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Title: Dr. Elsie Inglis
Author: Balfour, Lady Frances
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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DR. ELSIE INGLIS


[Illustration: DR. ELSIE INGLIS, 1916]


DR. ELSIE INGLIS

by

LADY FRANCES BALFOUR

Author of ‘The Life of Lady Victoria Campbell’
‘Life and Letters of Rev. James Macgregor, D.D.’

With Illustrations



Hodder and Stoughton
London  New York  Toronto



  TO

  SERBIA

  AND THE

  SCOTTISH WOMEN’S HOSPITALS

  THAT SERVED AND LOVED
  THEIR BRETHREN

  1914-1917

  ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’



PREFACE


The story of Elsie Inglis needs little introduction. From first to last
she was the woman nobly planned. She achieved what she did because she
was ready when the opportunity came. Consistently she had lived her
life, doing whatever her hand found to do with all her might, and ever
following the light. She had the spirit of her nation and of her race:
the spirit of courageous adventure, the love of liberty, and equal
freedom for all people.

If this memoir represents her faithfully, it is because it has been
written among her own family and kindred. Every letter or story of
her is part of a consistent whole. Transparently honest, warmly
affectioned to all, the record could hardly err if, following exactly
her footprints in the sands of time, it presents a portrait of one of
old Scotia’s truest daughters. I owe manifold thanks to her sisters,
her friends, her patients, above all, to her Units, for the help they
have given me in what has been a labour of love and growing respect.
She, being dead, yet speaketh; and, while we thank our God for every
remembrance of her, we hope that those who are her living memorials,
the patients in the Hospice, and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, will
not be forgotten by those who read and pass on the pilgrim way.

The design for the book cover has been drawn by Dr. Inglis’ countryman,
Mr. Anning Bell. It is the emblem of her nation and of the S.W.H.

      F. B.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER I

                                                   PAGE

  INGLIS OF KINGSMILLS, INVERNESS-SHIRE               1


  CHAPTER II

  ELSIE MAUD INGLIS                                  17


  CHAPTER III

  THE LADDER OF LEARNING                             27


  CHAPTER IV

  THE STUDENT DAYS                                   40


  CHAPTER V

  LONDON AND DUBLIN                                  59


  CHAPTER VI

  POLITICAL ENFRANCHISEMENT AND NATIONAL POLITICS    82


  CHAPTER VII

  THE PROFESSION AND THE FAITH                      111


  CHAPTER VIII

  WAR AND THE SCOTTISH WOMEN                        137


  CHAPTER IX

  SERBIA                                            162


  CHAPTER X

  RUSSIA                                            191


  CHAPTER XI

  THE MOORINGS CUT                                  234



CHAPTER I

INGLIS OF KINGSMILLS, INVERNESS-SHIRE


_PART I_

AMERICA

    ‘Their graves are scattered far and wide,
    O’er mountain, stream and sea.’

    ‘God of our fathers! be the God
    Of their succeeding race.’

Among the records of the family from whom Elsie Inglis was descended
there are letters which date back to 1740. In that year the property
of Kingsmills, Inverness-shire, was in the hands of Hugh Inglis. He
had three sons, George, Alexander, and William. George inherited
Kingsmills, and the Inglis now in Inverness are descended from him.
Alexander, the great-grandfather of Elsie, married Mary Deas, and about
1780 emigrated to Carolina, leaving his four children to be educated
in Scotland, in charge of his brother, William Inglis. The portrait of
Alexander, in the dress of the period, has the characteristic features
of the race descended from him. The face is stamped with the impress of
a resolute, fearless character, one who was likely to leave his mark on
any country in which he took up his abode. There is an account of the
property and estates of Alexander Inglis of Charleston ‘merchant in his
own right.’ The account sets forth how the estates are confiscated on
account of the loyalty of the said Alexander, and his adherence to, and
support of the British Government and constitution.

In the schedule of property there occur, in close relation, these
items: 125 head of black cattle, £125; 69 slaves at £60 a head, £4140;
a pew, No. 31 in St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, £150; 11 house
negroes, £700; and a library of well-chosen books, at a much lower
figure. Alexander never lost sight of the four children left in his
native land. In 1784 he congratulates his son David on being Dux of his
class, and says that he prays constantly for him.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER INGLIS (_d._ 1791)

GREAT-GRANDFATHER OF DR. ELSIE INGLIS]

Mary Deas, Alexander Inglis’ wife, through her ancestor Sir David
Dundas, was a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce. All that is known
of her life is contained in the undated obituary notice of the American
newspaper of the day:--

 ‘The several duties of her station in life she discharged as became
 the good Christian, supporting with exemplary fortitude the late
 trying separation from her family.’

Alexander’s restless and adventurous life was soon to have a violent
end.

After their mother’s death, the three daughters must have joined
their father in America. One of them, Katherine, whose face has been
immortalised by Raeburn, writes to her brother David, who had been left
in Scotland, to inform him of the death of their father in a duel.

[Illustration: MRS. ROBERTSON, _née_ KATHERINE INGLIS

GREAT-AUNT OF DR. ELSIE INGLIS

(_Portrait by Raeburn_)]

The letter which Alexander Inglis wrote to be given to his children,
should he fall in the duel, is as fresh and clear as on the day when it
was written:--

 ‘MY DEAR, DEAR CHILDREN,--If ever you receive this letter it will
 be after my death. You were present this morning when I received
 the grossest insult that could be offered me--and such as I little
 expected from the young man who dared to offer it. Could the epithets
 which in his passion he ventured to make use of be properly applied
 to me--I would not wish to live another hour, but as a man of honour,
 and the natural guardian and protector of everything that is dear and
 valuable to myself and to you, I have no alternative left, but that
 of demanding reparation for the injury I have received. If I fall--I
 do so in defence of that honour, which is dearer to me than life.
 May that great, gracious and good Being, who is the protector of
 innocence, and the sure rewarder of goodness, bless, preserve and keep
 you.--I am, my dear, dear children, your affectionate father,

      ‘ALEXR. INGLIS.

      ‘CHARLESTON,

      ‘_Tuesday evening, 29 March 1791_.’

The letter is addressed by name to the four children.

Katherine writes to her brother David in the following May:--

 ‘In what manner, my dearest brother, shall I relate to you the
 melancholy event that has befallen us. Our dear parent, the best of
 fathers, is no more. How shall I go on? Alas! you will hear too soon
 by whose hand he fell; therefore I will not distress you with the
 particulars of his death. The second day of our dear father’s illness
 he called us to his bedside, when he told us he had left a letter
 for us three and his dear boy which would explain all things. Judge
 if you are able, my dear brother, what must have been our thoughts
 on this sad occasion to see our only dear parent tortured with the
 most excruciating pains and breathing his last. We were all of us too
 young, my brother, to experience the heavy loss we met with when our
 dear mother died, we had then a good father to supply our wants. I
 have always thought the Almighty kind to all His creatures, but more
 so in this particular that He seldom deprives us of one friend without
 raising another to comfort us. My dear sisters and self are at present
 staying with good Mrs. Jamieson, who is indeed a truly amiable woman.
 I am sure you will regard her for your sisters’ sakes. You are happily
 placed, my brother, under the care of kind uncles and aunts who will
 no doubt (as they ever have done) prove all you have lost. How happy
 would it make me in my present situation to be among my friends in
 Scotland, but as that is impossible for some time I must endeavour
 to be as happy as I can. My kind duty to uncle and aunts.--I am, my
 dearest brother, your truly affectionate sister,

      ‘KATHERINE INGLIS.’

Thus closes the chapter of Alexander Inglis and Mary Deas, his wife,
both ‘long, long ago at rest’ in the land of their exile, both bearing
the separation with fortitude, and the one rendering his children
fatherless rather than live insulted by some nameless and graceless
youth.

David Inglis grew up in charge of the kind Uncle William, and endeared
himself to his adopted father. He also was to fare to dominions beyond
the sea, and he carried the name of Inglis to India, where he went in
1798 as writer to the East India Company.

Uncle William followed him with the usual good advice. In a letter he
tells David he expects him to make a fortune in India that will give
him ‘£3000 a year, that being the lowest sum on which it is possible to
live in comfort.’

David’s life was a more adventurous one than that which usually falls
to a writer. He went through the Mahratta War in 1803. He left India in
1812. On applying for a sick certificate, the resolution of Council,
dated 1811, draws the attention of the Honourable Company to his
services, ‘most particularly when selected to receive charge of the
territorial cessions of the Peshwa under the Treaty of Bassein in the
year 1803, displaying in the execution of that delicate and difficult
mission, proofs of judgment and talents with moderation and firmness
combined, which averted the necessity of having recourse to coercive
measures, accomplished the peaceable transfer of a valuable territory,
and conciliated those whose power and consequence were annihilated
or abridged by the important change he so happily effected.’ David
Inglis seems to have roamed through India, always seeking new worlds to
conquer, and confident in his own powers to achieve.

One of the Napoleonic invasion scares alarmed the Company, and David,
with two companions, was sent out on a cruising expedition to see if
they could sight the enemy’s fleet. As long as he wrote from India, his
letters bear the stamp of a man full of vital energy and resource.

The only thing he did not accomplish while in the service of the
Company was the fortune of £3000 a year.

He entered a business firm in Bombay and there made enough to be able
to keep a wife. In 1806 he married Martha Money, whose father was a
partner in the firm. They came home in 1812, and all their younger
children were born in England at Walthamstow, the home of the Money
family. One of the descendants, who has read the letters of these three
brothers and their families, makes this comment on them:--

 ‘The letters are pervaded with a sense of activity, and of wandering.
 Each one entering into any pursuit that came to hand. All the family
 were travellers. There are letters from aunts in Gibraltar and many
 other airts.

 ‘The extraordinary thing in all the letters, whether they were
 written by an Inglis, a Deas, or a Money, is the pervading note of
 strong religious faith. They not only refer to religion, but often, in
 truly Scottish fashion they enter on long theological dissertations.
 David Inglis, Elsie’s grandfather, when he was settled in England
 gave missionary addresses. Two of these exist, and must have taken
 fully an hour to read. Even the restless Alexander in Carolina, and
 the “whirlwind” David in India scarcely ever write a letter without
 a reference to some religious topic. You get the impression of
 strong breezy men sure of themselves, and finding the world a great
 playground.’


_PART II_

INDIA

    ‘God of our fathers, known of old.
    .       .       .       .       .
    Beneath Whose awful hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine.’

John, the second youngest son of David and Martha Inglis, was born
in 1820. His mother being English, there entered with her some of the
douce Saxon disposition and ways. Though the call of the blood was
to cast his lot in India, John, or as he was generally called David,
appears first as a student. His tutor, the Rev. Dr. Niblock, wrote a
report of him as he was passing out of his hands to Haileybury. Mrs.
Inglis notes on the letter: ‘Dr. Niblock is esteemed one of the best
Greek scholars in England, and his Greek Grammar is the one in use in
Eton.’

 ‘Of Master David Inglis I can speak with pleasure and pride almost
 unmixed. I can only loudly express how I regret that I have not the
 finishing of such a boy, for I feel, and shall ever feel, that he
 is _mine_. He has long begun to do what few boys do till they are
 leaving, or have left, school, viz. to think. I shall long cherish the
 hope, that as I laid the foundation, so shall I have the power and
 pleasure of crowning my own and other’s labours. He will make a fine
 fellow and be a comfort to his parents, and an honour to his tutor.’

John Inglis received a nomination for Haileybury College from one of
the directors of the East India Company, and went there as a student in
1839. There he was noted as a cricketer and a good horseman, and also
for his reading. He knew Shakespeare almost by heart, and could tell
where to find any quotation from his works. On leaving Haileybury he
sailed for Calcutta, and was there for two years learning the language.
He went as assistant magistrate to Agra. He married in 1846, and in
1847 he was transferred to the newly-acquired province of the Punjab.
He was sent as magistrate to Sealkote, remaining there till 1856.
He then brought his family home on three years’ furlough. With the
outbreak of the Mutiny all civilians were recalled, and he returned to
India in 1858. He was sent to Bareilly to take part in the suppression
of the Mutiny, and was attached to the force under General Jones. He
was present at the action at Najibabad, with the recapture of Bareilly,
and the pacification of the province of Rohilcund. He remained in the
province ten years till 1868, and during those years he rose to be
Commissioner of Rohilcund. In 1868 he was made a member of the Board
of Revenue in the North-West Provinces. As a member of the Legislative
Council of India, he moved, in 1873, to Calcutta. From 1875 to 1877 he
was Chief Commissioner of Oude.

The position Inglis made for himself in India, in yet early life, is
to be gauged by a letter written in 1846 by Sir Frederick Currie, who
was then Commissioner of Lahore. He had married Mrs. Inglis’ sister
Katherine.

 ‘We have applied to Mr. Thomasen (Lieutenant-Governor of the N.W.P.)
 for young civilians for the work which is now before us, and we must
 take several with us into the Punjab. One whom he strongly recommends
 is Inglis at Agra. I will copy what he says about him. Sir Henry
 Hardinge (the Governor-General) has not seen the letter yet. “Another
 man who might suit you is Inglis at Agra; an assistant on £400,
 acting as joint magistrate which gives him one hundred more. Active,
 energetic, conciliating to natives, fine-tempered, and thoroughly
 honest in all his works. I am not sure that he is not as good a man as
 you can have. I shall be glad to hear that you send for him.”’

The letter was addressed to Inglis’ eighteen-year-old bride, and Sir
Frederick goes on:--

 ‘Shall I send for him or not? I am almost sure I should have done
 so, had I not heard of your getting hold of his heart. We don’t
 want _heartless_ men, but really you have no right to keep _such_ a
 man from us. At the present moment, however, for your sake, little
 darling, I won’t take him from his present work, but if, after the
 honeymoon, he would prefer active and stirring employment, with the
 prospect of distinction, to the light-winged toys of feathered cupid,
 I dare say I shall be able to find an opening for him.’

