Scotlands History

Elsie Inglis (1864-1917)

Elsie Inglis was a Scots doctor and suffragist. She worked to set up the Scottish Women's Hospitals.

She was born in Naini Tal, India, as her father worked in the Indian civil service. Her family later returned to Scotland and Elsie studied to become a doctor at the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women that had been opened by Dr Sophia Jex-Blake.

Elsie gained qualifications from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edinburgh, and the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. In 1894 she opened The Hospice - a maternity hospital for the poor in Edinburgh. Elsie Inglis became an active suffragist.

When Elsie first suggested teams of women doctors and nurses be sent to the Western Front during the Great War, the War Office replied ‘My good lady, go home and sit still.'

Undaunted, Elsie raised thousands of pounds and worked to set up the Scottish Women's Hospitals Unit. It provided medical units staffed by women in France, Russia, Corsica, Romania and Serbia. Elsie went to work with her teams of nurses in Serbia. She died of cancer in 1917 and was buried in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.
  • Cardboard collecting box for the Scottish Women's Hospitals, World War I

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