Help the Scottish Women’s Hospitals

Scottish Women's Hospitals donation box, Imperial War Museum,, London. (P. Ferguson image, March 2017)

Scottish Women’s Hospitals donation box, Note the NUWSS initials. Imperial War Museum, London. (P. Ferguson image, March 2017)

The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies [NUWSS]

Elsie Inglis who initially studied medicine at the Edinburgh School of Medicine in 1887, completed her studies in 1892 at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Inglis was especially cognizant of the required specialized knowledge and treatments for female patients and was appalled by the lack of standards turning to the suffrage movement with whom she became politically active. In the 1890s, Inglis became the Secretary of the Edinburgh National Society for Women’s suffrage and worked closely with the NUWSS.

The NUWSS was a suffragist organization, distinct from the suffragette movement which was a splinter group of former NUWSS women who chose a more fervent political path choosing direct action that included acts of violence. The NUWSS organization favoured peaceful protests, petitions, organized meetings, leaflet campaigns and debating their positions through interactions with Members of Parliaments. Suffragists also worked with men to achieve their aims, whereas Suffragettes preferred a “Women Only” policy.

Dr. Elsie Inglis. Wellcome Library Collection, London via Wikipedia.

Dr. Elsie Inglis. Wellcome Library Collection, London via Wikipedia.

With the support of the NUWSS, Inglis founded the Scottish Women’s Hospitals Committee  that established the first Scottish Women’s Hospital in France in November 1914. The work of Inglis, and the NUWSS provided for fourteen medical units during the Great War including field hospitals, specialized facilities for the treatment of fever, dressing stations and clinics. Located in France, Serbia, Corsica, Salonika, Romania, Russia and Malta these units were created through the dedication of women such as Inglis and other associates of the NUWSS.

In all the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Society raised more than £500,000 during the Great War.

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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