Mr. Inglis’ wife was Harriet Louis Thompson, one of nine daughters.
Her father was one of the first Indian civilians in the old company’s
days. All of the nine sisters married men in the Indian Civil, with
the exception of one who married an army officer. Harriet came out
to her parents in India when she was seventeen, and she married in
her eighteenth year. She must have been a girl of marked character
and ability. She met her future husband at a dance in her father’s
house, and she appears to have been the first to introduce the waltz
into India. She was a fine rider, and often drove tandem in India.
She must have had a steady nerve, for her letters are full of various
adventures in camp and tiger-haunted jungles, and most of them narrate
the presence of one of her infants who was accompanying the parents on
their routine of Indian official life.

Her daughter says of her:--

 ‘She was deeply religious. Some years after their marriage, when she
 must have been a little over thirty and was alone in England with the
 six elder children, she started and ran most successfully a large
 working-men’s club in Southampton. Such a thing was not as common
 as it is to-day. There she lectured on Sunday evenings on religious
 subjects to the crowded hall of men.’

In the perfectly happy home of the Inglis family in India, the Indian
ayah was one of the household in love and service to those she served.
Mrs. Simson has supplied some memories of this faithful retainer:--

 ‘The early days, the nursery days in the life of a family, are always
 looked back upon with loving interest, and many of us can trace to
 them many sweet and helpful influences. So it was with our early days,
 though the nursery was in India, and the dear nurse who lives in
 our memories was an Indian. Her name was Sona (Gold). She came into
 our family when the eldest of us was born, and remained one of the
 household for more than thirty years. Her husband came with her, and
 in later years three of her sons were table servants. Sona came home
 with us in 1857, and remained in England till the beginning of 1858.
 It was a sign of great attachment to us, for she left her own family
 away up in the Punjab, and fared out in the long sea voyage, into a
 strange country and among new peoples. She made friends wherever she
 was, and her stay in England was a great help to her in after life.
 When I returned to India after my school life at home, I found the
 dear nurse of my childhood days installed again as nurse to the little
 sisters and brother I found there.

 ‘She was a sweet, gentle woman, and we never learnt anything but kind,
 gentle ways from her. By the time I returned she was recognised by the
 whole compound of servants as one to be looked up to and respected.
 She became a Christian and was baptized in 1877, but long before
 she made profession of her faith by baptism she lived a consistent
 Christian life. My dear mother’s influence was strong with her, and
 she was a reader of the Bible. One of my earliest recollections is our
 reading together the fourteenth chapter of St. John.

 ‘She died some years after we had all settled in Scotland. My parents
 left her, with a small pension for life, in charge of the missionaries
 at Lucknow. When she died, they wrote to us saying that old Sona had
 been one of the pillars of the Indian Christian Church in Lucknow.

 ‘We look forward with a sure and certain hope to our reunion in the
 home of many mansions, with her, around whom our hearts still cling
 with love and affection.’

In 1856 Mr. Inglis resolved to come home on furlough, accompanied by
Mrs. Inglis, and what was called ‘the first family,’ namely, the six
boys and one girl born to them in India. It was a formidable journey
to accomplish even without children, and one writes, ‘How mother stood
it all I cannot imagine.’ They came down from the Punjab to Calcutta
trekking in dâk garris. It took four months to reach Calcutta by this
means of progression, and another four months to come home by the Cape.
The wonderful ayah, Sona, was a great help in the toilsome journey when
they brought the children back to England. Mrs. Inglis was soon to
have her first parting with her husband. When they landed in England,
news of the outbreak of the Mutiny met them, and Mr. Inglis returned
almost at once to take his place beside John Lawrence. Together they
fought through the Mutiny, and then he worked under him. Inglis was
one of John Lawrence’s men in the great settling of the Punjab which
followed on that period of stress and strain in the Empire of India.
His own district was Bareilly, and the house where he lived in Sealkote
is still known as Inglis Sahib ke koti (Inglis Sahib’s house). His
children remember the thrilling stories he used to tell them of these
great days, and of the great men who made their history.

His admiration was unbounded for those northern races of India. He
loved and respected them, and they, in their turn, gave him unbounded
confidence and affection. ‘Every bit as good as an Englishman,’ was a
phrase often on his lips when speaking of the fine Sikhs and Punjabis
and Rajpoots.

Englishwomen were not allowed in India during this period, and Mrs.
Inglis had to remain in Southampton with her six children and their
ayah. It was then that she found work in her leisure time for the work
she did in the Men’s Club.

In 1863, when life in India had resumed its normal course, Mrs. Inglis
rejoined her husband, leaving the children she had brought back at home.

It must have taken all the ‘fortitude’ that Mary Deas had shown long
before in Carolina to face this separation. There was no prospect of
the running backwards and forwards, which steam was so soon to develop,
and to draw the dominions into closer bonds. Letters took months to
pass, and no cable carried the messages of life and death across ‘the
white-lipped seas.’ Again, one of the survivors says: ‘I always felt
even as a child, and am sure of it now, she left her heart behind with
the six elder children. What it must have meant to a woman of her deep
nature, I cannot imagine.’ The decision was made, and Mr. Inglis was to
have the great reward of her return to him, after his seven years of
strenuous and anxious loneliness. The boys were sent, three of them to
Eton, and two more to Uppingham and to Rugby. Amy Inglis the daughter
was left with friends. Relatives were not lacking in this large clan
and its branches, and the children were ‘looked after’ by them. We owe
much of our knowledge of ‘the second little family,’ which were to
comfort the parents in India, by the correspondence concerning them
with the dearly-loved children left in the homelands.



CHAPTER II

ELSIE MAUD INGLIS

1864-1917

    ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the
    womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of the mighty man, so
    are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver
    full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with
    the enemies in the gate.’


      NAINI TAL, _Aug. 16, 1864_.

 ‘MY DARLING AMY,--Thank God, I am able to tell you that your dearest
 mother, and your little sister who was born this morning are well.
 Aunt Ellen thinks that baby is very like your dearest mother, but I
 do not see the resemblance at present. I hope I may by and by. We
 could not form a better wish for her, than that she may grow up like
 her dear mother in every respect. Old Sona is quite delighted to have
 another baby to look after again. She took possession of her the
 moment she was born, as she has done with all of you. The nurse says
 she is a very strong and healthy baby. I wish to tell you as early as
 possible the good news of God’s great mercy and goodness towards us in
 having brought your dearest mother safely through this trial.’

Mrs. Inglis writes a long account of Elsie at a month old, and says she
is supposed to have a temper, as she makes herself heard all over the
house, and strongly objects to being brought indoors and put into her
cradle.

In October she writes how the two babies, her own and Aunt Ellen’s
little boy, had been taken to church to be baptized, the one by the
name of Elsie Maude, the other Cyril Powney. Both children were
thriving, and no one would know that there were two babies in the
house. ‘Elsie always stares very hard at papa when he comes to speak
to her, as if she did not quite know what to make of his black beard,
something different to what she is accustomed to see, but she generally
ends by laughing at him’--the first notice of that radiant friendship
in which father and daughter were to journey together in a happy
pilgrimage through life.

Elsie had early to make long driving expeditions with her parents, and
her mother reports her as ‘accommodating herself to circumstances,
watching the trees, sleeping under them, and the jolliest little
traveller I ever saw.’

In December 1864 Mrs. Inglis reports their return from camp:--

 ‘It has been most extraordinarily warm for the time of year, and
 there has been very little rain during the whole twelvemonth. People
 attribute it to the wonderful comet which has been visible in the
 southern hemisphere. Elsie is very well, but she is a very little
 thing with a very wee face. She has a famous pair of large blue eyes,
 and it is quite remarkable how she looks about her and seems to
 observe everything. She lies in her bed at night in the dark and talks
 away out loud in her own little language, and little voice, and she is
 always ready for a laugh.’

Later on Mrs. Inglis writes: ‘I think she is one of the most
intelligent babies I ever met with.’

Every letter descriptive of the dark, blue-eyed baby with the fast
growing light hair, speaks of the smile ready for every one who speaks
to her, and the hearty laughs which seem to have been one of her
earliest characteristics.

One journey tried Elsie’s philosophy of taking life as she found it.
Mrs. Inglis writes to her daughter:--

      NAINI TAL, 1865.

 ‘We came in palkies from Beharin to a place called Jeslie, half way
 up the hill to Naini Tal, and were about ten hours in the palkies. I
 had arranged to have Elsie with me in my palkie, but the little monkey
 did not like being away from Sona, and then the strangeness of the
 whole proceedings bewildered her, and the noise of the bearers seemed
 to frighten her, so I was obliged to make her over to Sona. She went
 to sleep after a little while. As we came near the hills it became
 cold and a wind got up, and then Papa brought her back to me, for we
 did not quite like her being in Sona’s doolie, which was not so well
 protected as mine. She had become more reconciled to the disagreeables
 of dâk travelling by that time. We reached our house about nine
 o’clock yesterday morning. The change from the dried-up hot plains is
 very pleasant. You may imagine how often I longed for the railroad and
 our civilised English way of travelling.’

Mrs. Shaw M‘Laren, the companion sister of Elsie, and to whom her
correspondence always refers, has written down some memories of the
happy childhood days in India. The year was divided between the plains
and the hills of India. Elsie was born in August 1864, at Naini Tal,
one of the most beautiful hill stations in the Himalayas. From the
verandah, where much of the day was spent, the view was across the
masses of ‘huddled hills’ to the ranges crowned by the everlasting
snows. An outlook of silent and majestic stillness, and one which
could not fail to influence such a spirit as shone out in the always
wonderful eyes of Elsie. She grew up with the vision of the glory of
the earthly dominion, and it gave a new meaning to the kingdom of the
things of the spirit.

 ‘All our childhood is full of remembrances of “Father.” He never
 forgot our birthdays; however hot it was down in the scorched plains,
 when the day came round, if we were up in the hills, a large parcel
 would arrive from him. His very presence was joy and strength when he
 came to us at Naini Tal. What a remembrance there is of early walks
 and early breakfasts with him and the three of us. The table was
 spread in the verandah between six and seven. Father made three cups
 of cocoa, one for each of us, and then the glorious walk! Three ponies
 followed behind, each with their attendant grooms, and two or three
 red-coated chaprasis, father stopping all along the road to talk to
 every native who wished to speak to him, while we three ran about,
 laughing and interested in everything. Then, at night, the shouting
 for him after we were in bed and father’s step bounding up the stair
 in Calcutta, or coming along the matted floor of our hill home. All
 order and quietness flung to the winds while he said good night to us.

 ‘It was always understood that Elsie and he were special chums, but
 that never made any jealousy. Father was always just! The three cups
 of cocoa were exactly the same in quality and quantity. We got equal
 shares of his right and his left hand in our walks, but Elsie and he
 were comrades, inseparables from the day of her birth.

 ‘In the background of our lives there was always the quiet strong
 mother, whose eyes and smile live on through the years. Every morning
 before the breakfast and walk, there were five minutes when we sat
 in front of her in a row on little chairs in her room and read the
 scripture verses in turn, and then knelt in a straight, quiet row and
 repeated the prayers after her. Only once can I remember father being
 angry with any of us, and that was when one of us ventured to hesitate
 in instant obedience to some wish of hers. I still see the room in
 which it happened, and the thunder in his voice is with me still.’

Both Mr. and Mrs. Inglis belonged to the Anglican Church, though they
never hesitated to go to any denomination where they found the best
spiritual life. In later life in Edinburgh, they were connected with
the Free Church of Scotland. To again quote from his daughter: ‘His
religious outlook was magnificently broad and beautiful, and his belief
in God simple and profound. His devotion to our mother is a thing
impossible to speak about, but we all feel that in some intangible way
it influenced and beautified our childhood.’

In 1870 Mrs. Inglis writes of the lessons of Elsie and her sister Eva.
‘The governess, Mrs. Marwood, is successful as a teacher; it comes easy
enough to Elsie to learn, and she delights in stories being told her.
Every morning after their early morning walk, and while their baths
are being got ready, their mother says they come to her to say their
prayers and learn their Bible lesson.’ There are two letters more or
less composed by Elsie and written by her father. In as far as they
were dictated by herself, they take stock of independent ways, and the
spirit of the Pharisee is early developed in the courts of the Lord’s
House, as she manages not to fall asleep all the time, while the weaker
little sister slumbers and sleeps.

Eva, the sleepy sister, has some further reminiscences of these nursery
days:--

 ‘We had forty dolls! Elsie decreed once that they should all have
 measles--so days were spent by us three painting little red dots all
 over the forty faces and the forty pairs of arms and legs. She was the
 doctor and prescribed gruesome drugs which we had to administer. Then
 it was decreed that they should slowly recover, so each day so many
 spots were washed off until the epidemic was wiped out!

 ‘Another time one of the forty dolls was lost! Maria was small and
 ugly, but much loved, and the search for her was _tremendous_, but
 unsuccessful. The younger sister gave it up. After all there were
 plenty other dolls--never mind Maria! But Elsie stuck to it. Maria
 must be found. Father would find her when he came home from Kutcherry
 in the evening, if nobody else could. So father was told with many
 tears of Maria’s disappearance. He agreed--Maria must be found. The
 next day all the enormous staff of Indian servants, numbering all
 told about thirty or so, were had up in a row and told that unless
 Maria was found sixpence would be cut from each servant’s pay for
 interminable months! _What_ a search ensued! and Maria came to light
 within half an hour--in the pocket of one of the dresses of her little
 mistress found by one of the ayahs! Her mistress declared at the time,
 and always maintained with undiminished certainty, that she had first
 been put there, and then found by the ayah in question during that
 half-hour’s search!’

