret Crowther (1922 – 1999) and Kathleen Edith Crowther (born 1927).
She died on August 25 1983 in Edinburgh.

Isobel MacPhail

Date of Bith: 1889
Place of Birth: Coatbridge, Lanarkshire

Isobel was born in 1889 in Coatbridge Lanarkshire, her father was the local Doctor. Isobel lived at the family home in Calder Avenue Coatbridge with her 3 sisters, Janet, Annie and Katherine. Katherine was a Doctor in the SWH.
Isobel studied modern Languages at Glasgow University between 1907-1910. She took a nursing course in 1915. On the 15th of May 1915 Isobel joined the Scottish Women’s hospitals at Troyes in France as on orderly.
The hospital was sponsored by the Girton and Newnham school for girls and the unit was therefore named The Girton and Newnham Unit. The Chief Medical officers for the unit were Dr Louise Mcllroy of Northern Ireland and Dr Laura Sandeman from Aberdeen and staffed with around 40 other women who worked as Nurses, orderly’s, cooks and drivers.
The hospital was stationed in the grounds at Chanteloup. 250 beds were erected under large marques and by June they were full.
By October 1915 the unit was invited to join The French Expeditionary Force in Salonika and they accepted as the hospital at that time had been quiet for a few months. In late October they sailed from Marseilles to Salonika where the unit worked in a 1000 bed hospital for a large part of the war. Isobel left her unit for a short time to work in North Africa. By late 1916 she was back in Salonika working with the SWH and continued working with her unit until April 1917. She joined her sister Katherine in Salonika and worked alone side her until 1918. In 1919 she was working in Vranje in Serbia and again joined her sister in Belgrade. After the war she married and lived in China, her husband Edward Nathan being the manager of a mining company. During ww2 her husband was interned by Japanese and Isobel and her daughters managed to escape to Nova Scotia, Canada. She was reunited with her husband after the war and settled in England. Isobel died in 1955 in Gloucestershire.

Katherine Stewart MacPhail

Date of Bith: 1887
Place of Birth: Coatbridge, Lanarkshire

Katherine was born in 1887 in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, her father was the local Doctor. The family were originally from the Isle of Mull, Katherine was related to the “bard of Mull”. Katherine lived at the family home in Calder Avenue Coatbridge with her 3 sisters, Janet, Annie and Isobel.
Sister Isobel also served in the SWH in France and Salonika.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Katherine studied medicine at Glasgow University and qualified in 1911. She joined the Scottish Womens Hospitals on the 12th of December 1914 and as Doctor and headed to Serbia, working in the hospital at Kraguevac. Katherine left the hospital in June 1914 feeling that she was in need of new challenges. During ww1 she also worked as a Doctor in Corsica, France and at Salonika. Toward’s the end of ww1 she returned to Serbia in order to organise medical care for poor children suffering tuberculosis, which was a serious medical and social problem at that time. Developing a hospital firstly in Belgrade then moving to the village Sremska Kamenica near Novi Sad. The hospital was huge success and Katherine spent most of her life dedicated to the hospital. Only leaving when the Germans occupied Serbia during WW2 and in 1949 when the communist’s came to power. She was awarded an OBE in 1928. Katherine retired to St Andrews and lived with her sister Annie. She died in 1974 and is buried at the Western cemetery, St Andrews.
A remarkable lady and you can read more her in the book Ever Yours Sincerely by Zelimir Dj. Mikic

Alexandrina Matilda MacPhail

Date of Bith: 1860
Place of Birth: isle of skye

Daughter of John Sinclair MacPhail, a Free Church Minister, and Janet Reid Finlayson who married in Elgin in 1853. Alexandrina was born in Sleat on the Isle Of Skye. She studied medicine at the London School of Medicine for Women in London and successfully graduated (1887) before leaving England travelling to Madras in India. At Madras MacPhail established a medical dispensary to service poor women and children, and established a small hospital within her bungalow. This was eventually replaced by the fully functional Christina Rainy Hospital (1914). During WW I she served as chief medical officer She studied medicine at the London School of Medicine for Women in London and successfully graduated (1887) before leaving England travelling to Madras in India. At Madras MacPhail established a medical dispensary to service poor women and children, and established a small hospital within her bungalow. This was eventually replaced by the fully functional Christina Rainy Hospital (1914). During WW I she served as chief medical officer She studied medicine at the London School of Medicine for Women in London and successfully graduated (1887) before leaving England travelling to Madras in India. At Madras MacPhail established a medical dispensary to service poor women and children, and established a small hospital within her bungalow. This was eventually replaced by the fully functional Christina Rainy Hospital (1914). During WW I she served as chief medical officer at Ajaccio, Corsica between 02-Aug-1 and 26-Nov-17 aiding the Serbian refugees from their retreat and again at Sallanches in France between 1-Feb-18 and 1-Nov-1 with a unit sent to assist young Serbian boys suffering from TB. After the war she returned to India where she kept in touch with some of the Serbia boys she attended in France. Also in India she worked along side a number of other SWH personnel. Much the medical work at the Rainy Hospital in India was pioneered by Dr. Alexandrina Macphail, between 1888 and 1928, who established an institution primarily to provide medical care to women and children.In.In recognition of her valuable work MacPhail was elected to the OBE (Order of the British Empire) by King George V (1930). Dr Alexandrina Macphail died in 1946.

Jessie MacPherson

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Greenock

Jean (Jessie) Blackwood Hannah MacPherson was a younger sister of Elizabeth. She was born c1885 in Greenock. She was a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment Corps; Sub Unit of British Red Cross and St John Ambulance. Jean was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal. She served as a cook at Royaumont Abbey with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals from 1915-1917. A tough roll being a cook at Royaumont, at its peak the hospital was home to 600 patients and could easily require meals for 700 people per day with staff, patients and visitors. In 1918 i have Jessie working at Borchiested School for Girls, presumably as a cook.

Elizabeth, Forbes MacPherson

Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: Greenock

Elizabeth (Betty) Forbes MacPherson was born c1884 in Greenock.She was the daughter of Largs born father John MacPherson and Girvan born mother,Jessie.John was a Minister.
1891 Census show the family living at 46,Margaret Street,Greenock.
1901 Census shows Elizabeth,aged 17,living with her grandmother MacPherson at 468,Great Western Road,Partick .
Elizabeth married Charles McIntosh Bruce in 1925 at Greenock.

Betty joined the Scottish Women;s Hospitals in May 1916 as an Orderly and Storekeeper. Betty spent the entire war working at Royaumont Abbey near Paris, leaving right at the end of the hospital in February 1919. Betty was an Art Student before the war and with her co worker Dorothy Morgan dashed from place to place, bringing supplies to where they were needed. Like Dorothy she spent her spare time drawing and love to show the men and staff there sketches. Bettys sister Jean was one of the cooks at the Abbey. After the war Elizabeth married Charles McIntosh Bruce in 1925 at Greenock.

Grace,Maria, Linton MacRae

Date of Bith: 1894
Place of Birth: Gloucestershire

The following is her obituary from the BMJ, written by one of her grandsons who followed her into medicine.

‘Grace MacRae, who died in her 100th year, was one of the last of a remarkable generation of women doctors.

Initially a teacher in Colchester, she wanted to be near her brother Christopher who was in the trenches during WW1. The British Army didn’t let female nurses near the front, so she joined the Scottish Womens Hospital, which served under The French flag, and was an orderly at Royaumont field hospital between December 1917 and August 1918. She remembered the different nationalities by how heavy they were to carry on stretchers and how polite they were (the Germans scored lowly on both counts).

She then qualified as a Doctor at the Royal Free, and started along the conventional path to senior hospital posts in Britain, but her adventurous spirit led her to accept the job of setting up the first maternity hospital and nurses’ training school in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) at Korle Bu. She rememebered how going out to the villages and talking to the witch doctors so they’d bring in the young women with complications was the only way to get it going.

She overcame enormous difficulties to achieve this, and her work laid the foundations for Ghana’s current -obstetric services. She aimed to provide training for her staff the equal of any in the world. She also undertook research into anaemia of pregnancy in Africa, which was both early and valuable, as well as research into malaria and other diseases of the tropics.

She remained in Ghana with her husband Alastair, a senior surgeon who she met and married out there, until the second world war. On returning to Gloucestershire where her aging parents lived, she took on general practice.

After the war she remained in Gloucestershire and continued to work in child health. Her conviction that housing was vital to health led her to become an independent district councillor, and she gave her enormous energies to many medical organisations.

She remained active and lived independently throughout her old age, retiring as president of the local cancer research campaign at 90 and visiting hospitals in Nigeria at 98.

Source: Obituary in the BMJ

Janet Annie Macvea

Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: Whithorn, Wigtown

Janet Annie Macvea grew up in the village of Whithorn in the royal burgh in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, about ten miles south of Wigtown. Her father Antony was the chemist in the village and her mother Eliza was a music teacher. Janet studied medicine at Glasgow University and by 1906 she had qualified(MB ChB). In March 1915 she joined the Scottish Women;s Hospitals as surgeon and headed to the front in Serbia. Janet firstly went to Kragujievac to help with the typhus epidemic. Serbia was being swept away with by disease, famine and thousands of wounded soldiers. All manner of human suffering was imposed on this stoic nation. The impact these hospitals had on Serbia was magnificent. They not only saved lives but brought hope to a beleaguered people. Janet was in charge of the typhus hospital no 6 in Kragujievac, a 200 bed unit on the outskirts of the town in the old army barracks. Always overcrowded and she would have spend days working around the clock. In June she moved north to Mladenovac, the hospital their was under the command of Dr Beatrice McGregor. 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, 100’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 “The Great Serbian Retreat” The retreat as witnessed by Janet and the 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 out of the country, all desperate to escape the invading forces. Well over 150,000 died, killed or were lost along the way. History has few parallels to this mass exodus.
Dr McGregor, Janet and the others made it back to the UK on the 23rd of December. They too had suffered as nurse Caroline Toughill was killed on the mountains of the Ibar valley.

