Hall 8 - BOARD 20

SCOTTISH WOMEN'S HOSPITALS

Scottish Women's Hospitals is an organization established by the Association of Scottish Women's Federation (suffragettes - members of the movement for women's rights), led by Dr. Elsie Ingils. The full name of the organization was: (The Scottish Women's Hospital for Home and Foreign Service. The organization was created at the beginning of the First World War, as a sign of rebellion against the refusal of the official British authorities to receive suffragettes in the army medical corps in an organised manner. The organization kept the name related to Scotland, as it was founded there, but it was joined by women from all over Britain as well as from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India ...

Four deparments of the Scottish Women's Hospitals worked in Serbia. The first one was opened in Kragujevac, in January 1915 and beforel the end of spring departments in Valjevo, Mladenovac and Lazarevac followed.

Scottish Women's Hospitals arrived in Valjevo in June 1915. It was stationed independently of the existing hospital buildings on the hill above the town, not far from the Barracks of the 5th Regiment. It consisted of six large tents with 250 beds, for accommodation of patients, and another thirty tents with infirmaries, surgery rooms, dispensary, kitchen, dining room, accommodation facilities for staff and ancillary rooms. The work of the hospital in Valjevo was managed by Dr. Alice Hutchinson, an energetic and capable woman called Little General by her colleagues.

Although they came to Valjevo after the major epidemics of typhoid had ended, members of Scottish Women's Hospitals had a lot of work during the summer, facing the consequences of the pestilence. Struggling to remediate the consequences of the epidemics, some of them were infected. The nurse Bessie Gray Sutherland died in Valjevo on September 26 1915.

After occupation of Serbia, while some Scottish women retreated through Albania with Serbian army and refugees, the others were captured by the Austro-Hungarian army, taken to the camp in Hungary and then released. Most continued their humanitarian work on various locations throughout Europe and Africa.

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