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From the Fringe of the North to the Balkans: The Balkans Viewed by Scottish Medical Women during World War I

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Author(s): Costel Coroban

Journal: Revista Româna de Studii Baltice si Nordice
ISSN 2067-1725

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 53;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Scottish Women’s Hospitals | Elsie Inglis | Serbia | Macedonia | Dobrogea | World War I

ABSTRACT
This article is about the venture of the units of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals organization in the Balkans during World War I. It is important to note that these women, inspired by the ideals of equality and compassion, were not part of any governmental organization, as the British War Office refused to employ them, and thus acted entirely based on their ideals. The first unit to serve in the Balkans under Dr. Elsie Inglis was captured by the Central Powers on the invasion of Serbia, but would be later reorganized as the SWH London unit, and would travel to Romania and Russia together with its ambulance unit, in order to help the First Serbian Volunteer Division. After the unfortunate demise of Dr. Elsie Inglis on 26 November 1917 upon her arrival at Newcastle upon Tyne, the unit was renamed the “Dr. Elsie Inglis” unit, and travelled to Macedonia and Serbia in order to continue its relief work. Other units that served in Macedonia and Serbia since 1916 were the Girton and Newnham unit, the America Unit, their transport (ambulance) sub-units, and briefly Dr. Mary Blair’s unit. The SWH Committee in Edinburgh had the honourable initiative of crowning their efforts throughout the war by founding an “Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital” in Belgrade during the spring of 1919, but this project would last only for a year.
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