Janet continued with her medicine after the war as a Medical Practitioner in the town of Ayr, where she died in 1962.

Bertha Louisa Madan

Date of Bith: 1896
Place of Birth: England

Bertha Louisa Madan was born in Didsbury,England in 1896, her father, Charles, was 35 and her mother, Bertha, was 30.

Bertha joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in September 1915. She joined the existing unit in Kragujevac, Serbia. She was employed as a driver and was often responsible for chauffeuring Dr Elsie Inglis from town to town. Bertha joined the unit just a few months before all the hospitals were forced to move south. Belgrade fell and by the 17th of October the unit was ordered to evacuate. On to krusevac they marched, but by mid November the Austrians had caught up with them. They were at that first treated well, but soon forced into accommodated that was run down, filthy and cold. The hospital was know as the Zoo on account of the men being packed in row after row and piled 3 high. The conditions were awful, men streamed in hour after hour, exhausted, starving and worse. They had lost all hope.
Relations with their captors at this point started to breakdown and Bertha with the other 31 members of the unit were repatriated by train after 3 months of working in extreme conditions.
On the 12 th of February 1916 the women were greeted by cheering crowds but for most of these stoic women all their thoughts were of the Serbs they left behind.

After the war, She married Gilbert Edward Mould, MRCS, LRCP of Thundercliffe Grange, Kimberwortth, near Rotherham, Yorks at St Joseph’s, Wath on Dearn in 1925. Bertha Louisa Madan died in June 1956 in North Walsham, Norfolk, when she was 59 years old.

Mary Emily Maguire

Date of Bith: 1869
Place of Birth: County Antrim

April 1869 Mary Emily Maguire was born to Edward Maguire and Mary KENAGHAN. The birth was registered in Bushmills, Co. Antrim. The parents were married on 9 Nov 1865 in Knockbreda Church of Ireland. Like many of the women, spending a huge amount of time on one case is not really practical, tends be be the case that as the time rolls by more information comes to light. Mary Emily Magurie’s story has more more questions than answers.

Known by her middle name Emily, she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as on orderly and headed to Valjevo, Serbia. In April 1915 Dr Alice Hutchinson, Emily’s CMO took charge of the second Serbian unit and on the 21st of April 1915 Alice and her unit which included 25 nurses, cooks and orderly’s sailed from Cardiff on the SS Ceramic. They were briefly diverted to Malta to help staff the naval and Valletta military hospital, Australians and Kiwis were among the many casualties who were serving at the peninsula of Gallipoli. They continued working there for around three weeks but were soon ordered to there original destination, Valjevo Serbia. Emily joined the party later and went out in July 1915, she would have taken the same route, albeit more direct. 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. At Valjevo;s National Museum there are documents and photos on display.By late October 1915 Belgrade had fallen and Serbia was forced into retreat, Dr Alice Hutchinson’s unit refused to leave and short spells at Vrinjacka Banja and Krushevac where they organized dressing hospitals. They were eventually taken as prisoners of war, Alice was continually harassing her Austrian officials and with 32 other women were sent out of Serbia to a camp in Hungary. Over the next two months Alice badgered and pestered her captors until they were sent home via Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Six months after her ordeal, Emily again was back working for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals this time on the Russian front. Joining the London unit in August 1916, she sailed from Liverpool on the 31st of august, the voyage took her nearly to bear island in the Arctic Circle and on to Archangel in Russia, then by train down to Odessa. Dr Elsie Inglis was her Chief Medical Officer and Emily certainly had a healthy respect for Elsie and many of the women from the Serbian units joined the party. All in the unit comprised of eighty women. Doctors, nurses, orderly’s, cooks and drivers.

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 Emily worked principally in Odessa, Galatz and Reni. 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 of 1917.

Emily returned home on in November 1917. She was awarded several medals for service overseas. Emily died in 1961 aged 92 in Little Gravels Burghclere Hampshire.

George Edgar Mallet

Date of Bith: 1891
Place of Birth: Wandsworth, Surrey

Son to Fredrick and Charlotte Mallet. George grew up in the London area, both he and his two brothers went on to become electricians. Before joining the Scottish Women;s Hospitals he was living in Cricklewood, London. In June 1915 became assistant to Edith Anne Stoney. They formed a partnership and worked together for the next two years. The had both joined the Girton and Newnham unit, firstly working in Troyes, France and in 1916 heading out to Salonika before making their way up into Serbia. A link explaining more can be found here… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Anne_Stoney

Agnes Mann

Date of Bith: 1887
Place of Birth: Aberdeenshire

Born in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire in August 1887. Agnes was raised by her mother Ann who was a dressmaker. Agnes by 1911 was working as a nurse in Motherwell at the county fever hospital and before heading to Serbia in 1915 she was working as matron at middle ward hospital at High Blantyre, Lanarkshire. Agnes worked at Kraguevac as a nurse between June 1915- April 1916. She effectively became a POW in the winter of 1915. Agnes also worked in Serbia with Lady Paget’s Serbian Relief Fund Hospitals. In December 1916 she was working in Salonika at a military hospital. In 1916 she was awarded the Serbian Cross of Charity. Agnes spent a total of two and a half years working in Serbia under very testing conditions. Typhus, various diseases and many casualties from the fighting, starvation, frostbite and of course the collapse of the nation in late 1915. Agnes certainly played her part in nursing Serbia through all its ills. In 1918 while back working at High Blantyre in Lanarkshire she was awarded the Silver medal for Bravery by the Prince of Serbia.

Agnes found happiness after the war and in August 1918 she married George Bryan Logan an American in France. In 1920 they had a daughter, Henrietta. Agnes spent the rest of her life living in the States and in 1976 she died in North Carolina aged 88.

Agnes Williamina Manson

Date of Bith: 1893
Place of Birth: Shetland Isles

Agnes Williamia Manson joined the Scottish Women;s Hospitals in December 1917, she joined as an orderly and worked at Royaumont Abbey near Paris until June 1918. On March the 20th 1918 bombs started to rain down on Paris. Royaumont was very close to the shelling, so close in fact that windows were blown out and bomb holes covered the grounds. A rush of work was on. The roads in and around Royaumont were full of troops, guns and trenches were cut in the fields. For ten days during March all the women worked night and day until the French gained control again and pushed the Germans back. This fierce fighting had an effect on Royaumont and they were now a First Line Evacuating Hospital and trains of men would pass through. Orderly’s took on all hard and often unpleasant work, mopping up blood and carrying stretchers up and down flights of stairs, were very much normal day to day choirs. Agnes lets remember volunteered to do this work as orderly’s were not paid, only board and lodgings were paid for along with the uniform.
Born in Huxter, Weisdale on the Isles of Shetland Agnes’s father William had been an important man. He was a Hotel owner, a Farmer and a general merchant. After the war she married Hugh Crombie Falconer and lived at Pittengardner, Fordoun. In 1981 Agnes died in Kelso in the Scottish Borders.

Eveline Christiana Martin

Date of Bith: 1894
Place of Birth: Belfast

Eveline was from Belfast and educated at Victoria College, Belfast. She was awarded her BA Honours degree in 1916 and in 1917 joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as Clerk at Royaumont Abbey outside Paris. She held the position until November 1918. An important roll, hospitals like Royaumont employed a large number of staff and needed a vast amount of medical equipment. An enormous amount of data was documented, receipts of purchases, travel arrangements and wages due etc. In 1921, Martin undertook some lecturing at East London College, whilst completing her MA degree. She was awarded a Distinction for her MA in History, and won the Royal Historical Society’s Alexander Prize for her essay The English establishments on the Cold Coast in the second half of the eighteenth century”.

In 1923, Martin became Assistant Lecturer in History at Westfield, having assisted with teaching during the previous Easter term when Caroline Skeel was on leave.

Martin completed her PhD in 1926, and published The British West African Settlements, 1750-1821 in 1927. She became University Reader of African and Imperial History in 1932, and later also taught at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Eveline died in 1960.

Edith Martland

Date of Bith: 1888
Place of Birth: Oldham

Edith Marjorie Martland was born in Oldham, Lancashire, United Kingdom in 1888 to Sarah and Edward William Martland. Edward was a medical Practitioner.

This web site has fantastic details of her life story http://www.hulme-grammar.oldham.sch.uk/ArchiveWebPages/WarWeb/MartlandEM.html. Here is the extract from the site.

Known as Marjorie, she was born on 19th May 1881, the daughter of Edward William Martland, a physician and surgeon. She attended Oldham Hulme Grammar School from January 1897 to July 1906. Having passed, a year before she left school, the University of London Matriculation Examinations and the entrance examinations for Newnham College, Cambridge, she spent her final year in working for the preliminary scientific examination of the MB degree of the University of London. She was awarded a Foundation Scholarship for three years. She graduated in 1909 from Cambridge having taken the natural science tripos, and proceeded to the London School of Medicine for Women. After the first year there she became a demonstrator in anatomy and was awarded the anatomy prize two years in succession.

She qualified as a doctor and surgeon in 1914 and then held resident posts at the Victoria Hospital for Children in Chelsea (where beds had been reserved for wounded soldiers) and the Hampstead General Hospital.