These reminiscences have more of interest than just the picture of
the little child who was to carry on the early manifestations of a
keen interest in life. A smile, surely one of the clouds of glory she
trailed from heaven, and carried back untarnished by the tragedies of a
stricken earth; they are chiefly valuable in the signs of a steadfast,
independent will. The interest of all Elsie’s early development lay in
the comradeship with a father whose wide benevolence and understanding
love was to be the guide and helper in his daughter’s career. Not for
the first time in the history of outstanding lives, the daughter has
been the friend, and not the subjugated child of a selfish and dominant
parent.

The date of Elsie’s birth was in the dawn of the movement which
believed it possible that women could have a mind and a brain of their
own, and that the freedom of the one and the cultivation of the other
was not a menace to the possessive rights of the family, or the ruin
of society at large. Thousands of women born at the same date were
instructed that the aim of their lives must be to see to the creature
comforts of their male parent, and when he was taken from them, to
believe it right that he had neither educated them, nor made provision
for the certain old age and spinsterdom which lay before the majority.

There have been many parents who gave their daughters no reason to
call them blessed, when they were left alone unprovided with gear or
education. In all periods of family history, such instances as Mr.
Inglis’ outlook for his daughters is uncommon. He desired for them
equal opportunities, and the best and highest education. He gave them
the best of his mind, not its dregs, and a comradeship which made a
rare and happy entrance for them into life’s daily toil and struggle.
The father asked for nothing but their love, and he had his own
unselfish devotion returned to him a hundredfold.

It must have been a great joy to him to watch the unfolding of talent
and great gifts in this daughter who was always ‘his comrade.’ He could
not live to see the end of a career so blessed, so rich in womanly
grace and sustaining service, but he knew he had spared no good thing
he could bring into her life, and when her mission was fulfilled, then,
those who read and inwardly digest these pages will feel that she first
learnt the secret of service to mankind in the home of her father.



CHAPTER III

THE LADDER OF LEARNING

1876-1885

    ‘Hast thou come with the heart of thy childhood back:
      The free, the pure, the kind?
    So murmured the trees in my homeward track,
      As they played to the mountain wind.

    ‘Hath thy soul been true to its early love?
      Whispered my native streams.
    Hath the spirit nurs’d amid hill and grove,
      Still revered its first high dream?’


After Mr. Inglis had been Chief Commissioner of Oude, he decided
to retire from his long and arduous service. Had he been given the
Lieutenant-Governorship of the North-West, as was expected by some in
the service, he would probably have accepted it and remained longer in
India. He was not in sympathy with Lord Lytton’s Afghan policy, and
that would naturally alter his desire for further employment.

As with his father before him, his work was highly appreciated
by those he served. Lord Lytton, the Viceroy, in a letter to Lord
Salisbury, then Secretary of State for India, writes, February 1876:--

 ‘During the short period of my own official tenure I have met with
 much valuable assistance from Mr. Inglis, both as a member of my
 Legislative Council, and also as officiating Commissioner in Oudh,
 more especially as regards the amalgamation of Oudh with the N.W.
 Provinces. Of his character and abilities I have formed so high an
 opinion that had there been an available vacancy I should have been
 glad to secure to my government his continued services.’

Two of Mr. Inglis’ sons had settled in Tasmania, and it was decided to
go there before bringing home the younger members of his family. The
eldest daughter, Mrs. Simson, was now married and settled in Edinburgh,
and the Inglis determined to make their home in that city.

Two years were spent in Hobart settling the two sons on the land. Mrs.
M‘Laren says:--

 ‘When in Tasmania, Elsie and I went to a very good school. Miss Knott,
 the head-mistress, had come out from Cheltenham College for Girls.
 Here in the days when such things were practically unknown, Elsie,
 backed by Miss Knott, instituted ‘school colours.’ They were very
 primitive, not beautiful hatbands, but two inches of blue and white
 ribbon sewn on to a safety pin, and worn on the lapel of our coats.
 How proud we were of them.’

Mr. Inglis, writing to his daughter in Edinburgh, says of their school
life:--

 ‘Elsie has done very well, she is in the second class and last week
 got up to second in the class.

 ‘We are all in a whirl having to sort and send off our boxes, some
 round the Cape, some to Melbourne, and some to go with us.’

Mrs. Inglis, on board the _Durham_ homeward bound, writes:--

 ‘Elsie has found occupation for herself in helping to nurse sick
 children, and look after turbulent boys who trouble everybody on
 board, and a baby of seven months old is an especial favourite with
 her. Eva has met with a bosom friend in a little girl named Pearly
 Macmillan, without whom she would have collapsed altogether. Our
 vessel is not a fast one, but we have been only five instead of six
 weeks getting to Suez.’

The family took a house at 70 Bruntsfield Place, and the two girls were
soon at school. Mrs. M‘Laren says:--

 ‘Elsie and I used to go daily to the Charlotte Square Institution,
 which used in those days to be the Edinburgh school for girls. Mr.
 Oliphant was headmaster. Father never approved of the Scotch custom
 of children walking long distances to school, and we used to be sent
 every morning in a cab. The other day, when telling the story of the
 S.W.H.’s to a large audience of working women in Edinburgh, one woman
 said to me, “My husband is a prood man the day! He tells everybody how
 he used to drive Dr. Inglis to school every morning when she was a
 girl.”’

Of her school life in Edinburgh, Miss Wright gives these memories:--

 ‘I remember quite distinctly when the girls of 23 Charlotte Square
 were told that two girls from Tasmania were coming to the school,
 and a certain feeling of surprise that the said girls were just like
 ordinary mortals, though the big, earnest brows and the quaint hair
 parted in the middle and done up in plaits fastened up at the back
 of the head were certainly not ordinary. Elsie was put in a higher
 English class than I was in, and though I knew her, I did not know her
 very well.

 ‘A friend has a story of a question going round the class, she thinks
 Clive or Warren Hastings was the subject of the lesson, and the
 question was what one would do if a calumny were spread about one.
 “Deny it,” one girl answered. “Fight it,” another. Still the teacher
 went on asking. “Live it down,” said Elsie. “Right, Miss Inglis.” My
 friend writes, “The question I cannot remember, it was the bright
 confident smile with the answer, and Mr. Hossack’s delighted wave to
 the top of the class that abides in my memory.”

 ‘I always think a very characteristic story of Elsie is her asking
 that the school might have permission to play in Charlotte Square
 gardens. In those days no one thought of providing fresh air exercise
 for girls except by walks, and tennis was just coming in. Elsie had
 the courage (to us schoolgirls it seemed the extraordinary courage)
 to confront the three directors of the school and ask if we might be
 allowed to play in the gardens of the Square. The three directors
 together were to us the most formidable and awe-inspiring body, though
 separately they were amiable and estimable men!

 ‘The answer was we might play in the gardens if the neighbouring
 proprietors would give their consent, and the heroic Elsie, with I
 think one other girl, actually went round to each house in the Square
 and asked consent of the owner.

 ‘In those days the inhabitants of Charlotte Square were very select
 and exclusive indeed, and we all felt it was a brave thing to do.
 Elsie gained her point, and the girls played at certain hours in the
 Square till a regular playing field was arranged.’

Her sister Eva reports that the first answer of the directors was
enough for the rest of the school. But Elsie, undaunted, interviewed
each of the three directors herself. After every bell in Charlotte
Square had been rung and all interviewed, she returned from this great
expedition triumphant. All had consented, so the damsels interned from
nine to three were given the gardens, and the grim, dull, palisaded
square must have suddenly been made to blossom like the rose. Would
that some follower of Elsie Inglis even now might ring the door bells
and get the gates unlocked to the rising generation. Elsie’s companion
or companions in this first attempt to influence those in authority
have been spoken of as ‘her first unit.’

Elsie was, for a time, joint editor of the _Edina_, a school magazine
of the ordinary type. Her great achievement was in making it pay,
which, it is recorded, no other editor was able to do. There are
various editorial anxieties alluded to in her correspondence with her
father. The memories quoted take us further than school days, but they
find a fitting place here.

 ‘Our more intimate acquaintance came after Mrs. Inglis’ death and when
 Elsie was thinking of and beginning her medical work. In 1888 six of
 us girls who had been at the same school started the “Six Sincere
 Students Society,” which met in one house. The first year we read and
 discussed Emerson’s Essays on “Self-Reliance and Heroism.” I am pretty
 sure it was Elsie who suggested those Essays. Also, Helps, and Matthew
 Arnold’s _Culture and Anarchy_. I have a note on this “two very hot
 discussions as to what Culture means, and if it is sufficiently
 powerful to regenerate the world. Culture of the masses and also of
 women largely gone into.”

 ‘This very friendly and happy society lasted on till 1891, when it
 was enlarged and became a Debating Society. I find Elsie taking up
 such subjects as “That our modern civilisation is a development not a
 degeneration.” “That character is formed in a busy life rather than
 in solitude.” Papers on Henry Drummond’s _Ascent of Man_, and on the
 “Ethics of War.”

 ‘Always associated with Elsie in those days I think of her father,
 and no biography of her will be true which does not emphasise the
 beautiful and deep love and sympathy between Elsie and Mr. Inglis. He
 used to meet us girls as if we were his intellectual equals, and would
 discuss problems and answer our questions with the utmost cordiality
 and appreciation of our point of view, and always there was the
 feeling of the entire understanding and fellowship between father and
 daughter.

 ‘She was a keen croquet player, and tolerated no frivolity when a
 stroke either at croquet or golf were in the balance. She was fond of
 long walks with Mr. Inglis, and then by herself, and time never hung
 on her hands in holiday time, she was always serene and happy.’

It was decided that Elsie should go to school in Paris in September
1882--a decision not lightly made; and Mr. Inglis writes after her
departure:--

 ‘I do not think I could have borne to part with you, my darling, did
 I not feel the assurance that in doing so we are following the Lord’s
 guidance. Your dear mother and I both made it the subject of earnest
 prayer, and I feel we have been guided to do what was best for you;
 and we shall see this when the weary time is over, and we have got you
 back again with us.

 ‘When I return to Edinburgh, I feel that I shall have no one to find
 out my Psalms for me, or to cut my _Spectator_, that we shall have
 no more discussions regarding the essays of Mr. Fraser, and no more
 anxieties about the forthcoming number of the _Edina_. The nine months
 will pass quickly.’

Elsie’s letters from Paris have not been preserved, but the ones
from her father show the alert intelligence and interest in all she
was reporting. Of the events at home and abroad, Mr. Inglis writes
to her of the Suez Canal, the bringing to justice of the Phœnix Park
murderers, the great snowstorm at home, and the Channel Tunnel. Mrs.
Inglis writes with maternal scepticism on some passing events: ‘I
cannot imagine you making the body of your dress. I think there would
not be many carnivals if you had to make the dresses yourselves.’
Mr. Inglis, equally sceptical, has a more satisfactory solution for
dressmaking. ‘I hope you have more than one dinner frock, two or three,
and let them be pretty ones.’ Mrs. Inglis, commenting on Elsie’s
description of Gambetta’s funeral, says: ‘He is a loss to France.
Poor France, she always seems to me like a vessel without a helm
driven about just where the winds take it. She has no sound Christian
principle to guide her. So different from our highly favoured England.’

Mr. Inglis’ letters are full of the courteous consideration for Elsie
and for others which marked all the way of his life, and made him
the man greatly beloved, in whatever sphere he moved. _Punch_ and
the _Spectator_ went from him every week, and he writes: ‘I hope
there was nothing in that number of _Punch_ you gave M. Survelle to
study while you were finishing your breakfast to hurt his feelings
as a Frenchman. _Punch_ has not been very complimentary to them of
late.’ And when Elsie’s sense of humour had been moved by a saying
of her _gouvernante_, Mr. Inglis writes, desirous of a very free
correspondence with home, but--

 ‘I fear if I send your letter to Eva, at school, that your remark
 about Miss ---- proposal to go down to the lower flat of your house,
 because the Earl of Anglesea once lived there, may be repeated and
 ultimately reach her with exaggerations, as those things always do,
 and may cause unpleasant feelings.’

There must have been some exhibition of British independence, and in
dealing with it Mr. Inglis reminds Elsie of a day in India ‘when you
went off for a walk by yourself, and we all thought you were lost, and
all the Thampanies and chaprasies and everybody were searching for you
all over the hill.’ One later episode was not on a hillside, and except
for _les demoiselles_ in Paris, equally harmless.

      ‘_Jan. 1883._

 ‘I can quite sympathise with you, my darling, in the annoyance you
 feel at not having told Miss Brown of your having walked home part
 of the way from Madame M---- last Wednesday. It would have been far
 better if you had told her, as you wished to do, what had happened.
 Concealment is always wrong, and very often turns what was originally
 only a trifle into a serious matter. In this case, I don’t suppose
 Miss B. could have said much if you had told her, though she may be
 seriously angry if it comes to her knowledge hereafter. If she does
 hear of it, you had better tell her that you told me all about it, and
 that I advised you, under the circumstances, as you had not told her
 at the time, and that as by doing so now you could only get the others
 into trouble, not to say anything about it; but keep clear of these
 things for the future, my darling.’

When the end came here, in this life, one of her school-fellows wrote:--

 ‘Elsie has been and is such a world-wide inspiration to all who knew
 her. One more can testify to the blessedness of her friendship. Ever
 since the Paris days of ’83 her strong loving help was ready in
 difficult times, and such wonderfully strengthening comfort in sorrow.’

