Plaque to honour pioneering First World War Doctor Elsie Inglis

24 November 2017, 07:14

Elsie Inglis

A memorial honouring pioneering doctor and suffragist Elsie Inglis is to be unveiled in Edinburgh 100 years after her death.

The commemorative plaque has been arranged by Scotland's War Project and Edinburgh Libraries service.

It will be unveiled at the Central Library at a ceremony on Friday attended by her descendants.

On the outbreak of the the First World War Dr Inglis was told by the War Office to 'go home and sit still' as women doctors and surgeons were not permitted to serve in front-line hospitals.

Instead she offered her services to Britain's allies and on their acceptance formed the Scottish Women's Hospitals to treat soldiers.

Together with colleagues and associates from the suffragist movement, Dr Inglis helped raise the equivalent of £53 million in today's money to buy equipment and get their stations to the front line.

Suffering from cancer, she died on 26 November 1917, the day after she arrived back in Britain.

The plaque is inscribed with a quote from Winston Churchill saying "she will shine forever in history" along with the names of 15 women who died during their service in the Scottish Women's Hospital.

The event will be attended by Dr Inglis' two great, great nephews Tony and Robin Waterston and great, great, great niece Clea Thomson.

When details of the services were revealed earlier this month, Ms Thompson said: "Elsie worked relentlessly with fortitude in highly traumatic circumstances to save lives throughout her life.

"It is very meaningful to me personally and as I continue to learn more about her life, I find her courage extraordinary and inspiring."

A private ceremony honouring Dr Inglis will be held at her grave in the Dean Cemetery on Sunday, exactly 100 years after her death.

A larger event will follow at St Giles Cathedral on November 29 which marks a century since her funeral there.