In 1916 she volunteered to join the staff at the Scottish Women’s Unit at Royaumont in France. The hospital had been set up in the old abbey with help from the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and the French Red Cross. It was staffed almost entirely by women and had about 350 beds. She worked there as one of the five surgeons for two years, and also at their second unit near the front lines at Viliers-Cotterets where she was second in command. When the area was heavily shelled it was only with the greatest difficulty that the hospital was evacuated without loss. She was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for “skill and devotion to the French and Allied wounded under repeated bombardment.”

After returning to London she decided to specialise in pathology and was appointed biochemist and pathologist at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. She was on the consultant staff of the hospital from 1928 until 1945 when she went to live in Dorset. She continued her work as Emeritus Consultant Pathologist to the Salisbury General Infirmary.

In 1956 an American Television Company were preparing a “This is Your life” programme about the Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Mr J Harrison Heckman. He had been injured in 1918 and taken to the Royaumont Hospital where a red-haired surgeon had managed to save his leg from amputation. The television company wanted to find this surgeon to take part in the programme and, with help from the Medical Women’s Federation, had identified Marjorie. She was flown to Los Angeles for four days of luxury and appeared on the programme, much to the surprise of Mr Heckman. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was later able to spend time in New York with the Heckman family.

Marjorie Martland died on 26th February 1962 aged 73.

Constance Margaret Marx

Date of Bith: 1878
Place of Birth: Hampshire.

Constance Margaret Marx was born in New Alresford, Hampshire. In 1911 she was still living with the family in Yately, Hampshire. By 1914 she acting commencement with the British Red Cross. In November 1916 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospital as a driver. Later she was transport officer. She joined the London Unit, who had been out on the Russian front since September. Constance was stationed mainly at Odessa,Babadag and Reni. She became embroidered in a depute with Dr Elsie Inglis. The Foreign Office was keen to stop women nurses leaving the UK on account of Russia’s slide into revolution and the fact that the war office wanted women nurses at home. Constance who had been encouraging the notion of sending men drivers had left Elsie furious. Constance returned home in August 1917. She had resolved her differences with Elsie and had been well liked by most of the staff. In 1918-1919 she began working with war Office in France searching and identifying war graves and POW’S.
Constance in 1915 died in Marlebone, London.

Hilda Maufe

Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: ilkley, Yorkshire

Hilda Mary Brantwood Maufe ‏was born in Ilkley, Yorkshire, England. Her father Henry was a Draper and by 1901 they were living in London. Hilda would spend all her life living in London, moving around various addresses. At the time of joining the Scottish Women;s Hospitals she was living in the City of Westminster. In July 1918, Hilda volunteered as an orderly and headed out to Salonika where she was transported up to Lake Ostrovo. The Hospital at Lake Ostrovo was entirely under canvas and the reason for being there was to support the Serbian Troops in their push for home. In October of that year the Serbs after years of fighting in the mountains made the break through and the Bulgarians surrendered. The unit, was named the American unit. Although America didn’t come into the war until 1917, the support for the SWH in America was of such a magnitude, that it was only fitting that a unit be named the “American Unit” given the amount of money donated. In October 1918 the Serb’s finally got to return home with the unit going with them. After a near 200 mile trek often on foot, over mountains, rivers and on a few occasions sleeping in the open the unit made it to their new base at Vranje in Serbia. The task was enormous as thousands of patients were all requiring attention. Pneumonia, pleurisy, and emphysema cases were all to be seen to immediately as were the hundreds of soldiers and civilians with appalling wounds. In February 1919 Hilda went home, with the war over and the end of her adventure she return to London. In 1957 at the age of 75 Hilda passed away, she never married.

Jane Maxwell

Date of Bith: 1875
Place of Birth: Hamilton

Jane Wilson Maxwell was born in Hamilton, Scotland in 1875. She lived with her father -Robert (former road surface man) and mother whom trained as a nurse in the General Hospital in Leith, gaining her certificate in 1902.

On the 1st of December, Jane joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and on the 2nd of December she gathered with her colleagues at Edinburgh Waverley Station bound for London where they would meet the rest of the unit and Elsie Inglis, who would see them on their way before joining a few days later at Royaumont Abbey outside Paris.

At Waverley Station Jane met: five other nurses, three orderlies and two cooks. These women were driven to join the hospital units for a variety of reasons; clearly most had a desire to play their patriotic duty, others had strong religious backgrounds and clearly felt a calling. I believe, above all they had taste for adventure, fueled by a craving for freedom and to finally spread their wings. For many, they simply wanted to prove themselves to be every bit as effective as their male counterparts in the theatre of war. Essentially, it was an opportunity to advance the cause of women’s suffrage. From January 1915 to March 1919 the Abbey was turned into a voluntary hospital, Hôpital Auxiliaire 301, operated by Scottish Women’s Hospitals(SWH), under the direction of the French Red Cross. On arrival the staff found that the buildings were in a deplorable condition. They were dirty; there was a shortage of practically every amenity that they would need to run an efficient unit. There were no lifts; water had to be carried to where it was needed. By dint of much hard work the hospital was eventually given it certificate by the Service de Sante of the French Red Cross. Their work was unremitting, the winter’s bitter and I was and am left with unstinting admiration for this very gallant band of: doctors, nurses, orderlies ambulance drivers, cooks, who gave so much to their patients throughout the war. Jane left the unit in May of 1915. Jane Wilson Maxwell died a single woman at the address of 11, Nelson Street Bellshill on 18 April 1919 at the age of 44. The cause of death associated with Jane was breast cancer (carcinoma mammae,malignant) and pleurisy.

Elizabeth Maxwell

Date of Bith: 1874
Place of Birth: Largs, Ayrshire.

Born in 1874
Elizabeth Muir Maxwell was born in Brisbane Road, Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland. She is the daughter of James Maxwell (Mason’s Labourer) and Margaret nee’ Hall. John Maxwell married Margaret Hall in Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland. James Maxwell died between 1881-1891 and his wife, Margaret, has died between 1891-1901. It is after Margaret’s death the members the family leave Largs and the children James, Margaret, Elizabeth and Agnes, can be found living in Lanarkshire.

In the 1891 census, aged 17, Elizabeth was working as a domestic servant at Roslin Villa, Pollock road , Glasgow.
In the 1901 census, aged 27, Elizabeth is working in a restaurant. She is living at 3 Cleveland street Glasgow.
From 1908 till 1911 Elizabeth was working as a nurse in a private nursing home. In 1911 she has has progressed to gaining employment with the Glasgow Education Authority.

In April 1915 she joins the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and heads to Valjevo in Serbia. She returns home in September of 1915. From August 1916 and April 1919 she once again joins the SWH, this time she serves in the American Unit. A journey that takes her from Salonika to Lake Ostrovo( Northern Greece) to Vranje in Serbia and on to Belgrade.

8 January 1949 – Elizabeth Muir MAXWELL (retired nurse) died at 17 Leslie Street, Pollok, Glasgow aged 74yrs

Florence Mary McCall

Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: Edinburgh

Florence McCall was born in Edinburgh in 1881, however she spent much of her young life living at the family home in Battery Terrace, Oban. Her father Daniel was a plumbers merchant.
In November 1914 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as a nurse and headed to Calais, France. At that point the Belgian wounded were streaming in after heavy defeats at the hands of Germany. Shortly after typhoid broke out, on the 5th of December Dr Alice Hutchison her CMO wrote “During the first week here I felt I could hardly bear the sights in the ward, and that, in spite of the fact that i been through it all before. Fortunately there are few things one cannot get accustomed to”
With the epidemic at an end in March Florence and her band of 15 doctors and nurses returned to the UK. According to official reports it was said her hospital had been the most effective in saving lives. Florence returned to France, at the end of May she joined the Girtion and Newnham unit and headed for The Chateau of Chanteloup at Troyes. The money to equip the unit had been donated from the Cambridge women’s colleges, Girton and Newnham, hence the name of the unit. The hospital all under canvas also had individual sponsors from the tents to beds. The women were keen to impress on the French officials the importance of have these tents. The advantages of the open air and sunlight for septic wounds, the results were extraordinary and in October the unit was moved on to Salonika. The unit was 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 Salonika as the allies retreated in the face of the advancing Bulgarian and German armies. The hospital was re-established in Salonika and treated both French and Serbian casualties. In June 1916 Florence elected to come after an incredible journey.

Photo above is of the “Airdrie tent” sponsored by the people of the town in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

Isobel McCall

Date of Bith: 1879
Place of Birth: Dumfriesshire

Isobel Hendrietta McCall
Born in 1879 at Moniaive Dumfriesshire. Looks like she was raised by her Grandparents and for a time was living in Greenock. It also appears she spent some in a finishing school in London. However, in 1916 she was back living at Broomhill Moniaive.

In February 1916 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as a driver. She set sail for Corsica. The main hospital was located in Ajaccio in a two storeyed building of Villa Miot. As the work load grew so did the hospital and tents were pitched in the gardens for open air treatments. A fever hospital was situated a few miles from the General hospital in Lazaet, a historic building that stood high, over looking the gulf. By this time nearly 3000 refugees and a few decimated regiments had arrived from Serbia. Also a band of a few hundred Serbian boys arrived for a few months recuperation. Thirty thousand boys set off on the Serbian retreat. Such were the conditions and horrors of that journey, that only 7000 made it to safety. Nearly 300 of these lads, after they were rested on the island, were sent on to schools in UK and France. Out- patients hospitals were opened in Chiavari some 20 miles from Ajaccio and St Antoine. The value of the work is indubitable and many a young life benefited from the units endeavours. 79 babies were born during the hospitals tenure, a reminder that life even in the darkest of times prevails. The hospital closed in April 1919.