The Paris education ended in the summer of 1883, and Miss Brown, who
conducted and lived with the seven girls who went out with her from
England, writes after their departure:--

 ‘I cannot tell you how much I felt when you all disappeared, and how
 sad it was to go back to look at your deserted places. I cannot at all
 realise that you are now all separated, and that we may never meet
 again on earth. May we meet often at the throne of grace, and remember
 each other there. It is nice to have a French maid to keep up the
 conversations, and if you will read French aloud, even to yourself, it
 is of use.’

Paris was, no doubt, an education in itself, but the perennial hope of
fond parents that languages and music are in the air of the continent,
were once again disappointed in Elsie. She was timber-tuned in ear and
tongue, and though she would always say her mind in any vehicle for
thought, the accent and the grammar strayed along truly British lines.
Her eldest niece supplies a note on her music:--

 ‘She was still a schoolgirl when they returned from Tasmania. At that
 time she was learning music at school. I thought her a wonderful
 performer on the piano, but afterwards her musical capabilities
 became a family joke which no one enjoyed more than herself. She had
 two “pieces” which she could play by heart, of the regular arpeggio
 drawing-room style, and these always had to be performed at any family
 function as one of the standing entertainments.’

Elsie returned from Paris, the days of the schoolgirlhood left behind.
Her character was formed, and she had the sense of latent powers. She
had not been long at home when her mother died of a virulent attack of
scarlet fever, and Mr. Inglis lost the lodestar of his loving nature.
‘From that day Elsie shouldered all father’s burdens, and they two went
on together until his death.’

In her desk, when it was opened, these ‘Resolutions’ were found. They
are written in pencil, and belong to the date when she became the stay
and comfort of her father’s remaining years:--

 ‘I must give up dreaming,--making stories.

 ‘I must give up getting cross.

 ‘I must devote my mind more to the housekeeping.

 ‘I must be more thorough in everything.

 ‘I must be truthful.

 ‘The bottom of the whole evil is the habit of dreaming, which must be
 given up. So help me, God.

      ‘ELSIE INGLIS.’



CHAPTER IV

THE STUDENT DAYS

1885-1892

EDINBURGH--GLASGOW

    ‘Let knowledge grow from more to more,
      But more of reverence in us dwell;
      That mind and soul, according well,
    May make one music as before,
    But vaster.’


‘I remember well the day Elsie came in and, sitting down beside
father, divulged her plan of “going in for medicine.” I still see and
hear him, taking it all so perfectly calmly and naturally, and setting
to work at once to overcome the difficulties which were in the way, for
even then all was not plain sailing for the woman who desired to study
medicine.’ So writes Mrs. M‘Laren, looking back on the days when the
future doctor recognised her vocation and ministry. If it had been a
profession of ‘plain sailing,’ the adventurous spirit would probably
not have embarked in that particular vessel. The seas had only just
been charted, and not every shoal had been marked. In the midst of
them Elsie’s bark was to have its hairbreadth escapes. The University
Commission decided that women should not be excluded any longer from
receiving degrees owing to their sex. The writer recollects the
description given of the discussion by the late Sir Arthur Mitchell,
K.C.B., one of the most enlightened minds of the age in which he lived
and achieved so much. He, and one or more of his colleagues, presented
the Commissioners with the following problem: ‘Why not? On what theory
or doctrine was it just or beneficent to exclude women from University
degrees?’ There came no answer, for logic cannot be altogether
ignored by a University Commission, so, without opposition or blare
of trumpets, the Scottish Universities opened their degrees to all
students. It was of good omen that the Commission sat in high Dunedin,
under that rock bastion where Margaret, saint and queen, was the most
learned member of the Scottish nation in the age in which she reigned.

Dr. Jex Blake had founded the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women,
and it was there that Elsie received her first medical teaching.
Everything was still in its initial stages, and every step in the
higher education of women had to be fought and won, against the forces
of obscurantism and professional jealousy.

University Commissions might issue reports, but the working out of them
was left in the hands of men who were determined to exclude women from
the medical profession.

Clinical teaching could only be carried on in a few hospitals.
Anatomy was learnt under the most discouraging circumstances. Mixed
classes were, and still are, refused. Extra-mural teaching became
complicated, on the one hand, by the extra fees which were wrung from
women students, and by the careless and perfunctory teaching accorded
by the twice-paid profession. Professors gave the off-scourings of
their minds, the least valuable of their subjects, and their unpunctual
attendance to all that stood for female students. It will hardly
be believed that the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh refused to admit
women to clinical teaching in the wards, until they had raised seven
hundred pounds to furnish two wards in which, and in which alone, they
might work. To these two wards, with their selected cases, they are
still confined, with the exception of one or two other less important
subjects. Medicals rarely belong to the moneyed classes, and very
few women can command the money demanded of the medical course, and
that women should have raised at once the tax thus put upon them by
the Royal Infirmary is an illustration of how keenly and bravely they
fought through all the disabilities laid upon them.

Women had always staunch friends among the doctors. The names of
many of them are written in gold in the story of the opening of the
profession to women. It has been observed that St. Paul had the note of
all great minds, a passion to share his knowledge of a great salvation,
with both Jews and Gentiles. That test of greatness was not conspicuous
in the majority of the medical profession at the time when Elsie Inglis
came as a learner to the gates of medical science. That kingdom, like
most others, had to suffer violence ere she was to be known as the good
physician in her native city and in those of the allied nations.

There are no letters extant from Elsie concerning her time with Dr.
Jex Blake. After Mrs. Inglis’ death, Mr. Inglis decided to leave their
home at Bruntsfield, and the family moved to rooms in Melville Street.
Here Elsie was with her father, and carried on her studies from his
house. It was not an altogether happy start, and very soon she had
occasion to differ profoundly with Dr. Jex Blake in her management
of the school. Two of the students failed to observe the discipline
imposed by Dr. Jex Blake, and she expelled them from the school.
Any high-handed act of injustice always roused Elsie to keen and
concentrated resistance. A lawsuit was brought against Dr. Jex Blake,
and it was successful, proving in its course that the treatment of the
students had been without justification.

Looking back on this period of the difficult task of opening the
higher education to women, it is easy to see the defects of many of
those engaged in the struggle. The attitude towards women was so
intolerably unjust that many of the pioneers became embittered in soul,
and had in their bearing to friends or opponents an air which was often
provocative of misunderstanding. They did not always receive from the
younger generation for whom they had fought that forbearance that must
be always extended to ‘the old guard,’ whose scars and defects are but
the blemishes of a hardly-contested battle. Success often makes people
autocratic, and those who benefit from the success, and suffer under
the overbearing spirit engendered, forget their great gains in the
galling sensation of being ridden over rough-shod. It is an episode on
which it is now unnecessary to dwell, and Dr. Inglis would always have
been the first to render homage to the great pioneer work of Dr. Jex
Blake.

Through it all Elsie was living in the presence chamber of her father’s
chivalrous, high-minded outlook. Whatever action she took then, must
have had his approval, and it was from him that she received that keen
sense of equal justice for all.

These student years threw them more than ever together. On Sundays
they worshipped in the morning in Free St. George’s Church, and in the
evening in the Episcopal Cathedral. Mr. Inglis was a great walker, and
Elsie said, ‘I learnt to walk when I used to take those long walks with
father, after mother died.’ Then she would explain how you _should_
walk. ‘Your whole body should go into it, and not just your feet.’

Of these student days her niece, Evelyn Simson, says:--

 ‘When she was about eighteen she began to wear a bonnet on Sunday. She
 was the last _girl_ in our connection to wear one. My Aunt Eva who is
 two years younger never did, so I think the fashion must have changed
 just then. I remember thinking how very grown up she must be.’

Another niece writes:--

 ‘At the time when it became the fashion for girls to wear their hair
 short, when she went out one day, and came home with a closely-cropped
 head, I bitterly resented the loss of Aunt Elsie’s beautiful shining
 fair hair, which had been a real glory to her face. She herself was
 most delighted with the new style, especially with the saving of
 trouble in hairdressing.

 ‘She only allowed her hair to grow long again because she thought
 it was better for a woman doctor to dress well and as becomingly as
 possible. This opinion only grew as she became older, and had been
 longer in the profession; in her student days she rather prided
 herself on not caring about personal appearance, and she dressed very
 badly.

 ‘Her sense of fairplay was very strong. Once in college there was an
 opposition aroused to the Student Christian Union, and a report was
 spread that the students belonging to it were neglecting their college
 work. It happened to be the time for the class examinations, and the
 lists were posted on the College notice-board. The next morning,
 the initials C.U. were found printed opposite the names of all the
 students who belonged to the Christian Union, and, as these happened
 to head the list in most instances, the unfair report was effectually
 silenced. No one knew who had initialed the list; it was some time
 afterwards I discovered it had been Aunt Elsie.

 ‘She was a beautiful needlewoman. She embroidered and made entirely
 herself two lovely little flannel garments for her first grand-nephew,
 in the midst of her busy life, then filled to overflowing with the
 work of her growing practice, and of her suffrage activities.

 ‘The babies as they arrived in the families met with her special love.
 In her short summer holidays with any of us, the children were her
 great delight.

 ‘She was a great believer in an open-air life. One summer she took
 three of us a short walking tour from Callander, and we did enjoy it.
 We tramped over the hills, and finally arrived at Crianlarich, only to
 find the hotel crammed and no sleeping accommodation. She would take
 no refusal, and persuaded the manager to let us sleep on mattresses in
 the drawing-room, which added to the adventures of our trip.

 ‘On the way she entertained us with tales of her college life, and
 imbued us with our first enthusiasm for the women’s cause.

 ‘When I myself began to study medicine, no one could have been more
 enthusiastically encouraging, and even through the stormy and somewhat
 depressing times of the early career of the Medical College for Women,
 Edinburgh, her faith and vision never faltered, and she helped us all
 to hold on courageously.’

In 1891 Elsie went to Glasgow to take the examination for the Triple
Qualification at the Medical School there. She could not then take
surgery in Edinburgh, and the facilities for clinical teaching were all
more favourable in Glasgow.

It was probably better for her to be away from all the difficulties
connected with the opening of the second School of Medicine for Women
in Edinburgh. The one founded by Dr. Jex Blake was the Edinburgh School
of Medicine for Women, and the one promoted by Elsie Inglis and other
women students was known as the Medical College for Women. ‘It was with
the fortunes of this school that she was more closely associated,’
writes Dr. Beatrice Russell.

In Glasgow she resided at the Y.W.C.A. Hostel. Her father did not
wish her to live alone in lodgings, and she accommodated herself very
willingly to the conditions under which she had to live. Miss Grant,
the superintendent, became her warm friend. Elsie’s absence from home
enabled her to give a vivid picture of her life in her daily letters to
her father.

      ‘GLASGOW, _Feb. 4, 1891_.

 ‘It was not nice seeing you go off and being left all alone. After I
 have finished this letter I am going to set to work. It seems there
 are twelve or fourteen girls boarding here, and there are regular
 rules. Miss Grant told me if I did not like some of them to speak to
 her, but I am not going to be such a goose as that. One rule is you
 are to make your own bed, which she did not think I could do! But I
 said I could make it beautifully. I would much rather do what all the
 others do. Well, I arranged my room, and it is as neat as a new pin.
 Then we walked up to the hospital, to the dispensary; we were there
 till 4.30, as there were thirty-six patients, and thirty-one of them
 new.

 ‘I am most comfortable here, and I am going to work like _anything_. I
 told Miss Barclay so, and she said, “Oh goodness, we shall all have to
 look out for our laurels!”’

      ‘_Feb. 7, ’91._

 ‘Mary Sinclair says it is no good going to the dispensaries on
 Saturday, as there are no students there, and the doctors don’t take
 the trouble to teach. I went to Dr. MacEwan’s wards this morning. I
 was the first there, so he let me help him with an operation; then I
 went over to Dr. Anderson’s.

      ‘_Feb. 9._

 ‘This morning I spent the whole time in Dr. MacEwan’s wards. He put me
 through my facings. I could not think what he meant, he asked me so
 many questions. It seems it is his way of greeting a new student. Some
 of them cannot bear him, but I think he is really nice, though he can
 be abominably sarcastic, and he is a first-rate surgeon and capital
 teacher.

 ‘To-day, it was the medical jurists and the police officers he was
 down on, and he told story after story of how they work by red tape,
 according to the text-books. He said that, while he was casualty
 surgeon, one police officer said to him that it was no good having him
 there, for he never would try to make the medical evidence fit in with
 the evidence they had collected. Once they brought in a woman stabbed
 in her wrist, and said they had caught the man who had done it running
 away, and he had a knife. Dr. MacEwan said the cut had been done by
 glass and not by a knife, so they could not convict the man, and there
 was an awful row over it. Some of them went down to the alley where
 it had happened, and sure enough there was a pane of glass smashed
 right through the centre. When the woman knew she was found out, she
 confessed she had done it herself. The moral he impressed on us was to
 examine your patient before you hear the story.

 ‘A. is beginning to get headaches and not sleep at night. I am
 thankful to say that is not one of my tricks. Miss G. is getting
 unhappy about her, and is going to send up beef-tea every evening.
 She offered me some, but I like my glass of milk much better. I am
 taking my tonic and my tramp regularly, so I ought to keep well. I am
 quite disgusted when girls break down through working too hard. They
 must remember they are not as strong as men, and then they do idiotic
 things, such as taking no exercise, into the bargain.

