News

Pioneering Female WW1 Doctor Commemorated For War Achievements

Dr Elsie Inglis, who died 100 years ago, is one of the Great War's unsung heroes.

A trailblazing doctor whose work helped save the lives of thousands of soldiers during the First World War, after she refused to 'go home and sit still', is being commemorated in her hometown.

Dr Elsie Inglis, who died 100 years ago, is one of the Great War's unsung heroes. 

When the war broke out in 1914, Elsie Inglis was a prominent suffragette and a well-regarded doctor who had completed her training at Scotland's most renowned medical institutions. 

Dr Inglis volunteered to help with the war effort, only to be told by a war office official, ‘My good lady go home and sit still’.

Not deterred, she then set up the Scottish Women’s Hospital to help treat Britain’s allies in battlefields across Europe. Her relative Clea Thompson said;

"She was able to take on the establishment when the British War Office told her they didn't need the services of the Scottish women. So she wrote the Serbian and alied forces and they welcomed them." 

Dr Elsie Inglis family
Relatives of Dr Elsie Inglis are paying tribute to their inspirational ancestor

Dr Elsie Inglis recruited around 1,500 people to work in the 17 Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the First World War.

They operated across the continent, from France and Belgium in the Western Front, to Russia and Serbia in the east and helped save the lives of countless soldiers injured on the battlefield. Patricia Purdom, a relative of Dr Inglis said:

"Their work was invaluable and even today in Serbia, she is adored, and is know as the mother of Serbia."

Dr Inglis was laid to rest at St Giles Cathedral after she passed away from cancer, a day after returning to the UK from Russia.

A memorial service will be held there later this month, exactly 100 years after her funeral, to remember a woman who did so much to help so many.  

Tags