After the war she did spend time in London and it seems never married. Isobel died on 10 June 1954 address 9,Dalkeith Road Edinburgh.

Isabella Catherine McCaw

Date of Bith: 1801
Place of Birth: Montreal, Canada

Miss Isabel Catherine McCaw, who died on July 3 at age 87 in Cornwall, Ontario was for many years in
her younger days a reporter for the Montreal Star. Miss McCaw, a graduate of McGill University, was the daughter of William McCaw, a noted Montreal insurance man and sportsman, and his first wife, Catherine Blacklock. As a descendant of Captain Ronald Macdonell (Leek), King’s Royal Regiment of New York, who settled in St. Andrew’s West, Ontario.
November 1916 a 26 year old Isabella or Mac as she was known on her travels, boarded the Ascania in Quebec and sailed to Plymouth. In February 1917 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and headed to Salonika. As an ambulance driver with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals’ Motor Ambulance Column, attached to the
Serbian First Army, she had personal experience of that small army’s amazing capture of enemy
strongholds on 7,000 foot high mountain ridges and “the subsequent pursuit which swept Bulgars,
Austrians and Germans out of their beloved Serbia like chaff before the wind.”
She also served in Greece and Macedonia and earned the ribbons of the Serbian gold “za Roznu sluzbu”,
First Class, which was equivalent to the British D.S.O., the Serbian Great War Active Service Medal, the
Scottish Women’s Hospitals’ Medal, the General Service Medal and the Victory Medal. She was twice
mentioned in despatches. Mac left the SWH in January 1919.

Hughina Ross McCulloch

Date of Bith: 27/03/1874 – 12/08/1
Place of Birth: Ross and Cromarty

Hughina Ross McCulloch was born at 12 noon on 28/3/1874 at Fendom,Tain,Ross and Cromarty. She was the daughter of crofter David McCulloch and Helen Ross.Her parents were married at Fearn on 14/6/1865.
Hughina’s parents David was born at Nigg,while her mother,Helen Ross,was born in Fearn.

1871 Census of Fendom shows Hughina’s parents and siblings living there, and three years later she was born. Occupation of her father at that time was Farmer of 20 acres. 1881 Census shows 7 year old Hughina and her family still living there at Fendom. The following Census in 1891 of Balkeith,Fendom Road,Tain shows that her father has died and her widowed mother,Helen, is now Head of the house.Her unmarried siblings Donald,Catherine and David are still at home. Hughina,aged 17,is a Sewing Maid.
1901 Census of Balkeith,Tain, shows brother Donald(33) as head of house.Mother Helen(66),sister Kate(33) and uncle Angus McCulloch(72)in the household.Hughina(27) has her occupation as “Farmer’s sister”.
The final available Census of 1911 has Hughina Ross McCulloch(aged 36)working as a “Hospital Nurse” in the St Mary’s District of Dundee.(probably Dundee Royal Infirmary).

Hughina served as a Nurse in the Girton Newnham Branch of the SWH between 2/6/1915 and 1/10/1917. The unit was named after the womens colleges in cambridge. They would have raised the money themselves and therefore were able to have a unit named after the colleges. Hughina would have worked under the leadership of Dr louise Mcllroy of glasgow and Dr Laura Sandeman of Aberdeen, by june 1915 the hospital was in service in Troyes France and Hughina remained there for around 5 months, in october 1915 the unit received ordered to make there way to the eastern front. The unit left France on a voyage through the Mediterranean seas, a dangerous journey at the time with submarines lurking in the waters.On arrival in Salonkia, greece, she would have went straight to work as troops were pouring into the camps many with horrendous injuries. Determined to aid the serbian troops that they had becames so fond of in Salonkia they pressed on to Guevgueli a hospital on the river Vardar, however by this time serbia was on the back foot and the women were face to face with all the horrors of war, the wounded, the dead and feeling of hopelessness, the women did everything possible but with the guns of enemy fire getting closer each day the decision was taken to retreat back to salonika. The bravery shown by hughina and co workers was indesribable, working under canvas in extreme cold while trying to treat patients with severe wounds, knowing that serbia was doomed and with no communication must have been very hard indeed. Hughina continued working with the SWH in salonkia tending the sick and continued to help save lives.

She died of breast cancer on 12/8/1959 at Dalmore House,Alness,Ross-shire aged 85 years.The Informant of death was her nephew J.Munro of Beinn Aluinn,Tain. Death Registered 12/8/1959 at Invergord

Helen McDougall

Date of Bith: 13/11/1882
Place of Birth: Islay

Helen McDougall was the fourth of eight children born to Church of Scotland Minister,Duncan McDougall and wife Helen Stewart. Like her father,Helen was born on Islay, on 13/11/1882 at Coilibuss,Oa,in the district of Kildalton. Her mother,Helen Stewart,was born in Blair Athole,Perthshire and her parents were married there on 11/7/1877. In 1881,the Census of Kildalton shows that the family were living at The Manse.(This was a year before Helen’s birth.). By 1891,the family had moved to Leith,and were living at 1 Union Place. As well as Helen’s parents and siblings,her aunt Ann McDougall (aged 60) was also present. We next find Helen in 1911 living with her elder brother Duncan(aged 31) who was a Minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Duncan was Head of the household at The Free Church Manse, Parish of Barvas,South Dell. South Dell is a village in Ness,on the Isle of Lewis. Helen (aged 28) was a Medical Student and her aunt Ann(now aged 81) was living with them.

Dr Mcdougall joined the SWH in July 1915 and set sail from Southampton to Salonika with a support party to Kraguievatz in Serbia( she may have boarded sir Tomas Lipton’s boat?) the work at the hospital at that time was very harsh and typhus had taken thousands of lives and 3 of the SWH nurses. Serbia at that time was in retreat and in December 1915 she with 28 other women were taken prisoner of or war and for the next two months were taken from camp to camp, first to Belgrade then Vienna, Kerevara in Hungry and finally the German border town of Waidhofen where she wrote “the whole town seemed to have come down to meet us and how they laughed!!- oh it was horrid” Helen returned home for the summer but signed up for the SWH again in 20 September 1916 where she worked as a Doctor rt Royaumont Abbey in France Royaumont was among the largest hospitals to support the battle of the Somme. Helen was an extremely hard working but much loved member who also had a sense of fun. She left the unit in October 1918 got married and went out to Ghana as a Doctor. We hope to find a few photo’s of Helen as she certainly had an eventful 3 years with the SWH.

Matilda McDowell

Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: Barnaboy, Ireland

Matilda McDowell‏ was born in 1884 at Barnaboy, Frankfort, Kings County, Ireland. 1911 Census shows her father Robert was a farmer, and she wasn’t working outside the home, (No occupation is given for her). They had a 2nd class house, mostly likely stone with a slate roof, Robert owned it, so reasonably comfortable. She also had 13 brothers and sisters.
We don’t have a great deal on Matilda. She joined the Scottish women’s Hospitals on the 7th of May 1918. She headed to Salonika where she joined the other members of the The Elsie Inglis Unit. The unit was named after Elise Inglis who had died in late 1917. The unit was really an extension of the London Unit but respectfully changed the name.
The unit consisted of around 25 women personel, Doctors, Nurses, Orderly’s etc. Matilda was a driver, whose job would of been to fetch the wounded from the front and get them to the hospital tents. Under the command of Dr Annette Benson the small canvas hospital was situated 30 miles from Salonika near Verekop at the foot of a hill. The unit received a great deal of work during the summer of 1918 and hospital was full. The main problem though was sickness. We know that on the 3rd of July 1918 only weeks into her role as a driver at the hospital, she died most likely of Paratyphoid and is buried at the Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria.

Photo above is of the hospital at Verekop

Beatrice Anne Mcgregor

Date of Bith: 1873
Place of Birth: Edinburgh

Doctor Beatrice Anne McGregor was born in 7 Merchiston Cres;Newington,Edinburgh on 4/3/1873.Her parents,who had married in Hamburg,Germany,were Merchant James McGregor and Anne Wallace. James had been born in Edinburgh and his wife,Anne,was a British subject born in Hamburg.
1881 Census of Newington,Edinburgh has the family living at 7 Merchiston Cres. Eight years old Beatrice was at home with her parents and 5 siblings,along with three servants.Her father,James,was a Silk merchant.
1891 Census has the family still at Merchiston Cres and James is listed as a Tea Merchant. Beatrice(18 years old) was down as a scholar.
1901 Census of Edinburgh has 28 years old Beatrice residing at Craigleith House,Victoria Hospital. Beatrice has now qualified as Resident Physician MBCM.

By April 1915 the typhus outbreak that had been under control suddenly started to show signs of relapse. The town of Mladenovac was considered at risk and the SWH were asked to step in and provide a hospital in case of a new epidemic. Dr Elsie Inglis wasted no time in dispatching a hospital unit to Mladenovac. By July 1915 Dr Beatrice McGregor with her new recruits arrived at the hospital and took over as chief medical officer.
During the early days Beatrice and the unit ran a 300 bed hospital and with things being fairly quiet she opened a dispensary for the women and children which became very popular.
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, 100’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 “The Great Serbian Retreat”

The retreat as witnessed by Beatrice 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. 100,000’s 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.
Dr McGregor and her nurses made it back to the uk on the 23rd of December they to had suffered when Caroline Toughill was killed on the mountains of the Ibar valley.