 ‘Dr. MacEwan asked us to-day to get the first stray £20,000 we could
 for him, as he wants to build a proper private hospital. So I said he
 should have the second £20,000 I came across, as I wanted the first
 to build and endow a woman’s College in Edinburgh. He said he thought
 that would be great waste; there should not be separate colleges. “If
 women are going to be doctors, equal with the men, they should go to
 the same school.” I said I quite agreed with him, but when they won’t
 admit you, what are you to do? “Leave them alone,” he said; “they will
 admit you in time,” and he thought outside colleges would only delay
 that.

 ‘This morning in Dr. MacEwan’s wards a very curious case came in. Some
 of us tried to draw it, never thinking he would see us, and suddenly
 he swooped round and insisted on seeing every one of the scribbles.
 He has eyes, I believe, in the back of his head and ears everywhere.
 He forgot, I thought, to have the ligature taken off a leg he was
 operating on, and I said so in the lowest whisper to M. S. About five
 minutes afterwards, he calmly looked straight over to us, and said,
 “_Now_, we’ll take off the ligature!”

 ‘I went round this morning and saw a few of my patients. I found one
 woman up who ought to have been in bed. I discovered she had been up
 all night because her husband came in tipsy about eleven o’clock.
 He was lying there asleep on the bed. I think he ought to have been
 horse-whipped, and when I have the vote I shall vote that all men who
 turn their wives and families out of doors at eleven o’clock at night,
 especially when the wife is ill, shall be horse-whipped. And, if they
 make the excuse that they were tipsy, I should give them double. They
 would very soon learn to behave themselves.

 ‘As to the father of the cherubs you ask about, his family does not
 seem to lie very heavily on his mind. He is not in work just now, and
 apparently is very often out of work. One cannot take things seriously
 in that house.

 ‘In the house over the Clyde I saw the funniest sight. It is an Irish
 house, as dirty as a pig-sty, and there are about ten children. When
 I got there, at least six of the children were in the room, and half
 of them without a particle of clothing. They were sitting about on the
 table and on the floor like little cherubs with black faces. I burst
 out laughing when I saw them, and they all joined in most heartily,
 including the mother, though not one of them saw the joke, for they
 came and stood just as they were round me in a ring to see the baby
 washed. Suddenly, the cherubs began to disappear and ragged children
 to appear instead. I looked round to see who was dressing them, but
 there was no one there. They just slipped on their little black
 frocks, without a thing on underneath, and departed to the street as
 soon as the baby was washed.

 ‘Three women with broken legs have come in. I don’t believe so many
 women have ever broken their legs together in one day before! One of
 them is a shirt finisher. She sews on the buttons and puts in the
 gores at the rate of 4½d. a dozen shirts. We know the shop, and they
 _sell_ the shirts at 4s. 6d. each. Of course, political economy is
 quite true, but I hope that shopkeeper, if ever he comes back to this
 earth, will be a woman and have to finish shirts at 4½d. a dozen, and
 then he’ll see the other side of the question. I told the woman it was
 her own fault for taking such small wages, at which she seemed amused.
 It is funny the stimulating effect a big school has on a hospital. The
 Royal here is nearly as big and quite as rich as the Edinburgh Royal,
 but there is no pretence that they really are in their teaching and
 arrangements the third hospital in the kingdom, as they are in size.
 _The_ London Hospital is the biggest, and then comes Edinburgh, and
 this is the third. Guy’s and Bart.’s, that one hears so much about,
 are quite small in comparison, but they have big medical schools
 attached. The doctors seem to lie on their oars if they don’t have to
 teach.

      ‘_Feb. 1892._

 ‘I thought the Emperor of Germany’s speech the most impertinent piece
 of self-glorification I ever met with. Steed’s egotism is perfect
 humility beside it. He and his house are the chosen instruments of
 “our supreme Lord,” and anybody who does not approve of what he does
 had better clear out of Germany. As you say, Makomet and Luther and
 all the great epoch-makers had a great belief in themselves and their
 mission, but the German Emperor will have to give some further proof
 of his divine commission (beyond a supreme belief in himself) before
 I, for one, will give in my submission. I never read such a speech. I
 think it was perfectly blasphemous.

 ‘The _Herald_ has an article about wild women. It evidently thinks
 St. Andrews has opened the flood-gates, and now there is the deluge.
 St. Andrews has done very well--degrees and mixed classes from next
 October. Don’t you think our Court might send a memorial to the
 University Court about medical degrees? It is splendid having Sir
 William Muir on our side, and I believe the bulk of the Senators are
 all right--they only want a little shove.’

In Glasgow the women students had to encounter the opposition to ‘mixed
classes,’ and the fight centred in the Infirmary. It would have been
more honest to have promulgated the decision of the Managers before
the women students had paid their fees for the full course of medical
tuition.

Elsie, in her letters, describes the toughly fought contest, and the
final victory won by the help of the just and enlightened leaders in
the medical world. ‘So here is another fight,’ writes the student, with
a sigh of only a half regret! It was too good a fight, and the backers
were too strong for the women students not to win their undoubted
rights. Through all the chaffing and laughter, one perceives the thread
of a resolute purpose, and Elsie’s great gift, the unconquerable facing
of ‘the Hill Difficulty.’ True, the baffled and puzzled enemy often
played into their hands, as when Dr. T., driven to extremity in a weak
moment, threatened to prevent their attendance by ‘physical force.’
The threat armed the students with yet another legal grievance. Elsie
describes on one occasion in her haste going into a ward where Dr.
Gemmel, one of the ‘mixed’ objectors, was demonstrating. She perceived
her mistake, and retreated, not before receiving a smile from her
enemy. The now Sir William MacEwan enjoyed the fight quite as much as
his women students; and if to-day he notes the achievements of the
Scottish Women’s Hospitals, he may count as his own some of their
success in the profession in which he has achieved so worthy a name.
The dispute went on until at length an exhausted foe laid down its
weapons, and the redoubtable Dr. T. conveyed the intimation that the
women students might go to any of the classes--and a benison on them!

The faction fight, like many another in the brave days of old,
roared and clattered down the paved causeways of Glasgow. Dr. T., in
his gate-house, must have wished his petticoat foes many times away
and above the pass. If he, or any of the obstructionists of that day
survive, we know that they belong to a sect that needs no repentance.
They may, however, note with self-complacency that their action trained
on a generation skilled in the contest of fighting for democratic
rights in the realm of knowledge. It is a birthright to enter into that
gateway, and the keys are given to all who possess the understanding
mind and reverent attitude towards all truth.

      ‘_Nov. 1891._

 ‘Those old wretches, the Infirmary Managers, have reared their heads
 again, and now have decided that we are not to go to mixed classes,
 and we have been tearing all over the wards seeing all sorts of people
 about it. I went to Dr. K.’s this morning--all right. Crossing the
 quadrangle, a porter rushed at me and said, “Dr. T. wants to see
 all the lady students at the gate-house.” I remarked to Miss M.,
 “I am certainly not going to trot after Dr. T. for casual messages
 like that. He can put up a notice if he wants me.” We were going
 upstairs to Dr. R. when another porter ran up and said, “Dr. T. is
 in his office. He would be much obliged if you would speak to him.”
 So we laughed, and said that was more polite anyhow, and went into
 the office. So he hummed and hawed, looked everywhere except at
 us, and then said the Infirmary Managers said we were not to go to
 mixed classes. So I promptly said, “Then I shall come for my fees
 to-morrow,” and walked out of the room. I was angry. I went straight
 back to Dr. K., who said he was awfuly sorry and angry, and he would
 see Dr. T., but he was afraid he could do nothing.

 ‘So here is another fight. But you see we cannot be beat here, for
 the same reason that we cannot beat them in Edinburgh. Were the
 managers, managers a hundred times over, they cannot turn Mr. MacEwan
 off.

 ‘The _Glasgow Herald_ had an article the other day, saying there
 was a radical change in the country, and that no one was taking any
 notice of it, and no one knew where it was to land us. This was the
 draft ordinance of the Commissioners which actually put the education
 of women on the same footing as that of men, and, worse still,
 seemed to countenance mixed classes. The _G. H._ seems to think this
 is the beginning of the end, and will necessarily lead to woman’s
 suffrage, and it will probably land them in the pulpit; because if
 they are ordinary University students they may compete for any of the
 bursaries, and many bursaries can only be held on condition that the
 holder means to enter the Church! You never read such an article, and
 it was not the least a joke but sober earnest.

 ‘I saw Dr. P. about my surgery. The chief reason I tried to get that
 prize was to pay for those things and not worry you about them. I want
 to pass awfully well, as it tells all one’s life through, and I _mean_
 to be very successful!

 ‘Dr. B. has the most absurd way of agreeing with everything you say.
 He asked me what I would do with a finger. I thought it was past
 all mending and said, “Amputate it.” “Quite so, quite so,” he said
 solemnly, “but we’ll dress it to-day with such and such a thing.”
 There were two or three other cases in which I recommended desperate
 measures, in which he agreed, but did not follow. Finally, he asked
 Mr. B. what he would do with a swelling. Mr. B. hesitated. I said,
 “Open it.” Whereupon he went off into fits of laughter, and proclaimed
 to the whole room my prescriptions, and said I would make a first-rate
 surgeon for I was afraid of nothing.

 ‘It is one thing to recommend treatment to another person and another
 to do it yourself.

 ‘Queen Margaret is to be taken into the University, not affiliated,
 but made an integral part of the University and the lecturers
 appointed again by the Senators. That means that the Glasgow degrees
 in everything are to be given from October, Arts, Medicine, Science,
 and _Theology_. The “decrees of the primordial protoplasm,” that Sir
 James Crichton-Browne knows all about, are being reversed right and
 left, and not only by the Senatus Academicus of St. Andrews!’

The remaining letters are filled with all the hopes and fears of the
examined. Mr. MacEwan tells her she will pass ‘with one hand,’ and
Elsie has the usual moan over a defective memory, and the certainties
that she will be asked all the questions to which she has no answering
key. The evidences of hard and conscientious study abound, and, after
she had counted the days and rejoined her father, she found she had
passed through the heavy ordeal with great success, and, having thus
qualified, could pass on to yet unconquered realms of experience and
service.



CHAPTER V

LONDON

THE NEW HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN

DUBLIN

THE ROTUNDA

1892-1894

    ‘We take up the task eternal and the burden and the lesson,
    Pioneers, O Pioneers.’--WALT WHITMAN.


After completing her clinical work in Glasgow, and passing the
examination for the Triple Qualification in 1892, it was decided that
Elsie should go to London and work as house-surgeon in the new Hospital
for Women in the Euston Road. In 1916 that hospital kept its jubilee
year, and when Elsie went to work there it had been established for
nearly thirty years. Its story contains the record of the leading names
among women doctors. In the commemorative prayer of Bishop Paget, an
especial thanksgiving was made ‘for the good example of those now at
rest, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Sophia Jex Blake, of good work done
by women doctors throughout the whole world, and now especially of
the high trust and great responsibility committed to women doctors in
this hour of need.’ The hearts of many present went over the washing
seas, to the lands wasted by fire and sword, and to the leader of
the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, who had gained her earliest surgical
experience in the wards of the first hospital founded by the first
woman doctor, and standing for the new principle that women can
practise the healing art.

Elsie Inglis took up her work with keen energy and a happy power
of combining work with varied interests. In the active months of
her residence she resolutely ‘tramped’ London, attended most of the
outstanding churches, and was a great sermon taster of ministers
ranging from Boyd Carpenter to Father Maturin. Innumerable relatives
and friends tempted her to lawn tennis and the theatres. She had a keen
eye to all the humours of the staff, and formed her own opinions on
patients and doctors with her usual independence of judgment.

Elsie’s letters to her father were detailed and written daily. Only a
very small selection can be quoted, but every one of them is instinct
with a buoyant outlook, and they are full of the joy of service.

It is interesting to read in these letters her descriptions of the work
of Dr. Garrett Anderson, and then to read Dr. Louisa Garrett Anderson’s
speech on her mother at the jubilee of the hospital. ‘I shall never
forget her at Victoria Station on the day when the Women’s Hospital
Corps was leaving England for France, early in September 1914. She was
quite an old woman, her life’s work done, but the light of battle was
in her eyes, and she said, “Had I been twenty years younger I would
have been taking you myself.” Just twenty-one years before the war
broke down the last of the barriers against women’s work as doctors,
Elsie Inglis entered the New Hospital for Women, to learn with that
staff of women doctors who had achieved so much under conditions so
full of difficulties and discouragements.

      ‘NEW HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN,
      ‘EUSTON RD., 1892-3.

 ‘MY OWN DEAREST PAPA,--Here we begin another long series of letters.
 The people in the carriage were very quiet, so I slept all right. Of
 course they shut up all the windows, so I opened all the ventilators,
 and I also opened the window two or three times. I had breakfast at
 once, and then a bath, and then came in for a big operation by Mrs.
 Boyd. Her husband came up to help her. Mrs. Scharlieb and Mrs. de la
 Cherois were up too--both of them visiting doctors. I have been all
 round the wards and got a sort of idea of the cases in my head, but
 I shall have to get them all up properly. The visiting physicians
 seem to call all over the day, from nine o’clock in the morning till
 three in the afternoon. Some of the students from the School of
 Medicine are dressers and clerks. I believe I have to drill them,
 but of course they are only very senior students, because their real
 hospital is the Royal Free. There are four wards, two of them round,
 with two fireplaces back to back in the middle. The other two wards
 are oblong, and they are all prettily painted, and bright. Then there
 are two small wards for serious cases. I have not arranged my room
 yet, as I have not had a minute. I am going out to post this and get
 a stethescope. Mrs. de la Cherois has been here; she is a nice old
 lady, and awfully particular. I would much rather work with people
 like that than people who are anyhow. Mrs. Scharlieb is about forty,
 very dark and solemn. The nurses seem nice, but they don’t have any
 special uniform, which I think is a pity; so they are pinks and greys
 and blues, and twenty different patterns of caps. I think I shall
 like being here very much. I only hope I shall get on with all my
 mistresses! And, I _hope_ I shall always remember what to do.

