|In memory of bravery and sacrifice|
|Thursday, 01 July 2010|
A campaign has been launched for a monument to commemorate the Edinburgh surgeon Dr Elsie Inglis and her pioneering Women’s Hospitals of the First World War
The Dr Elsie Inglis/Scottish Women’s Hospital Trust is aiming to raise £150K for a long-overdue monument to the role-model women surgeons, doctors and nurses of the Great War.
The Trust wants to erect a monument in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to commemorate the surgeon Dr Elsie Inglis (1864-1917) and her iconic volunteer field hospital units: Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service, 1914-19, who treated more than 300,000 allied wounded from France to Russia in the First World War.
These frontline field hospitals were privately funded and staffed entirely by women, from surgeons and anaesthetists to cooks and administrators – many of whom gave their lives while serving.
With a significant international profile and worldwide membership, the Trust is keen to gather support from organisations like the RCSEd. Indeed, funding for the hospitals was raised through Scottish diaspora links to India, the USA, Canada, Australia and other areas of what was then the British Empire. And it is hoped support for the current campaign will reflect the international help given to the women’s hospitals.
Many of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals’ staff had links with the RCSEd and Edinburgh, and it is this unique association that makes the campaign particularly relevant to the College.
The Trust was formed following a successful campaign for a monument in France in 2008, which highlighted the need for a similar monument in Edinburgh. With wording approved by HRH The Princess Royal, the French monument was placed in honour of the women volunteers and to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War.
The Princess Royal has kindly agreed in principle to also unveil the Edinburgh monument, continuing the royal connection established by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, their patron. The Trust also plans to create an annual bursary, linked to the monument, to perpetuate the selfless generosity and ethos of these brave women.
The new monument in the city of their origin, Edinburgh, to these women surgeons and their colleagues would finally bring to the awareness of a national and international general public the enormous debt they owe to these professional women, whose generosity and sacrifice saved many thousands of allied lives.
These Edinburgh women have never been recognised or honoured by the British Government, despite being honoured by our allies and eulogised worldwide. Your financial support would be gratefully received and would make a valuable contribution towards establishing this long-overdue monument inthe city by 2011/12.
Ian McFarlane, Trustee, The Dr Elsie Inglis/Scottish Women’s Hospitals Trust
Please send donations to: The Dr Elsie Inglis/Scottish Women’s, Hospitals Trust c/o Mr Malcolm Rust, Shepherd & Wedderburn WS, 1 Exchange Crescent, Conference Square, Edinburgh EH3 8UL
Dr Elsie Inglis and her Scottish Angels - A multi-media exhibition conceived and curated by Ian McFarlane, Paris, Belgrade and Edinburgh 2010-13
This unique exhibition features more than 40 works by the British painter John Bellany. Through a combination of art, film and commissioned music, it captures the pioneering spirit of women volunteers in the Great War. It also pays homage to the women who changed the world in relation to the roles of women in the professions, society and art.