Dr Beatrice McGregor was awarded the order of St Sava 1V class by the Serbian people.

Eunice Jean McGregor

Date of Bith: 1892
Place of Birth: Nairn

Eunice Jean McGregor was born in Nairn on 15/11/1892.Her parents were New Zealand born, James McGregor(Managing Director of Distillery) and Irish born Eunice Lacey.
1901 Census of Nairn,has the family, Parents and 5 children living at “Strathmore”,Seabank Road,Nairn.The family had four servants.
By 1911,the family had moved to a 14 roomed house at Belmenach,Cromdale. 18 years old Eunice was at home with her parents and 2 servants.There is no listing of Eunice’s occupation at the time.
Apart from her time serving with the SWH, we have no further record of Eunice apart from the fact that she married a Mr Hallum, and died at Hayward’s Heath,West Sussex in 1989,aged 96

Eunice served at Royaumont near Paris, France. She joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals on the 1st of February 1918 as a driver and left in the summer of the same year.

Anne Louise McIIroy

Date of Bith: 1874
Place of Birth: County Antrim

Dame Anne Louise McIlroy was born in County Antrim on the 11th November 1874 to Dr James McIlroy, a medical practitioner in Ballycastle. She shared her father’s enthusiasm for Medicine and came to Glasgow University in 1894 to do a medical degree.

She was one of the first women medical graduates, winning class prizes in both medicine and pathology before obtaining her MB ChB in 1898 followed by an MD with commendation in 1900. After further postgraduate work throughout Europe specialising in Gynaecology and Obstetrics she was appointed Gynaecological Surgeon at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow, a post she held from 1906 to 1910.

At the outbreak of the First World War she and other female medical graduates offered their services to the government. They were declined on grounds of the battlefield being no place for women. Undeterred and determined to help with the war effort this brave group of women applied to the French government and, on being accepted, set up the Scottish Women’s Hospital for Foreign Service. Dame McIlroy commanded a unit of the hospital at Troyes in France before being posted to Serbia and three years later Salonika.

During her time in Salonika she established a nurses training school for Serbian girls and oversaw the establishment of the only orthopaedic centre in the Eastern Army. She finished her war service as a Surgeon at a Royal Army Medical Corps hospital in Constantinople. She won many awards in recognition of her services during the war including a French M�daille des Epidemies, French Croix de Guerre avec palme, Serbian Order of St Sava and the Serbian Red Cross. In 1920 she was appointed to the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

After the war she returned for a short time to Glasgow, but left in 1921 when she was appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the London School of Medicine for Women, becoming the first woman to be appointed a medical professor in United Kingdom. She faced opposition at times in this role, being as she was a graduate from a different medical school and one outside of London. She was undaunted by the task, however, and became an inspiring teacher.

She also worked as a Surgeon at the Marie Curie Hospital for Women during this period. Her services to Midwifery were recognised in 1929 when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire. Her achievements were also recognised by universities in the form of honorary degrees, being awarded a DSc from London, an LLD from Glasgow and DSc from Belfast, which as an Ulster woman she was particularly proud of.

She retired in 1934, to have, in her own words ‘a few years of freedom’. She felt strongly though about doing her duty and when war was declared she immediately offered her services, despite being well past retirement age. She organised emergency maternity services in Buckinghamshire and, showing her generous nature, selflessly took her own property to provide equipment and comforts at the hospital in the face of the inevitable shortages. After the Second World War she returned to her retirement, residing with her sister in Turnberry, Ayrshire. She died peacefully in a Glasgow hospital on 8th February 1968.

In her obituaries at the time friends and colleagues remembered her fondly as in innovator and shrewd clinician whose personal charm and dignity shone through. Her achievements show that she truly was a pioneer of women in medicine, who, as one colleague recalls, expected no less from her staff;

“Dame Louise was a hard taskmaster. She expected, and got, the very best from her staff; praise and criticism were justly awarded. To have worked for and with her was a privilege truly sought after by young aspiring specialists.”

Dame Anne Louise McIlroy was a remarkable woman who gave so much during the two world wars. Her achievements have left their mark on the medical profession, shaping the way for future generations and ensuring that her legacy will live on.

Many thanks to the University of Glasgow for allowing us to use this biography.

Jessie P C McIntyre

Date of Bith: 1875
Place of Birth: Fort William

Nurse Jessie McIntyre was part of a group of ten trained nurses to head to Calais, France. This was the first hospital that the Scottish Women’s Hospital offered a unit too. In December 1914 Dr Hutchinson was put in charge of typhoid hospital at Calais when they supported the Belgian army. The hospital building was a school and the staff were accommodated in the School house. The epidemic was a severe one and the troops poured in from January to February 1915. In March the epidemic was under control and the Calais Contingent returned home. Jessie returned home to Edinburgh where she had been working as a nurse before the war.

Mary Lauchline McNeill

Date of Bith: 1874
Place of Birth: Orkney Isles

Mary was born and grew up in the parishes of Holm and Paplay on the the Orkney Isles. Her father, Daniel was the minister/medic for the Free Church of Scotland and they lived at the manse at Holm. Mary was part of a large family and her brother Patrick was killed in 1917 in the Great War. Mary went into medicine and studied at Glasgow, she graduated from the Queen Margaret College as a Doctor in 1905. Before WW1 Mary was working at the fever hospital in Leicester. Subsequently she joined the SWH in 1916. Mary was a Doctor with the Girton and Newnham unit firstly at Salonika. Much of the work at Salonika was spent fighting Malaria, a huge killer made worse by the lack of suitable clothing supplied by the allied armies. Mary spent three and a half years working with the unit that finished up working in the Elise Inglis Memorial Hospital in Belgrade. A wanderer and zest of living Mary went on to work in Palestine and India as a Doctor. In 1928 Mary died in Uganda where she had spent 7 years working saving lives. A youthful soul who lived an unselfish life.

Isobel Watson Shepherd Meiklejohn‏

Date of Bith: 1879
Place of Birth: Brassey, Shetland Isles

Isobel Watson Shepherd Meiklejohn was born in 1879 on Bressay,an island situated to the east of Lerwick harbour, on Shetland Isles.
Isobel was the daughter of Caithness born John J.R.Meiklejohn and Dundee born mother Jemima.
Her father was a Farm Overseer and Inspector of the Poor.
1881 Census of Bressay shows Isobel(aged 2)living with parents at Maryfield House.
1891 Census shows 12 years old Isobel and her family at Seafield,Lerwick.
By 1901,the Census of Edinburgh shows that Isobel(a student) is lodging at 32 Dundas Street.Her younger sister,Louisa, was also present.
The Electoral Rolls for the Borough of Chelsea and Kensington show,that in 1914 and 1915,Isobel was residing at 10 Lawrence Street,Chelsea.
Passenger Lists of 1939,inform us that Isobel returned to London, from Calcutta India,on the “Domala”(a vessel of the British India Steam Navigation Co.Ltd.).The date of her arrival was 2/12/1939.The list also informs us of her proposed address being 12,Royal Terrace,Linlithgow and of her intention to live in Scotland.
Isobel,of “Fryton”,Tweeddale Ave;Gifford,East Lothian died at Haddington on 26/11/1957

Isobel, during the early days of WW1 was living in the affluent Lawrence street, Chelsea. She worked as a civil servant, working for the Home Office as a factory inspector. That grit and stoic determination that was required in working for the Home Office would also be necessary for her next post.
In April 1915 she signed up to serve as an orderly with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in Serbia.On the 21st of April Isobel met her new colleagues for the first time on Cardiff docks and boarded the SS Ceramic and headed for Salonika(Greece) where by train they would travel to Valjevo in Serbia. On board with her were Chief Medical Officer Dr Alice Hutchinson, 25 nurses, a sanitary inspector, matron, clerk, 2 cooks, four orderlies and two handymen ( the only males of the unit). The voyage took a detour and docked at Malta for around 3 weeks at the request of the Home Office. Soldiers mainly from Australia and New Zealand were pouring in from Gallipoli many with serious wounds. The unit began working immediately, however they were ordered by the SWH to move on to Serbia and keep on programme.

Valjevo was a small town, 80 miles south of Belgrade. Lying in a sleepy green valley Isobel would have felt at home, however only a few months earlier Valjevo had looked very different. The big guns boomed day and night, men fell in their thousands, civilian’s were rounded up and often massacred and the dreaded Typhus raged through Serbia, uncontrollable and without mercy. The mortality rate in Valjevo was 70% and as a result they lost a huge number of Doctor’s and nurses.
By the time Isobel reached Valjevo things were improving however there was much to be done, Valjevo had been on the front line and with the summer heat and all the rotten flesh from man and animal, the flies swarmed in their millions bringing diseases.
The hospital was under canvas, the 40 tents pitched on the hillside over looked the town and by and large up until August there were few serious cases. However by mid August the big guns were back. This time it was the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians and Bulgarians, and Serbia stood alone encircled by 500,000 fighting men. Also making an unwelcome comeback was Typhus and sadly nurse Sutherland succumbed to the deadly disease.
Isobel by the end of September had made the difficult and depressing decision to leave gallant Serbia behind fearing their own safety. In fact they were lucky to escape, the train taking them to Salonika was nearly shelled at Lapovo junction. The remaining women tried to work on but by early November Serbia was occupied. Some of the women went on The Great Serbian Retreat, others were taken as prisoners of war.

Isobel, we know traveled to India before moving to Haddington, Scotland where she died in 1957.

Harriet Menmuir

Date of Bith: 1867
Place of Birth: Kiltarlty, Inverness.

