A-Z of Personnel

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Laura Henrietta Ulph

Date of Bith: 1869
Place of Birth: St Ives, Huntingdon

Laura spent her childhood living at the family home in St Ives, her father John was the local Ironmonger and employed around 8 people. In 1901 Laura was working as assistant matron in the Yorkshire town of Iikley and by 1911 she was Hospital nurse and masseure in Margate.
In August 1916 she made the brave and exciting decision to join the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and head to the Russian front under the stewardship of Dr Elsie Inglis. Two field hospitals were sent to the Russian front and the journey to reach the Serbian First army was treacherous. They sailed from Liverpool to Archangel and from there by train to Odessa and on to Romania. They supported two offensives, battled and fought the awful conditions during three retreats, observed the upheavals of the Russian revolution in 1917. For nurse Ulph the experience was truly mammoth. Laura also assisted in helping to get Angela Bell home , a driver who suffered a nervous breakdown. Laura died in 1963 in Brighton. There is a small photo of Laura in the excellent book Between the Lines by Audrey Fawcett Cahill.

Elsie Underwood

Date of Bith: 1885
Place of Birth: Bromsgrove

Elise Underwood as signing up as an orderly and departing for Sallanches on the 30th August 1918. This is four months after her husbands death. He died on the 30th March 1918 aged 39. Elsie served at the Elsie Inglis Hospital for the Serbs, Sallanches, Haute-Savoie, France. She joined the SWH under her married name. The hospitals it self 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. The Chief Medical officer for the hospital was Dr Matilda MacPhail. Elise died of Spanish Influenza on the 21st of October 1918. A look into her personnel file shows she is buried in the Cemetery of Sallanches and at some point her coffin was moved to a part of the cemetery where the Serbs were buried. Which was payed for by her mother. We are currently trying to find out if Elsie’s headstone is still located in the cemetery at Sallanches.

Photo above, Elise Inglis Hospital for the Serbs at Shallanches

Catherine Upton

Date of Bith: 1882
Place of Birth: Staffordshire

Catherine Beatrice Strelley Upton was born in 1882 in Handsworth, Staffordshire.She was baptized on July 2, 1882 in Derbyshire. Her father, Richard was 44 and a captain in the army. Her mother, Harriet, was 35. She had six brothers and five sisters. In 1911 Catherine was a nurse at the infectious diseases hospital in Gloucestershire. In 1914 she travelled to America. Its more than likely Catherine was introduced to the SWH by Kathleen Burke. Kathleen was a remarkable speaker and raised vast amounts of money for the SWH in America.
In 1917 she was living at Leigh-on-sea. Catherine joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in July 1917, located for over a year at Lake Ostrovo in Macedonia before travelling onto Vranje in Serbia. She had joined the America unit who got it name from the fundraising work stateside. In november of 1918 Catherine became seriously ill, suffering from the flue and had a nervous breakdown. In fact all the women of the unit were suffering from an illness of one sort or another. In late 1918 she pricked her thumb while stitching up a septic dead body and contracted erysipelas and her arm became immobile. In May 1919 she was back in the UK. After the specialists rendered her arm to be doubtful of recovery she decided to head back to America. In 1920 she returned to America and became a citizen . Catherine took a post as head nurse in a New York Hospital. Catherine died in Florida in 1947.

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