 ‘The last big operation case died. It was very sad, and very
 provoking, for she really was doing well, but she had not vitality
 enough to stand the shock. That was the case whose doctor told her and
 her husband that she was suffering from _hysteria_. And that man, you
 know, can be a fellow of the colleges, and member of any society he
 likes to apply to, while Mrs. G. Anderson and Mrs. Scharlieb cannot!
 Is it not ridiculous?

 ‘Mrs. G. Anderson said she was going to speak to Mrs. M‘Call about my
 having one of her maternity posts. I shall come home first, however,
 my own dearest Papa. Mrs. G. A. said she thought I should have a good
 deal more of that kind of work if I was going to set up in a lonely
 place like Edinburgh, as I ought _never_ to have to call in a man to
 help me out of a hole!

 ‘Mrs. G. Anderson is going to take me to a Cinderella dance to-night
 in aid of the hospital. I am to meet her at St. James’ Hall. We had an
 awful morning of it. Mrs. G. A. is taking Mrs. M.’s ward, and turned
 up 9.30, Mrs. S.’s hour. Then Miss C. came in on the top to consult
 about two of her cases. Into the bargain, A. slept late, and did not
 arrive till near ten, so, by the time they had all left, I had a
 lovely medley of treatment in my head. My fan has arrived, and will
 come in for to-night. I hope Mrs. G. Anderson will be a nice chaperone
 and introduce one properly. I am to go early, and her son is to look
 out for me, and begin the introducing till she comes. Miss Garrett has
 been to-day painting the hall for the Chicago Exhibition. She is going
 to the dance to-night. She says Mrs. Fawcett got some more money out
 of the English Commissioners in a lovely way. These Commissioners have
 spent £17,000 in building themselves a kiosk in the ground, and they
 allowed Mrs. Fawcett £500 to represent women’s work in England. Every
 one is furious about it. Well, Mrs. Fawcett has managed to get an
 extra £500. She wrote, and said that if she did not get any more she
 could not mount all the photographs and drawings, but would put up a
 notice that “the English Commission was too poor to allow for mounting
 and framing.” This, with the kiosk in the ground!

 ‘One of the patients here was once upon a time a servant at the
 Baroness Burdett Coutts’. She certainly was most awfully kind to
 her, sent her £10 to pay her rent, and has now paid to send her to
 the Cottage. Miss B. is in hopes she may get her interested in the
 hospital now, but it seems she does not approve of women doctors and
 such things. Perhaps, as the old housemaid did so well here, she may
 change her mind. The Report is out now. I shall send them to some of
 the doctors in Edinburgh. I see in it that Mr. Robertson left £1000 in
 memory of his wife to the hospital, and that is how that bed comes to
 be called the “Caroline Croom Robertson bed.”

 ‘We had two big operations to-day. We had the usual round in the
 morning, and then we had to prepare. I did one lovely thing! This
 morning, I pointed out to Mrs. Scharlieb with indignation that our
 galvanic battery had run out. I said that it really was disgraceful
 of C., for it had only been used once for a quarter of an hour since
 the last time he had charged it. Mrs. S. agreed, and said she would go
 in and speak to him and tell him to send her battery, which was with
 him being charged. We wanted a battery for the galvanic cautery. Well,
 Mrs. Scharlieb’s battery arrived. I tried it, and found it would not
 heat the cautery properly. So I was very angry, and I sat down and
 wrote C. a peppery letter. I told him to send some competent person
 _at once_ to look at the battery, and to be prepared to lend us one,
 if this competent person saw it was necessary. M. flew off, and in
 twenty minutes a man from C. arrived, very humble. I turned on the
 batteries, and showed him that they would not heat up properly. Sister
 said I talked to him like a mother. He departed very humbly to bring
 another battery. In about half an hour Sister whistled up, C.’s man
 would like to see me. Down I went. He looked at me with a twinkle in
 his eye. “You had not taken the resistance off, Miss,” and held one of
 the cautery red-hot attached to our own battery. Was not I sold! I had
 humbly to apologise. And the amount of nervous energy I had wasted on
 that battery!

 ‘We began to-day with a big operation. It went perfectly splendidly.
 The chloroform was given by a Dr. B., some special friend of the
 patient, so, I hoped there would be no hitch, and there was none. He
 had the cheek afterwards to say to Dr. S., that no one could have done
 it better! Mrs. S. seemed rather pleased, but I thought it awfully
 patronising, was it not?

 ‘Did I tell you that Mrs. S. and Miss Walker were talking the other
 morning of the time when they would make this a qualifying hospital?
 Miss C. said it would certainly come some day, and of course, to make
 it a qualifying hospital, they must have men’s beds, and that will
 mean a mixed staff. However, all that is in the future. Then, we will
 show the old-fashioned hospitals, with their retrograde managers,
 etc., _how_ a mixed staff can work. I wonder if they will have mixed
 classes too!

 ‘I enjoyed _King Lear_ very much. The scenery was magnificent. King
 Lear was not a bit kingly, but just a weak, old man. I suppose that
 was what he was meant to be. Ellen Terry was splendid. The storm
 on the heath awful. I shivered in my seat when the wind whistled.
 The last scene--the French camp on the cliffs on Dover--was really
 beautiful.

 ‘Yesterday, I did a lovely thing--slept like a top till almost nine.
 I suppose I was tired after the exciting cases. Janet burst into my
 room with “Mrs. S. will be here in a very few minutes, Miss.” So, out
 I tumbled, and tore downstairs to meet Mrs. S. in the hall! I tried to
 look as if I had had breakfast _hours_ before, and I don’t think she
 suspected that was my first appearance. She did her visit, and then I
 went to breakfast. As luck would have it, Mrs. G. Anderson chose that
 morning of all others to show a friend of hers round the hospital. She
 marched calmly into the board-room to find me grubbing. I saw the only
 thing to do was to be quite cool, so I got up and shook hands, and
 remarked, “I am rather late this morning,” and she only laughed. It
 was about 10.30, a nice time for an H.S. to be having breakfast.

 ‘I did not go to hear Father Maturin after all yesterday. I have been
 very busy; we have had another big operation, doing all right so
 far. She is an artist’s wife; she has had an unhappy time for four
 years, because she has been very ill, and their doctor said it was
 hysteria, and told her husband not to give in to the nonsense. Really,
 some of these general practitioners are _grand_. They send some of
 the patients in with the most outrageous diagnoses you can imagine.
 One woman was told her life was not worth a year’s purchase, and she
 must have a big operation. So she came in. We pummelled her all over,
 and could not find the grounds of his diagnosis, and finally treated
 for something quite different, and she went out well in six weeks.
 Her doctor came to see her, and said, “Well, madam, I could not have
 believed it.” It is better they should err in that direction than in
 the direction of calling real illness “hysteria.”

 ‘I mean to have a hospital of my own in Edinburgh some day.

 ‘A patient with a well-balanced nervous system will get well in just
 half the time that one of these hysterical women will. There is one
 plucky little woman in just now. She has had a bad operation, but
 nothing has ever disturbed her equilibrium. She smiles away in the
 pluckiest way, and gets well more quickly than anybody. I agree with
 Kingsley: one of the necessities of the world is to teach girls to be
 brave, and not whine over everything, and the first step for that is
 to teach them to play games!

 ‘Fancy who has been here this evening--Bailie Walcot. He has come
 up to London on Parliamentary business. He investigated every hole
 and corner of the hospital. He says our girls are going to Dr.
 Littlejohn’s class with Jex’s girls at Surgery Hall. It is wonderful
 how these men who would do nothing at first are beginning to see it
 pays to be neutral now.

 ‘We have a lot to be grateful to J. B. for; Bailie W. told me the
 Leith managers have approached the Edinburgh managers, saying, “If
 you will undertake no more women students, we will undertake to take
 both schools, and to build immediately.” Bailie Walcot said he and Mr.
 Scott of St. George’s were the _only_ two who opposed this. If they
 send us down to Leith we must make the best of it, and really try to
 make it a good school, but it will be a great pity.

 ‘The dance was awfully nice. Mrs. G. Anderson is a capital chaperone.
 I managed to go off without my ticket, and the damsel at the door was
 very severe, and said I must wait till Mrs. Garrett Anderson came. I
 waited quietly a minute or two, and was just going to ask her to send
 in to see if Mrs. Anderson had come, then a man marched in, and said
 in a lovely manner, “I have forgotten my ticket,” and she merely said,
 “You must give me your name, sir,” and let him pass. After that I gave
 my name and passed too! I found I might have waited till doomsday, for
 Mrs. G. A. was inside. I danced every dance; it was a lovely floor and
 lovely music, and you may make up your mind, papa dear, that I go to
 all the balls in Edinburgh after this. They had two odd dances called
 Barn-door. I thought it would be a kind of Sir Roger, but it was the
 oddest kind of hop, skip and dance I ever saw. I said to Mrs. G. A. it
 was something like a Schottische, only not a quarter so pretty. She
 said it was pretty when nicely danced, but people have not learnt it
 yet. I rashly said to Mrs. G. A. that I could get some tea from the
 night nurse when I got home (because I wanted to dance the extras),
 but she was horrified at tea just before going to sleep, and swept me
 into the refreshment-room and made me drink soup by the gallon. I came
 home with Miss Garrett. We had an operation this morning, so you see
 dances don’t interfere with the serious business of life.

 ‘Mrs. Scharlieb came in here the other day, and declared I was
 qualifying for acute bronchitis; but I told her nobody could have
 acute bronchitis who had a cold bath every morning, and had been
 brought up to open windows. This is the third sit down to your letter.
 Talk of women at home never being able to do anything without being
 interrupted every few minutes! I think you have only to be house
 surgeon to know what being interrupted means. They not only knock
 and march in at the door, but they also whistle up the tube--most
 frightfully startling it used to be at first, to hear a sort of shrill
 fog-horn in the room. There are three high temperatures, and the
 results are sent up to me whenever they are taken. We are sponging
 them, and may have to put them into cold baths, but I hope not. Mrs.
 G. A. told me to do it without waiting for the chief, if I thought it
 necessary, whereupon Mrs. B. remarked, “I think Miss Inglis ought to
 be warned the patient may die.”

 ‘Lovely weather here. I have been prescribing sunshine, sunshine,
 sunshine for all the patients. There are only two balconies on each
 floor, and nurse Rose is reported to have said that she supposed I
 wanted the patients hung out over the railings, for otherwise there
 would not be room. Miss W. came this morning, to Sister’s indignation.
 “Does not she think she can trust me for one day?” So I said it was
 only that she was so delighted at having a ward; and that I was sure
 I would do the same. “Oh,” said Sister, “I am thankful you have not a
 ward. You would bring a box with sandwiches and sit there all day.”
 I am always having former H.S.’s thrown at my head who came round
 exactly to the minute, twice a day, whereas they say I am never out
 of the wards, at least they never know when I am coming. I tell them
 I don’t want them to trot round after me with an ink-bottle. Miss R.
 says I have no idea of discipline! I make one grand round a day, with
 the ink-bottle, and then I don’t want the nurses to take any more
 notice of me. I think that is far more sensible than having fixed
 times. I quite agree the ink-bottle round ought to be at a fixed time,
 but I cannot help other things turning up to be done.

 ‘I had to toddle off and ask for Mrs. K. She is the one who is
 appointed to give anæsthetics in the hospital. They are all most
 frightfully nervous about anæsthetics here, in all the hospitals,
 and have regular anæsthetists. In Edinburgh and Glasgow the students
 give it, under the house surgeons of course. I never saw any death,
 or anything that was very frightening. One real reason is, I believe,
 that they watch the wrong organ, viz. the heart. In Scotland they
 hardly think of the heart, and simply watch the breathing. The
 Hydrabad Commission settled conclusively that it was the breathing
 gave out first; but having made up their minds that it does not, all
 the Commissions in the world won’t convince them to the contrary.
 In the meantime they do their operations in fear and trembling,
 continually asking if the patient is all right.

 ‘You never saw such a splendid out-patient department as they have
 here--a perfectly lovely, comfortable waiting-room, and pretty
 receiving waiting-room. The patients have to pay a small sum, yet they
 had over 20,000 visits this year up to November--that is about half
 the size of the Glasgow Royal, one of the biggest out-patients in the
 kingdom, and general. This is paying, and for women! Who says women
 doctors are not wanted!

 ‘This morning I started off, meaning to go to Dr. Vaughan in the
 Temple Church. Sister C. told me I ought to be early, and of course
 I was as late as I could be. As I was running downstairs Nurse Helen
 asked me if I had ever heard Stopford Brooke. I had heard his name,
 but I could not remember anything about him. Nurse H. said he was an
 awful heretic, and had got into trouble for his opinions. As a general
 rule men who get into trouble for their opinions are worth listening
 to--at least they _have_ opinions. So I left Dr. Vaughan, and went off
 to Mr. S. Brooke. He gave a capital sermon with nothing heterodox in
 it, about loving our fellow-men. I liked him, and would go to-night to
 hear his lecture on “In Memoriam,” but Sister C. is going out.

 ‘You know you must not aim at a separate but at a mixed school in
 Edinburgh. I am sure this is best, and all the women here think so
 too. I wonder when the University means to succumb.

 ‘Mrs. G. Anderson asked me to come and help her with a small operation
 in an hotel. She gave me a half-guinea fee for so doing. We drove
 there in a hansom, and drove back in her carriage. She was most jovial
 and talkative. We went into the Deanery, Westminster Abbey, on our way
 back to leave cards on somebody. You suddenly seem to get out of the
 noise and rush of London when you turn in there. It is quite quiet and
 green. All sorts of men were wandering about in red gowns and black
 gowns. We were told it was Convocation.