Early life has Harriet living Kiltarlty, her father Alexander was a Head Carpenter. At the age of 23 she is working as A domestic servant in Edinburgh and at 33 she is a Nurse/matron in Angus.
On the 12th of September 1915 Harriet embarked onto the hospital ship The Oxford shire at Southampton , HMHS Oxford shire was the first ship to be requisitioned for war service and by the end of WW1 transported over 50,000 wounded men to safety, the highest number for any hospital ship during WW1.
Harriet signed up as a nurse for the London/Welsh unit, so called due to large amount of donations from those locations. Her assignment was to head to Valjevo in Serbia and support the existing hospital under the command of Dr Alice Hutchinson.
The journey was fraught with dangers, submarines, mines and overhead, Zeppelins all had in the past destroyed various ships. The journey took around 2 weeks, sailing from Southampton passing the Bay of Biscay, through the Straits of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean sea, the Aegean sea and into the port at Salonika (Thessaloniki). Then a few more day’s travel by train to Valjevo.

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 Harriet and her party they had got there too late, as a few days after arriving Belgrade had fallen and Serbia was forced into retreat.However, during mid-august the big guns were back. 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 100’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 “The Great Serbian Retreat”
The retreat as witnessed by Harriet 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. Harriet 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. Harriet died in Inverness in1939.

Gladys Miall Smith

Date of Bith: 1888
Place of Birth: London

Gladys Miall Smith was born in Highgate, London in 1888. Her parents were George Augustus Smith, who had a hat making business.
In 1912 Gladys enrolled to study medicine at the London School of Medicine for Women. As part of her medical experience, she spent 3 months at a Dressing Station in France in 1914. She qualified in 1916 and worked as House Surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and studied Obstetrics at the Royal Free Hospital. In June 1918 Gladys joined the Scottish women’s Hospitals. She headed out to Royaumont abbey on the outskirts of Paris where as a Doctor she was in charge of the fracture ward. Royaumont in 1918 were testing times. The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War, during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918, beginning with the Battle of Amiens. The offensive essentially pushed the Germans out of France, forcing them to retreat beyond the Hindenburg Line, and was followed by an armistice. The term “Hundred Days Offensive” does not refer to a specific battle or unified strategy, but rather the rapid series of Allied victories starting with the Battle of Amiens. Royaumont was just miles from the front line and during those days the hospital would, at times be pushed to breaking point. During ww1 the Scottish women’s Hospital at Royaumont treated nearly 9000 soldiers and 572 civilians, a further 1537 men, women and children were treated as out patients. Only 159 of the soldiers died with 25 civilians also perishing.

After the war Gladys continued with her roll in medicine. She married and was dismissed from her post, due to the laws of the time. However she rejoined the profession and after her husband Dr John Fry died in 1930, went on to raise the family while working as a Doctor. Gladys also traveled a great deal working in hospitals in Africa. She was aged 102 when she passed away.

Janet Middleton

Date of Bith: 1883
Place of Birth: Middlesbourgh

Janet grew up in the family home in Middlesbourgh, her father William worked in the Iron works. In 1911 Janet was working in Windermere as a Lich Nurse. In April 1915 Janet joined the second Serbian unit and on the 21st of April 1915 under Dr Alice Hutchinson and her unit which included 25 nurses, cooks and orderly’s sailed from Cardiff on the SS Ceramic. They were briefly diverted to Malta to help staff the naval and Valletta military hospital, Australians and Kiwis were among the many casualties who were serving at the peninsula of Gallipoli. They continued working there for around three weeks but were soon ordered to there original destination, Valjevo Serbia.
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. At Valjevo;s National Museum there are documents and photos on display.
By late October 1915 Belgrade had fallen and Serbia was forced into retreat, Dr Alice Hutchinson’s unit refused to leave and short spells at Vrinjacka Banja and Krushevac. However in November Janet decided to join the Serbian retreat. The retreat as witnessed by Janet 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. Janet 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 was killed on the mountains of the Ibar valley.. Janet wrote about her experiences in the Lloyds weekly newspaper and was decorated with medals by the Serbian Army. Janet died in 1970.

Catherine Cook Millar

Date of Bith:
Place of Birth: Dunfermline

Catherine Cook Millar grew up in Elliot Crescent in Dunfermline, after leaving education she would work at the Dunfernline Fever Hospital which is now McLean House. Catherine joined the SWH in 1917 and promptly headed for Serbia and then on to Russia, where we believe she joined up with Elsie Ingles’ london unit in Bessarabia on the Russian front. The hospital at Bessarabia had a serious malaria outbreak and Catherine became infected with the disease and so was forced to return home. Six months later in December 1918 Catherine passed away at the Liverpool Military Hospital, she was only 30 years old. Catherine was buried at Dunfermlines Halbeath cemetery, she is commemorated at the Dunfermlne War Memorial and at St. Giles in Edinburgh.

Eliza Millar

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Glasgow

Eliza grew up in Glasgow and lived with her Grandmother and siblings. On the 1 of November 1917 she with her sister Ellen joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and headed for Corsica. The unit at Corsica was formed in December 1915 as a result of Serbian refugees pouring into Salonika, Serbia had been completely overrun by invading forces. Eliza 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. When the unit arrived in Corsica it was a very different picture. The hospital had opened on Christmas day 1915 and instantly got to work as over three hundred refugees had traveled with them. Within days another ship with over 500 refugees arrived. The hospital closed n 1919 and did a magnificent job of caring for the thousands of Serb civilians. Many of whom were children. Eliza returned home with her sister in May 1918.

Ellen Millar

Date of Bith: 1887
Place of Birth: Glasgow

Ellen grew up in Glasgow and lived with her Grandmother and siblings. On the 1 of November 1917 she with her sister Eliza joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and headed for Corsica. By December 1915 plans for a hospital in Corsica were underway, with the help of the French government they would ship the Serbian refugees to Ajaccio in Corsica. On Christmas day the unit finally got to work on the French island. Commandeering an old convent with no water, heating or sanitation was demanding enough, dealing with the hundreds of men, women and children who were devastated with typhoid, pneumonia and starvation tested all the women. Dr Blair wrote of the Serbian refugees “and they looked so desolate and forlorn though most of them put a brave face on it,that we all felt inclined to weep” The unit at Corsica was formed in December 1915 as a result of Serbian refugees pouring into Salonika, Serbia had been completely overrun by invading forces. Elllen 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. When the unit arrived in Corsica it was a very different picture. The hospital had opened on Christmas day 1915 and instantly got to work as over three hundred refugees had traveled with them. Within days another ship with over 500 refugees arrived. The hospital closed n 1919 and did a magnificent job of caring for the thousands of Serb civilians. Many of whom were children. Ellen returned home with her sister in May 1918.

Catherine Cook Miller

Date of Bith: 1888
Place of Birth: Glasgow

Catherine Cook Miller born 2/2/1888 at 27,Lumsden Street,Anderston,Glasgow. This was the address of her father at his date of marriage.Probably Catherine’s grandparent’s home.
1911 Census of Dunfermline has Catherine’s family living at Elliot Crescent but Catherine has left home.
She is in Tulliallan, at Crockmurehall.Aged 23,Catherine is a Hospital Nurse,connected to Dunfermline Fever Hospital.

Catherine Cook Millar grew up in Elliot Crescent in Dunfermline, after leaving education she would work at the Dunfernline Fever Hospital which is now McLean House. Catherine joined the SWH in 1917 and promptly headed to Russia, where she joined up with Elsie Ingles and the London unit, having traveled with a contingent of support nurses to the Russian front. The hospital at Bessarabia had a serious malaria outbreak and Catherine became infected with the disease and so was forced to return home. Six months later in December 1918 Catherine passed away at the Liverpool Military Hospital, she was only 30 years old. Catherine was buried at Dunfermlines Halbeath cemetery, she is commemorated at the Dunfermlne War Memorial and at St. Giles in Edinburgh.

Mary Lee Milne

Date of Bith: 1873
Place of Birth: Liverpool.

Mary Lee Bowden was born in England in 1873.She was daughter of Rev.John Bowden and Barbara Lee.Her parents were married in Edinburgh in 1868.John was Minister of United Presbyterian Church in Toxteth,Liverpool and Barbara was an English Teacher.
1881 Census of St Cuthberts,Edinburgh has Mary Lee(aged 8) living with her parents and 2 brothers at 2,Minto Street.Her paternal granny was also in the house.
On 7/8/1906.Mary married Rev James Arthur Milne of Lyne Manse,Stobo.At dom,Mary’s address was Dresden,Saxony.
After serving with the SWH,Mary had joined the Civil service and travelled back and forward to Sierra Leone in British west Africa.This was in the 1920’s/30’s. Her brother,William,was also in the Government Service and also travelled to Africa..From the Travel documents,we find that both Mary and her brother were residing at Hobsburn,Hawick.
Mary Lee Milne died on 30/8/1948 at Hobsburn House,Hawick.She was aged 75 and died of Coronary Thrombosis(1 month).Informant of her death was John Turnbull,Estate Gardener,Hobsburn Cottage.
She served with the ‘London’ Units of the Scottish Women’s Hospital from 30 August 1916 to 24 November 1917 as a cook, and later at the Tuberculosis Sanatorium for Serbs at Sallanches, Haute Savoie, as a housekeeper. Joining the London unit in August 1916, she sailed from Liverpool on the 31st of august, the voyage took her nearly to bear island in the Arctic Circle and on to Archangel in Russia, then by train down to Odessa. Dr Elsie Inglis was her Chief Medical Officer and Mary certainly had a healthy respect for Elsie.. All in the unit comprised of eighty women. Doctors, nurses, orderly’s, cooks and drivers.
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 Mary worked principally in Odessa, Galatz and Reni. 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 of 1917. Mary returned home on the 24th of November 1917. Mary was hugely popular with staff and officials alike.

