TitleCollection of Elsie Inglis
DescriptionInglis was born at Naini Tal, in the Himalayan foothills of India, on 16 August 1864. The family moved to Edinburgh in 1878 where Inglis attended the Edinburgh Institution for the Education of Young Ladies at 23 Charlotte Square, and at eighteen she went to a finishing school in Paris for a year. By 1885 she was keen to become a doctor and fortunately, in 1886, Sophia Jex-Blake opened the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women, and Elsie began her medical training there. Following a student rebellion against the over-controlling Dr Jex-Blake, Inglis helped to found in 1889 a rival establishment, the Medical College for Women, where she continued her training. Subsequently she studied for eighteen months at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Inglis qualified as a licentiate of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1892.

After working in London and Dublin Inglis returned to Edinburgh where she started a new general practice in the city, in partnership with Jessie Macgregor, who had been a fellow student at the Jex-Blake school. In 1894, while working as a partner with Jessie Macgregor, Inglis opened a small hospital for women and children in George Square. By 1904 the small hospital for women and children had outgrown its original premises and moved to the High Street as The Hospice. In 1905 Inglis was appointed senior consultant at the Bruntsfield Hospital, founded by Sophia Jex-Blake and in 1911 it was enlarged and united with The Hospice.

During the First World War Inglis had the idea of forming independent hospital units staffed by women. This she put to the executive committee of the Scottish Federation of Women's Suffrage Societies, which acclaimed the idea and formed a hospitals committee. The first unit left for France in November 1914 and a second unit went to Serbia in January 1915. In September 1916 she agreed to take out a new unit to southern Russia, where the Serbs were being formed into two divisions of the Russian army.

Inglis knew before she left Britain that she had cancer. When she finally returned and landed at Newcastle, Inglis (who had been unable to digest solid foods since leaving Hadji Abdul) insisted on getting dressed and, wearing all her decorations, stood for nearly twenty minutes while the entire Serbian staff said goodbye. The following day, 26 November 1917, in the presence of her sisters, she dictated final messages, and died that same night in the Station Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne.
[Source: Dictionary of National Biography]

Contents: Dispositions and other legal documents between Elsie Inglis and Jessie MacGregor, 1896-1907
TermFirst World War
Extent7 items
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