Plaque installed to remember war hero Elsie Inglis
A memorial to pioneering doctor Elsie Inglis has been unveiled in the Capital, 100 years on from her death.
The family of Elsie, who was instrumental in setting up the Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the First World War, were among the first to see a plaque installed at Edinburgh Central Library for her work during World War One.
It comes after the Evening News launched a fundraising drive to secure Dr Inglis a statue in the Edinburgh - something she rightfully deserves.
With the help of Edinburgh-based charity One City Trust - which fights inequality and exclusion on a daily basis - efforts to raise the cash are well under way.
Tony Waterston, Dr Inglis’ great, great nephew, said: “I’m delighted to see the plaque installed in the public library. Just having returned from a family visit to Serbia, where most of Aunt Elsie’s war time work went on, I was hugely impressed and moved by the heartfelt expressions of respect and love for her and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals shown by Serbians of all ages and backgrounds.
“In today’s world we can learn so much from her example of international solidarity, advocacy for the vulnerable and feminism, and we certainly feel that in my family.”
The memorial, organised by Scotland’s War Project in partnership with the libraries service, bears an inscribed quote from Winston Churchill on the renowned suffragist, reading: “She will shine forever in history” along with the names of the 15 women who died during their service in the Scottish Women’s Hospital.
The plaque’s unveiling is one of several commemorative events taking place across Edinburgh to mark the anniversary of the death of Dr Inglis, who was raised in the Capital where she would go on to establish a medical college for women and a maternity hospital for poor mothers on the High Street.
She died on November 26, 1917, the day after returning to Britain from Russia where she had been working with a Scottish Women’s Hospital unit.
Dr Yvonne McEwen, project director at Scotland’s War Project, said: “Like many people, I assumed that there was some form of memorial to Elsie Inglis’ World War One contributions and was shocked to find out there wasn’t anything, so decided to work with like-minded people to raise funds for a physical memorial.
“Also, thanks to the terrific support of the Council and Black Box Productions, I’m delighted that we now have a memorial to such an incredible humanitarian and daughter of the city. I’m enormously proud of everybody’s achievement in making this a reality.”
She was memorialised by lending her name to the maternity hospital in the Capital, the Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital, which bore her name until it closed in 1988.