Augusta Minshull

Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: Atherstone

Augusta Minshull in 1881 was living with her widowed mother who was a Hotel Keeper at The Crown in Denbigh, North Wales and her two older sisters and two younger brothers. The family appear to have travelled around, as the children were born in Betton, Atherstone, Manchester, Llandudno and Denbigh.
Augusta was born in Atherstone in 1864
Augusta it would appear like here family liked to travel working at the fever hospital in Dublin, London hospital for infectious diseases, Chester General hospital and Bencathra Cumberland. At the start of the war she joined the St Johns Ambulance Association and on August the 19th headed for Belgium. In February 1915 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as a nurse and headed for Kragujevac a military key point near Belgrade and close to the fighting. Kragujevac was really one huge sprawling hospital. The need for Doctors and nurses was crucial if the Serbs were to have any chance of fighting on. Augusta and the unit worked around the clock trying to save as many lives as possible. The magnitude of the disaster was everywhere, thousands of men and civilians were scattered in buildings all over the town. Broken limbs, gangrene, frostbite and open infected wounds were just some of the conditions endured by the men. Many lay dying with no medical help. Unfortunately things were set to get worse with the outbreak of typhus, and by February 1915 Serbia was in the grip of a huge epidemic. Sadly Augusta on the 6th of April died of typhus she was not alone as the hospital suffered the loss of nurse Fraser and nurse Jordan. Of course the bigger picture was that thousands of lives were lost during that time, what makes Augusta’s story and the others who perished particularly poignant was that they only had a few weeks to nurse the sick before they too became ill. Augusta was buried in Kragujevac but her remains were later buried in the Chela Kula cemetery at Nis Serbia where it is lovingly cared for by the city of Nis.

Photo above is of the cemetery where she is buried.

Florence Cecilia Moffat

Date of Bith: 1893
Place of Birth: Ardersier, Inverness

Raised by her grandfather Charles Anderson in Forfar, Florence joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in September 1916 as an orderly and worked at Royaumont Abbey as an Orderly until November 1917. Known as the “whitecaps” Orderlies were often from well-off family’s and they came to the hospital as volunteers. Often very inexperienced in hands on tasks, they adapted fast and quickly became the backbone of hospital. Florence served at the hospital during the Battle of the Somme when the work load was at its peak, carrying stretchers up and down stairs to the wards, mopping the blood splattered floors and moving the equipment too and fro. All heavy physical work. Florence in the latter part of 1917 worked at Royaumont as a Physiotherapist. Florence also had a sister Una Moffat who worked with SWH in Serbia.

Una Phyllis Moffat

Date of Bith: 1894
Place of Birth: Lochwinnoch

Una was raised by her grandfather Charles Anderson at castle st Brechin. In August 1919 she joined the Girton and Newnham unit and sailed to Serbia. War had ended but in Belgrade the work load was unending, hundreds of civilians required all sorted of treatment. Una worked at the Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital as an assistant cook. The unit at Belgrade was not the most harmonious of places. Firstly the camp at Avala was washed out by a thunderstorm, the women quarreled over the fact that Vranje was in greater need and key members of staff were moving on to new positions elsewhere. In December 1919 Una returned home. The hospital its self continued until March 1920. Una;s sister Florence also served with the SWH at Royaumont Abbey near Paris.

Ethel Mary Moir

Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: Honduras

Ethel Mary Moir was born in Belize,British Honduras in 1884. She was the daughter of Aberdeen born,General Medical Practitioner John Munro Moir and Forfarshire girl Jessie. In the mid 1890’s the family had left Belize and were living at 4 Ardross Leas,Inverness. The 1901 Census Return confirms that the family, which included 19 years old scholar Ethel and her four siblings were living at Ardross Leas with their parents and three servants.1911 census has the family still residing at Ardross Leas. Unfortunately,it doesn’t give the profession of 27 year old Ethel.
Ethel Mary Moir died in 1973 at the ripe old age of 89years.She died in the Disrict of Morningside in the City of Edinburgh.

Ethel departed from Liverpool 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. Ethel 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, “Plenty of work awaiting us “down south” we hear, so Dr Inglis wants to hurry on as quickly as possible”.
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 Ethel 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. Ethel worked as an Orderly with the London unit from August 1916- February 1917 on her her return the ship played a game of hide and seek with a German submarine off the shores of Rum, Eigg, Coll and through the mull sound. She wrote on the 1st of April “can’t believe that we are really back in Scotland, good old Scotland”. Ethel joined up with the London unit once more in Feb 1918 but was forced to return home in Jan 1919 suffering from paratyphoid.

Hannah Jameson Morgan

Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: Alvah, Banffshire

Born in the North east of Scotland, Hannah was the daughter of farmer William Morgan. Hannah lived in the family home right up until 1901. In the 1911 census Hannah has moved to Carlisle where she is working as a Hospital nurse, she is 27 at this time. Hannah in July 1916 joins the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as a nurse at Royaumont abbey, near Paris, France. War had broken the tranquil and peaceful ambiance of the 13th century cistercian abbey. Royaumont Abbey north of Paris, France became during WW1 an all women hospital run by the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and by the end of the war had saved and aided thousands of lives. The women who served and devoted a slice of their life, helping mainly the French soldiers are remembered by plaques on the walls and in the grounds of the Abbey.
Without question their most testing time came in July 1916 and Hannah for the next year would play her part. The big push had begun. For anyone connected with the Battle of the Somme these were horrendous, dangerous and difficult days. The women of Royaumont proved time and time again that they had the metle and expertise to face all the horrors of this war. Hannah left the hospital and service in July 1917.
She returned to the UK and in 1919 she married Godfrey Halsted. They traveled and it appears they took a trip to Japan. Hannah died in Hillingdon, Middlesex in 1964.

Janetta Morris

Date of Bith: 1891
Place of Birth: Glasgow

Early life has Janetta living in Glasgow, Irvine and Ardrossan. She worked at the hospital in Ayr.
On the 12th of September 1915 Janetta embarked onto the hospital ship The Oxfordshire at Southampton , HMHS Oxfordshire was the first ship to be requisitioned for war service and by the end of WW1 transported over 50,000 wounded men to safety, the highest number for any hospital ship during WW1.
Janetta signed up as a nurse for the London/Welsh unit, so called due to large amount of donations from those locations. Her assignment was to head to Valjevo in Serbia and support the existing hospital under the command of Dr Alice Hutchinson.
The journey was fraught with dangers, submarines, mines and overhead, Zeppelins all had in the past destroyed various ships. The journey took around 2 weeks, sailing from Southampton passing the Bay of Biscay, through the Straits of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean sea, the Aegean sea and into the port at Salonkia (Thessaloniki). Then a few more day’s travel by train to Valjevo.

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 Janetta and her party they had got there too late, as a few days after arriving Belgrade had fallen and Serbia was forced into retreat.However, during mid-august the big guns were back. 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 100’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 “The Great Serbian Retreat”
The retreat as witnessed by Janetta 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. Janetta 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.

Janetta joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals again in on the 4th of August 1916 She served in the so called “American Unit” situated at Ostrovo 80 miles north of Salonika and whose chief medical officer was Dr Agnes Bennett. The unit got its name after Kathleen Burke had went to America and raised huge sums of money. At Ostrovo the enemy was not the Austrians but their ally Bulgaria. Fighting took place in the Kamalchalan mountains. From 1916-1917 she would have worked often at times day and night and all under canvas. The conditions were very hard going, Cases of malaria, gas gangrene, amputations all a common sight, at times quiet then hundreds of injured men pouring in. We know that Janetta left the unit in October 1917.

Elizabeth Scott Morris

Date of Bith: 1887
Place of Birth: Crail, Fife

Elizabeth’s parents George Wilson Spence Morris and Cecelia Forbes Scott were married in the Nethergate on 25th November 1875. George Morris was a fish-curer. In June 1918 Elizabeth joined the SWH as an orderly and traveled to Sallanches, Haute-Savoie, France. Elizabeth worked at the Elsie Inglis Hospital for the Serbs.The hospitals was based at the used “Grand hotel Michollin” and operated from Feb1918-March 1919. Primarily to help Serbian boys suffering from Tuberculosis a huge problem in Serbia at the end of the war. Elizabeth left the hospital in December 1918, she was awarded the British war medal, the victory medal and the French Red Cross medal. In 1924 she was married to the Rev John Warnock on the 6th of October, at the United Free Church, Crail, Fife, Scotland. Only a year later Elizabeth died.

Florence Edith Mortimer

Date of Bith: 1884
Place of Birth: Diss, Norfolk

Florence grew up in the family home, her father Robert was an attendant at the sewage works. At the age of 30 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and as a nurse headed to the war torn and suffering Serbia. She traveled out in July 1915 at the request of Dr Elsie Inglis, Elsie wanted to make sure her hospitals were fully staffed to face the coming winter, a winter that would involve more fighting and possibly a further outbreak of the deadly typhus. In October 1915, the SWH units in Serbia had to evacuate from all of their locations as German and Austrian soldiers advanced. After evacuating once, Dr. Inglis refused to evacuate a second time and proceeded to remain to care for her patients in Krushevatz. When the German troops arrived, Inglis and several other women with the SWH who had chosen to remain with the patients were taken as Prisoners of War. Florence was one of them. After nearly three months the women were released and returned to London on February 29, 1916. Florence after returning home was unable to work due to her picking up a strain of incipient glaucoma while she was working in Serbia. The committee gave her six months maintenance allowance in 1917 and in 1918 she had an operation on both eyes. Sadly in 1919 she became blind and although she was supported for some time by the committee she was unable to work again.