 ‘Mrs. Scharlieb was awfully nice and kind. She said she hoped I would
 get on always as well as I had here. Was not it nice of her? I said I
 hoped I would do much better, for I thought I had made an awful lot of
 mistakes since I came here. She says everybody has to make mistakes.
 The worst of being a doctor is that one’s mistakes matter so much. In
 everything else you just throw away what you have messed and begin
 again, but you cannot do that as a doctor.

 ‘She said she expects to be called in as my consultant when I am a
 surgeon. Won’t my patients have to pay fees to get her up from London!

 ‘Miss C. has been trying to get on to some of the medical societies,
 and has failed. I shall not demean myself by asking to get on--shall
 wait till they beseech the honour of adding my name.

 ‘As to women doctors here having an assured position, I rather like
 the pioneer work, I think! I mean to make friends with all the nice
 doctors, and vanquish all the horrid selfish ones, and end by being a
 Missionary Professor.

 ‘If I don’t get into the Infirmary in Edinburgh, I mean to build a
 hospital for myself, like this one. Indeed I don’t know that I should
 not like the hospital to myself better! I’ll build it where the Cattle
 Market is, at the head of Lady Lawson Street. That would be convenient
 for all the women in Fountainbridge, and the Grassmarket and Cowgate,
 and it would be comparatively high. To begin with, I mean to rent
 Eva’s hall from her for a dispensary. You see it is all arranged!’

The next course Elsie decided on taking was one of three months in
Midwifery in the Rotunda, Dublin. There was a greater equality of
teaching there in mixed classes, and also she thought the position of
the whole hospital staff was on lines which would enable her to gain
the most experience in this branch, where she ultimately achieved so
much for her fellow-citizens in Edinburgh.

      ‘COSTIGAN’S HOTEL, UPPER SACKVILLE ST.,
      ‘DUBLIN, _Nov. 18, 1893_.

 ‘I went over to the Rotunda and saw Dr. Glenn, the assistant master.
 I am “clerk” on Mondays and Thursdays. The only other person here is
 a native from the Nizam’s Dominions. At breakfast this morning he
 told me about his children, who are quite fair “like their mother.”
 How fond he was of London, and how he would not live in India now for
 anything; he finds the climate enervating! I told him I thought India
 a first-rate place to live in, and that I should like to go back.

 ‘By the way, fancy the franchise for the Parish Councils being
 carried. The first thing I saw when I landed was defeat of the
 Government! The _Independent_ here is jubilant, partly because the
 point of woman’s suffrage is carried, partly because the Government is
 beaten.

 ‘So the strike has ended, and the men go back to work on their old
 wages till February. I expect both sides are sick of it, but I am glad
 the men have carried it so far. Lord Rosebery is a clever man.

 ‘Mrs. C. evidently thinks I am quite mad, for I have asked for a cold
 bath in my room. “Good gracious me, miss! it’s not cold entoirely
 ye’ll be meaning.”

 ‘I went to see the D.’s. The first thing I was told was that a
 Miss D. sat in their church, an M.B. of the Royal Infirmary. A very
 clever girl, she has just taken a travelling bursary and is going to
 Vienna. “But we don’t know her, they are Home Rulers!” Mrs. D. went
 on to say both she and her father were Home Rulers, but that she for
 one would not mind if they did not obtrude their politics. So, I
 thought, “Well, I won’t obtrude mine.” Then Mrs. D. said, “You must
 take a side, you know, and say distinctly what side you are on when
 you are asked.” So I thought, “Well, I’ll wait till I am asked,” and
 I have got through to-day without being asked. But, positively, they
 used the word “boycott” about those D.’s. They have been boycotted
 by the congregation. It must be rather hard to be a Home Ruler and
 a Presbyterian just now in Ireland. Positively, they frightened me
 so, I nearly squirmed under the table. However, when I looked round
 the congregation I thought I should not mind much being boycotted by
 them. The sermon was one about forgiving your enemies. Mrs. D. has
 given me a standing invitation to come to dinner on Sunday. What will
 happen when I am suddenly asked to take my side, I don’t know. In the
 meantime I will let things slide! Mrs. D. asked me if the Costigans
 were Catholics, and said she thought Mrs. C. looked so nice she could
 not be one.’

      ‘_Dec. 1893._

 ‘I have done nothing but race after cases to-day. One old woman was
 killing. She came for Dr. B., whom she said she had known before he
 was born. Dr. B. could not go, so I went. “Hech,” she said, “I came
 for a _doctor_.” “Well, I’m the doctor. Come along.” “Deed no,” she
 said; “ye’re no a doctor--ye’re just a wumman.” I did laugh, and
 marched her off. She was grandly tipsy when I left the home, so I am
 going back to see how the patient has got on, in spite of the nursing.

 ‘I had a second polite speech made to me last night. I was introduced
 into a house by the person who came for me as the doctor. When I
 had been in about two minutes, a small man of four years old, said
 suddenly in a clear voice “That is _not_ a doctor, it’s a girl!” I
 told him he was behind the age not to know that one could be both.

 ‘We had a chloroform scare this morning. I admired Dr. S.’s coolness
 immensely. He finished tying his stitches quietly while two doctors
 were skipping round like a pair of frightened girls. It ended all
 right. They don’t know how to give chloroform anywhere out of
 Scotland. It is very odd.

 ‘Mrs. D. declared she was going to write to you that she had found
 I had gone out without my breakfast. So, here are the _facts_! I was
 out last night, and was not up when they rang over for me. So, before
 having my breakfast I just ran over to see what they wanted me for,
 and finding it would keep I came back for my breakfast to find Mrs.
 D. here. I am not such an idiot as to miss my meals, Papa, dearest.
 My temper won’t stand it! I always have a glass of milk and a biscuit
 when I go out at night. I am as sensible as I can be. I know you
 cannot do work with blunt instruments, and this instrument blunts very
 easily without food and exercise.

      ‘_Jan. 1, 1894._

 ‘I have been round all my patients to-day, and had to drink glasses
 of very questionable wine in each house. It is really very trying to
 a practical teetotaller like me. Literally, I could hardly see them
 when I left the last house! There was simply no getting off it, and I
 did not want to hurt their feelings. When they catch hold of your hand
 and say “Now, doctor dear, or doctor jewel, ye’ll just be takin’ a wee
 glass, deed an ye will,” what are you to do?

 ‘Do you think this “Famasha” with the French in Africa is going to
 be the beginning of the big war? That is an awful idea. England
 single-handed against Europe. But, it would be the English-speaking
 peoples, Australia, the States, and Canada.

 ‘I have made a convert to the ranks of women’s rights. Did I tell
 you that Dr. B. and I had had an awful argument. I never mentioned
 the subject again, for it is no good arguing with a man who has made
 up his mind (and is a North of Ireland man, who will die in the last
 ditch into the bargain). However, in the middle of the operation, he
 suddenly said, “By the way, you are right about the suffrage, Miss
 Inglis.” Then I found he had come over about the whole question. As
 a convert is always the most violent supporter, I hope he’ll do some
 good.

      ‘_Feb. 5, 1894._

 ‘After three months you have learnt all the Rotunda can teach. If you
 were a man, it would be worth while to stay, because senior students,
 if they are men, get a lot of the C.C.’s work to do. But they never
 think of letting you do it if you are a woman. It is not deliberate
 unfairness, but they never think of it. If one stays six months they
 examine one, and give a degree, L.M., Licentiate of Midwifery. If I
 could I would rather spend three months in Paris with Pozzi. I have
 learnt a tremendous lot here, and feel very happy about my work in
 this special line. It is their methods which are so good. If you can
 really afford to give me another three months it would be wiser to go
 to Paris. There are three men who are quite in the front rank there,
 Pozzi, Apostoli, and Péon.’

      ‘COSTIGAN’S, UPPER SACKVILLE STREET,
      ‘DUBLIN, _Feb. 10, 1894._

 ‘I got your letter at eleven when I came down to breakfast. I shall
 never get into regular order for home again. No one blames one for
 lying in bed here or being late, for no one knows how late you have
 been up the night before, or how many cases you have been at before
 you get to the lecture. It is partly that, and partly their casual
 Irish ways. I have had a letter from Miss MacGregor this morning,
 asking what I should say to our starting together in Edinburgh.
 It is a thing to be thought about. It is quite true, as she says,
 that two women are much more comfortable working together. They can
 give chloroform for one another and so on, and consult together. On
 the other hand, we could do that just as well if we simply started
 separately, and were friends.

 ‘Miss MacGregor was one of the J.-B. lot, and she and I had awful
 rows over that question. But we certainly got on very well before
 that, and, as she says, that was not a personal question. I am quite
 sure Miss MacGregor is Scotch enough not to propose any arrangement
 which won’t be to her own advantage. Probably, I know a good many more
 people than she does. The question for me is whether it will be for my
 advantage. I am rather inclined to think it will. Miss MacGregor is
 a splendid pathologist. Nowadays one ought to do a lot of that work
 with one’s cases, and I have been puzzling over how one could, and yet
 keep aseptic. If we could make some arrangement by which we could work
 into one another’s hands in that way, I think it would be for both our
 advantages. There is one thing in favour of it, if Miss MacGregor and
 I are definitely working together, no one can be astonished at our not
 calling in other people. Miss MacGregor, apart from everything else,
 is distinctly one of our best women, and it would be nice working with
 her. What do you think of it, Papa, dear? Of course I should live at
 home in any case. My consulting rooms anyhow would have to be outside,
 for the old ladies would not climb up the stair!

      ‘DUBLIN, _Feb. 1894_.

 ‘I do thank you so much for having let me come here. I have learnt
 such a lot. The money has certainly not been wasted. But it was
 awfully good of you to let me come. I am sure it will make a
 difference all my life. I really feel on my feet in this subject now.
 The more I think of it, the more I think it would be wise to start
 with Miss MacGregor. Apart altogether from Eva’s instincts! we will
 start the dispensary, and we’ll end by having a hospital like the
 Rotunda, where students shall live on the premises--female students
 only. Not that these boys are not very nice and good-natured, only
 they are out of place in the Rotunda.’

This was nearly the last letter written by Elsie to her father. In most
of her letters during the preceding months it was obvious Mr. Inglis’
health was causing her anxiety, and the inquiries and suggestions
for his well-being grew more urgent as the shadow of death fell
increasingly dark on the written pages.

Elsie returned to receive his eager welcome, but even her eyes were
blinded to the rapidly approaching parting. On the 15th of March 1894,
she wrote to her brother Ernest in India, telling all the story of Mr.
Inglis’ passing on the 13th of that month. There was much suffering
borne with quiet patience, ‘He never once complained: I never saw such
a patient.’ At the end, he turned towards the window, and then a bright
look came into his eyes. He said, ‘Pull down the blind.’ Then the
chivalrous, knightly soul passed into the light that never was on sea
or land.

 ‘It was a splendid life he led,’ writes Elsie to her brother; ‘his old
 Indian friends write now and say how “the name of John Inglis always
 represented everything that was upright and straightforward and high
 principled in the character of a Christian gentleman.” He always said
 that he did not believe that death was the stopping place, but that
 one would go on growing and learning through all eternity. God bless
 him in his onward journey. I simply cannot imagine life without him.
 We had made such plans, and now it does not seem worth while to go on
 working at all. I wish he could have seen me begin. He was so pleased
 about my beginning. I said it would be such a joke to see Dr. Elsie
 Inglis up. Saturday afternoons were to be his, and he was to come over
 in my trap.

 ‘He never thought of himself at all. Even when he was very ill at
 the end, he always looked up when one went in, and said, “Well, my
 darling.” I am glad I knew about nursing, for we did not need to have
 any stranger about him. He would have hated that.’



CHAPTER VI

POLITICAL ENFRANCHISEMENT AND NATIONAL POLITICS

    ‘Well done, New Zealand! I expect I shall live to have a vote.’--E.
    M. I., 1891.

    ‘I envy not in any mood
      The captive void of noble rage,
      The linnet born within the cage,
    That never knew the summer woods.’

    ‘So the vote has come! and for our work. Fancy its having taken the
    war to show them how ready we were to work! Or even to show that
    that work was necessary. Where do they think the world would have
    been without women’s work all these ages?’--E. M. I., Reni, Russia,
    June 1917.


Mr. David Inglis, writing to his son on his marriage in 1845, says:--

 ‘I cannot express the deep interest, or the ardent hopes with which
 my bosom is filled on the occasion, or the earnest though humble
 prayer to the Giver of all good which it has uttered that He may shed
 abundantly upon you _both_ the rich mercies of His grace: with those
 feelings I take each of you to my heart, and give you my parental
 love and blessing. You have told me enough of the object of your fond
 choice to make her henceforth dear to me, to all of us, on her own
 account, as well as yours.

 ‘And here, my beloved David, I would turn for a moment more
 immediately to yourself, as being now in a situation very different
 from that in which you have hitherto been placed. As a husband, then,
 it will now behove you to remember that you are not your own exclusive
 property--that for a single moment you must never forget; the tender
 love and affectionate respect and consideration which are due from you
 to the amiable individual who has bestowed on you her hand and heart,
 it will, I assure myself, be your pleasing duty to prove, by unceasing
 attention to, and solicitude for, her every wish how dearly you
 appreciate her worth, as well as _gift_; and that her future comfort
 and happiness will invariably possess an estimation in your view
 paramount to every feeling that can more immediately or personally
 affect yourself. Let such be manifest in your every act, as connected
 with every object in which _she_ is concerned. Her love and affection
 for you will then be reciprocal and pure and lasting, and thus will
 you become to each other what, under God’s blessing, you are meant to
 be--a mutual comfort and an abiding stay. Make her the confidential
 friend of your bosom, to whom its every thought must unreservedly
 be imparted--the soother of all its cares, its anxieties, and
 disappointments, when they chance to arise; the fond participator in
 all your happiness and joys, from whatever source they may spring--you
 will thus be discharging a duty which your sacred obligations at the
 altar have entailed upon you.’

