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ELSIE INGLIS
(1864-1917)

Elsie Inglis was born in India but returned to Scotland in 1878 when her father retired, settling in Edinburgh with her family.

She studied medicine at the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women and she also trained at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.


Once qualified as a doctor, Elsie was given a teaching post at the New Hospital for Women by its founder, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and later she
established a maternity hospital in Edinburgh staffed entirely by women.

A supporter of universal suffrage, Inglis joined the NUWSS and in 1906 and played an important role in setting up the Scottish Women's Suffrage Federation.

When the First World War started, Dr. Inglis suggested that women's medical units should be sent to serve on the Western Front. Although the War Office in Scotland was opposed to the idea, she and her Scottish Women's Hospitals Committee sent the first women's medical unit to France three months into the war.

By 1915 the Scottish Women's Hospital Unit had established an Auxiliary Hospital with 200 beds housed in the 13th century Royaumont Abbey.

In April 1915 Elsie Inglis took a women's medical unit to Serbia and during an Austrian offensive in the summer she was captured and imprisoned but was eventually released with the help of the American and British authorities.

During World War I, Inglis had set up fourteen medical units serving in France, Romania, Serbia, Malta, Corsica, Salonika and Russia. In August 1916 Inglis and another eighty women were financed by the London Suffrage Society to support Serbian soldiers in Russia.

Whilst serving in Russia however, Inglis was taken ill and was forced to return to Britain. Arriving at Newcastle Upon Tyne on 25th November 1917. Doctors tried in vain to save her and she died the next day.

A true Florence Nightengale, she dedicated her whole life to saving others.


 
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