Mina Young Moyes

Date of Bith: 1891
Place of Birth: Stirling

Mina Young Moyes was born about 1891, in Stirling, Stirlingshire.
Living in Singleton House, Fallowfield, Manchester, she joined the Scottish women’s Hospitals in November 1918 as a Masseuse ( physiotherapist). Mina joined the Girton Newnham unit at Salonika. As the Serbs pushed for home and war was over, work at Salonika began to decrease. However the hospital at salonika was very impressive. 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 The unit now could join the other SWH in Serbia. And in the winter of 1918, they headed up to Belgrade. The unit finished up working as the Elise Inglis Memorial Hospital in Belgrade. Mina left the unit in October 1919 but continued to work in Serbia. The hospital in Belgrade remained open until March 1920
Mina Young Moyes died on August 5, 1951, in Denbighshire, when she was 60 years old.

Anna Lilia Muncaster

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Beauly, Inverness

By casual acquaintances she was regarded as somewhat cold and reserved, but her friends and patients found in her a ready sympathy, devoid of sloppiness, a staunch loyalty and a keen sense of humour. This is how in its obituary notice the Journal of Mental Science described Anna Leila Muncaster who died aged forty five on the 26th September 1930 in Pietermaritzburg South Africa.

Born on the 20th January 1885 at Beauly near Inverness, Anna studied medicine in Edinburgh, graduating in 1909 with first class honours. On graduating from medical school Anna like many young doctors found her first professional job as an assistant medical officer at an Asylum, in her case Bangour outside Edinburgh. Asylum medical officers had a low status so the post functioned as a first step into the medical profession especially for women. From Bangour she moved to Bucknall in Staffordshire and then to the Cheshire Lunatic Asylum in Chester.

In 1915 her life changed irrevocably when she left Chester to work for the Serbian Relief Fund, in a unit set up by Mrs Stobart. Serbia where the assassination which triggered the outbreak of war had taken place was fighting to maintain its independence from the onslaught of the Austrians. The Serbian Relief Fund had established a hospital in Kragujevatz and in the summer of 1915 Mrs Stobart was extending this service by the creation of a number of dispensaries in surrounding towns to serve the civilian population. Each dispensary was staffed by a woman doctor, two nurses, cook, interpreter. Anna when she arrived in Serbia in the summer of 1915 worked at one of these dispensaries, in the town of Rudnik.

However the dispensary system did not operate for long as Germany sent forces to assist the Austrians in their invasion of Serbia. The Serbian army withdrew, dispensaries were closed and all staff concentrated in Kragujevatz. Soon this city was no longer safe and Mrs Stobarts volunteers joined the Serbian army in their desperate retreat. As winter drew in thirty doctors and nurses from the Serbian Relief Fund and Scottish Womens Hospitals joined the army and refugees who trudged across the Kosovo plain. This convoy of Serbians and medical staff had to cross the inhospitable and wild Montenegrin mountains in order to reach the safety of the ports of the Adriatic Coast. It was December and winter had set in complete with thick snow, ice and cold. Eventually they reached San Giovanni de Medua on the coast, to be rescued by ship and taken to Brindisi and the route home to Britain.

Despite this experience eight months later Anna was back in the Balkans, this time with the Scottish Womens Hospitals in northern Greece. The so called American Unit situated at Ostrovo, ninety miles inland from Salonika, was run by Dr Agnes Bennett. Here the enemy was not the Austrians but their ally Bulgaria. Fighting took place in the Kamalchalan mountains and casualties had to be transported over rocky roads for two hours to Ostrovo, The hospital contained four surgical and one medical ward each containing forty beds. As a bacteriologist Anna had responsibility for a well equipped laboratory housed in a seven foot tent as well as half of a ward. Fierce fighting by late 1916 meant that the hospital was very busy with the three surgeons, Anna, Lilian Cooper and Sybil Lewis operating all day and in to the night. In his evocative painting Travoys with Wounded Soldiers at a Dressing Station at Smol Macedonia the artist Stanley Spencer who served with 68thField Ambulance unit in Macedonia gives a visual impression of a field hospital like Ostrovo. A journey of two hours from the battlefield was too long for many casualties so a casualty clearing station was established at Dobreveni, high in the mountains close to the front line. This was manned by two doctors, four sisters and two orderlies on a six week rota and Annas calmness under fire was noted by both staff and troops.

Even a unit situated as close to the front line as Ostrovo had quieter periods. In her lively diary Ishobel Ross records Christmas celebrations, visits to the nearby Russian camp and riding in the countryside, activities in which Anna was a keen participant. No wonder when Joan Rose arrived to work at Ostrovo in 1917, she wrote admiringly of Anna who was by then the longest serving doctor at the Unit, therefore speaks with authority and with a good deal of common sense: reported to be engaged to a Serb, fraternises with the more lively section of the shovers ( chauffeurs ), likes bathing and riding and other energetic pastimes. It was this seniority of experience that led her into conflict with Dr Mary de Garis, the successor to Agnes Bennett, early in 1918 over her unwillingness to move the hospital nearer to the then front line.

Anna terminated her contract with the Red Cross in May 1918. For her work at Ostrovo she received the 4th Order of St Sava from the King of Serbia. After the War she held a number of posts in Britain before sailing to South Africa in January 1922. She worked in Asylums in Cape Town, Blomfonteim and Pietermaritzburg in the years prior to her death from a cerebral embolism in 1930, following seven months illness.

Many thanks to Carol Cole for writing this article and the site womenshistorynetwork blog.

Christine Mundie

Date of Bith: 1888
Place of Birth: Peterhead

Born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Christine’s early life was on the move. Her father George worked where he could find it. In Kent and around the south of England before moving back to Aberdeen where he took a job as a cooper. Christine after qualifying as nurse moved down to London, working as a Matron at the age of 23. In August 1916 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals as an Nurse. For the next year she would work under the command of Dr Elsie Ingis. Her journey took her to the Russian front. On August 31st 1916 the unit sailed from Liverpool aboard ” The Huntspill” 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. 16 automobiles and a great deal of equipment were included in the cargo. The nurses at this time remained in ignorance of the ships final destination . The Russian unit or London 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 Winnie 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.Christine returned in October 1917.

Bessie Murdoch

Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: Elgin.

Bessie Bannerman Murdoch was born in 1881 at inverlochy farm Elgin. Her Father John was a Farmer. With her mother Mary they moved to Aberdeen. Prior to the outbreak of WW1 Bessie was living and working in America for around six years. At the start of the war Bessie returned to the UK and entered into the nursing profession. She served with a nursing unit in France for 18 months before joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. Bessie joined as a nurse and proceed to Serbia via Salonika. In September 1918 she was with the American unit who had been stationed at Lake Ostrovo, they had been their since 1916 supporting the Serbian troops who were pushing for home. Also in September the Bulgarians were forced and accepted an armistice. The Serb soldiers by this time were virtually running home and of course the units of the SWH went with them. Bessie’s post in Serbia was a Vranje at the former regimental barracks that shadowed the town. The building was filthy, dark and cold and inside were 450 Serbian patients. Pneumonia, pleurisy and emphysema were among the medical cases, many immediate operations were required as the surgical cases were appalling. It was also one of the few times a SWH unit was able to attend “our boys”. In one of the wards lay some English Tommies suffering from the Spanish Flu. In September 1919 Bessie left the hospital as the hospital was being closed down and staff moved up to Belgrade. Bessie went on to Constantinople to work with Armenian children at an orphanage. She returned to Aberdeen for a while before spending some time in Quebec, Canada. Bessie died in 1958 in Edinburgh, aged 77 a retired hospital matron.

Photo above is of the Hospital at Vranje

Bessie Murdoch

Date of Bith: 1881
Place of Birth: Elgin.

Bessie Bannerman Murdoch was born in 1881 at inverlochy farm Elgin. Her Father John was a Farmer. With her mother Mary they moved to Aberdeen. Prior to the outbreak of WW1 Bessie was living and working in America for around six years. At the start of the war Bessie returned to the UK and entered into the nursing profession. She served with a nursing unit in France for 18 months before joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. Bessie joined as a nurse and proceed to Serbia via Salonika. In September 1918 she was with the American unit who had been stationed at Lake Ostrovo, they had been their since 1916 supporting the Serbian troops who were pushing for home. Also in September the Bulgarians were forced and accepted an armistice. The Serb soldiers by this time were virtually running home and of course the units of the SWH went with them. Bessie’s post in Serbia was a Vranje at the former regimental barracks that shadowed the town. The building was filthy, dark and cold and inside were 450 Serbian patients. Pneumonia, pleurisy and emphysema were among the medical cases, many immediate operations were required as the surgical cases were appalling. It was also one of the few times a SWH unit was able to attend “our boys”. In one of the wards lay some English Tommies suffering from the Spanish Flu. In September 1919 Bessie left the hospital as the hospital was being closed down and staff moved up to Belgrade. Bessie went on to Constantinople to work with Armenian children at an orphanage. She returned to Aberdeen for a while before spending some time in Quebec, Canada. Bessie died in 1958 in Edinburgh, aged 77 a retired hospital matron.

Photo above is of the Hospital at Vranje

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