This letter has been quoted with its phrasing of seventy years ago,
because it shows an advanced outlook on the position of husband and
wife, and the setting forth of their equality and the respect paid to
their several positions. It may have influenced Mr. Inglis’ views, both
in his perfect relations with his wife and the sympathetic liberty of
thought and action which he encouraged in his own family.

This chapter is devoted to the political and public life of Elsie
Inglis. It can be written in a fortunate hour. The ‘common cause’
to which she gave so much of her life has now been won. The tumult
and the turmoil are now hushed in peace and security. The age which
began in John Stuart Mill’s ‘Subjection of Women’ has ended in the
Representation of the People’s Bill. It is possible to review the
political period of the generation which produced Elsie Inglis, and her
comrades in the struggle against the disqualification of sex, without
raising any fresh controversy.

We may safely say that Dr. Inglis was one of the finest types of
women produced by the ideals and inspiring purposes of the generation
to which she belonged. She was born when a woman was the reigning
Sovereign, and when her influence and power were at its height.
Four years after her birth the Reform Bill of 1868 was to make the
first claim for women as citizens in the British Parliament. The
Married Woman’s Property Act, and the laws affecting Divorce, had
recognised them as something else than the goods and chattels or
the playthings and bondwomen of the ‘predominant partner.’ Mary
Somerville had convinced the world that a woman could have a brain.
Timidly, and yet resolutely, women were claiming a higher education,
and Universities were slamming to their doors, with a petty horde
of maxims claimed to be based on divine authority. Women pioneers
mounted platforms and asserted ‘Rights,’ and qualified for jealously
closed professions--always, from the first, upheld and companied by
‘Greathearts,’ men few but chosen, who, like John Inglis, recognised
that no community was the stronger for keeping its people, be they
black or white, male or female, in any form of ignorance or bonded
serfdom.

As Elsie grew up, she found herself walking in the new age. Doors
were set ajar, if not fully opened. The first wave of ridicule and of
conscientious objections had spent its force. A girl’s school might
play games decorously and not lose all genteel deportment. Girls might
show a love of knowledge, and no longer be hooted as blue-stockings.
The use of the globes and cross-stitch gave place to learning which
might fit them to be educated, and useful members of the community.
Ill-health ceased to be considered part of the curse of Eve, to
be borne with swooning resignation on the wide sofas of the early
Victorian Age. Ignorance and innocence were not recognised as twin
sisters, and women, having eaten of the tree of knowledge, looked round
a world which prided itself on giving equal justice to all men, and
discovered that very often that axiom covered a multitude of sins of
injustice against all womankind.

It was through Elsie’s professional life that she learnt to know how
often the law was against the woman’s best interests, and it was always
in connection with some reform that she longed to initiate, that she
expressed a desire for the Vote.

_To her Father_

      ‘GLASGOW, 1891.

 ‘Many thanks for your letter about women’s rights. You are ahead of
 all the world in everything, and they gradually come up into line with
 you--the Westminster Confession and everything except Home Rule! The
 amusing thing about women preaching is that they do it, but as it is
 not in the churches it is not supposed to be in opposition to Paul.
 They are having lots of meetings in the hall downstairs; every single
 one of them is addressed by a woman. But, of course, they could not
 give the same address in a church and with men listening! At Queen
 Margaret’s here, they are having a course of lectures on the Old
 Testament from the lecturer on that subject in the University, but
 then, of course it is not “Divinity.”’

The opponents to Woman’s Franchise admittedly occupied an illogical
position, and Elsie’s abounding sense of humour never failed to make
use of all the opportunities of laughter which the many absurdities of
the long fight evoked. No one with that sense as highly developed could
ever turn cynical or bitter. It was only when cruelty and injustice
came under her ken that a fine scorn dominated her thought and speech.
She gives to her father some of these instances:--

 ‘I got a paper to sign to thank the M.P.’s who voted for Sir A.
 Rollitt’s Woman’s Suffrage Bill. I got it filled up in half a minute.
 I wish she had sent half a dozen. There is no question among women
 who have to work for themselves about wanting the suffrage. It is the
 women who are safe and sound in their own drawing-rooms who don’t see
 what on earth they want it for.

 ‘I have just been so angry! A woman came in yesterday very ill. A.
 took down her case, and thought she would have to have an operation.
 Then her husband arrived, and calmly said she was to go home, because
 he could not look after the children. So I said that if she went she
 went on her own responsibility, for I would not give my consent. He
 said the baby was ill. I said, “Well, take it to a hospital.” Then it
 turned out it was not ill, but had cried last night. I said I saw very
 well what it was, that he had had a bad night, and had just determined
 that his wife should have the bad night to-night, even though she was
 ill, instead of him. He did look ashamed of himself, selfish cad!
 Helpless creature, he could not even arrange for some one to come in
 and take charge of those children unless his wife went home to do it.
 She had got some one yesterday, but he had had a row with her. I gave
 him my mind pretty clearly, but I went in just now to find she had
 gone. I said she was stupid. So one woman said, “It was not ’er fault,
 Miss; ’e would have it.”

 ‘I wonder when married women will learn they have any other duty
 in the world than to obey their husbands. They were not even her
 children--they were step-children. You don’t know what trouble we
 have here with the husbands. They will come in the day before the
 operation, after the woman has been screwed up to it, and worry them
 with all sorts of outside things, and want them home when they are
 half dying. Any idea that anybody is to be thought of but themselves
 never enters their lordly minds, and the worst of it is these stupid
 idiots of women don’t seem to think so either: “’E wants it, Miss,”
 settles the question. I always say--“It does not matter one fig what
 he wants. The question is what you want.” They don’t seem to think
 they have any right to any individual existence. Well, I feel better
 now, but I wish I could have scragged that beast. I have to go to the
 wards now!

 ‘We had another row with a tyrannical husband. I did not know whether
 to be most angry with him or his fool of a wife. She had one of the
 most painful things anybody can have, an abscess in her breast. It was
 so bad Miss Webb would not do anything for it in the out-patients’,
 but said she was to come in at once. The woman said she would go and
 arrange for somebody to look after her baby and come back at six. At
 six appeared her lord and master. “_I_ cannot let my wife come in,
 as the baby is not old enough to be left with anybody else.” Did you
 ever hear anything so monstrous? That one human being is to settle
 for another human being whether she is to be cured or not. I asked
 him whether he knew how painful it was, and if he had to bear the
 pain. Miss Webb appealed to him, that he _was_ responsible for his
 wife’s health, for he seemed to assume he was not. Both grounds were
 far above his intellect, either his responsibility or his wife’s
 rights. He just stood there like an obstinate mule. We told him it
 was positively brutal, and that he was to go _at once_ and get a good
 doctor home with him if he would not let her in. Of course, he did not.

 ‘What a fool the woman must have been to have educated him up to that.
 There really was no necessity for her to stay out because he said she
 was to--poor thing. Miss Webb and I have struck up a great friendship
 as the result. After we had both fumed about for some time, I said,
 “Well, the only way to educate that kind of man, or that kind of
 woman, is to get the franchise.” Miss Webb said, “Bravo, bravo,” then
 I found she was a great franchise woman, and has been having terrible
 difficulties with her L.W.A. here.’

The writer may add one more to these instances. Suffrage meetings
were of a necessity much alike, and the round of argument was much
the same. Spade-work had to be done among men and women who had the
mental outlook of these patients and the overlords of their destiny.
Meetings were rarely enthusiastic or crowded, and it was often like
speaking into the heart of a pincushion. To one of these meetings Dr.
Inglis came by train straight from her practice. In memory’s halls all
meetings are alike, but one stands out, where Dr. Inglis illustrated
her argument by a fact in her day’s experience. The law does not permit
an operation on a married woman without her husband’s consent. That day
the consent had been refused, and the woman was to be left to lingering
suffering from which only death could release her. The voice and the
thrill which pervaded speaker and audience as Dr. Inglis told the tale
and pointed the moral, remains an abiding memory.

Her politics were Liberal, and, what was more remarkable, she was
a convinced Home Ruler. Those who believe that women in politics
naturally take the line of the home, may find here a very strong
instance of the independent mind, producing no rift within the lute
that sounded such a perfect note of unison between her and the
prevailing influence of her youth. Mr. Inglis had done his work in
India, and his politics were of an Imperialist rather than that of a
‘Home Ruler All Round.’ When Mr. Gladstone introduced his Home Rule
Bill of 1893, Elsie complains of the obstructive talk in Parliament.
Mr. Inglis gently says she seems to wish it passed without discussion.
Elsie replies on the points she thinks salient and likely to work, and
wonders why they should not commend themselves to sense and not words.
The family have recollections of long and not acrimonious debates well
sustained on either side.

She was a member of the W.L.F., and was always impatient of the way
Party was placed before the Franchise.

 ‘I was sorry to see how the Suffrage question was pushed into the
 background by Lady Aberdeen. However, I shall stick to the Federation,
 and bring them to their senses on that point as far as my influence
 goes. It is simply sham Liberalism that will not recognise that it is
 a real Liberal question (1893).

 ‘That is a capital letter of Miss M‘Laren’s. It is quite true, and
 women are awful fools to truckle to their party, instead of putting
 their foot down, about the Franchise. You would certainly hear more
 about wife murders than you do at present, if the women had a vote.

 ‘Do you know what they said at the Liberal Club the other day in
 answer to some deputation, or appeal, or rather it was said, in the
 discussion, that the Liberal Party would do all they could to remedy
 abuses and give women justice, but the vote they would not give,
 because they would put a power into women’s hand which could never be
 taken away. Plain speaking, was it not?

 ‘Did I tell you that I have to speak at a drawing-room meeting on
 Woman’s Suffrage? Mrs. Elmy asked me to. I had just refused to write
 a paper for her on the present state of medical education in the
 country, for I thought that would be too great cheek in a house
 surgeon, so I did not like to refuse the other.

 ‘The drawing-room meeting yesterday was very good. I got there late,
 and found a fearfully and awfully fashionable audience being harangued
 by a very smart-looking man, who spoke uncommonly well, and was saying
 everything I meant to say.

 ‘Mrs. Elmy smiled and nodded away to me, and suddenly it flashed on
 me that I was to second the motion this man was speaking to. I was
 in such an awful funk that I got cool, and got up and told them that
 I did not think Mr. Wilkins had left any single thing for me to say;
 however, as things struck people in different ways I should simply
 tell them how it struck me, and then went ahead with what I meant to
 say when I got in. Mrs. Elmy was quite pleased, and several people
 came up afterwards, and said I had got on all right. Mrs. Elmy said,
 I had not repeated Mr. W., only emphasised him. He was such a fluent
 speaker, he scared me awfully.’

The decade that saw the controversy of Home Rule for Ireland, was the
first that brought women prominently into political organisations. Many
women’s associations were formed, and the religious aspect as between
Ulster and the South interested many very deeply. Elsie was not a
Liberal-Unionist, and, as she states her case to her father, there is
much that shows that she was thinking the matter out for herself, on
lines which were then fresher than they are to-day.

From Glasgow, in 1891, she writes:--

 ‘I have spent a wicked Sunday. I read all the morning, and then went
 up to the Infirmary to bandage with Dr. D. Dr. T. says I am quite
 sure to be plucked, after such worldliness. I have discovered he is
 an Australian from Victoria. Dr. D. is an Aberdeen man and a great
 admirer of George Smith. Also, a violent Home Ruler. Never mind about
 the agricultural labourer, Papa dear! I am afraid Gladstone’s majority
 won’t be a working one, and we shall have the whole row over again in
 six months. Dr. D. says every available voter has been seized by the
 scruff of his neck and made to vote this time. And, six months hence
 there’ll be no fresh light on the situation, and we’ll be where we
 are now. I should not wonder if the whole thing makes us devise some
 plan for one Imperial Parliament and local government for Ireland,
 Scotland, and the Colonies, ending in making the integrity of the
 Empire “and unity of the English speaking race” more apparent than it
 is now, _and_ with the Irish contented and managing their own affairs
 in their own mad way. Our future trouble is with the Labour Party.

 ‘Mr. Gladstone has been so engrossed with his H.R. measure that he
 does not seem to have noticed these other questions that have been
 quickly growing, and he has made two big blunders about Woman’s
 Suffrage and the Labour question. I have no doubt these men are
 talking a lot of nonsense, and are trying for impossibilities, but
 there is a great deal of sense in what they say. It is no good
 shutting our eyes to the facts they bring forward.

 ‘As to Mr. D., I am very much afraid you would not agree with him. He
 is a rank Socialist. The only point in which he agrees with you is
 that he would make everybody do what he thinks right. Only his ideas
 of right are very different from yours. He believes in an eight-hour
 day, local option, and State-owned mines. His chief amusement at
 present is arguing with me. He generally gets angry, and says, “I
 argue like a woman,” but he always pluckily begins again. He was a
 tradesman, and gave it up because he says you cannot be an honest
 tradesman nowadays. He is studying medicine; the last day I worked
 at “brains” he rampaged about the room arguing about the unearned
 increment. I tell him he must come and argue in Edinburgh--I have not
 time at present.

 ‘I will tell you what I think of the Home Rule Bill to-morrow--that is
 to say, if I have time to read it. It is really a case of officers and
 men here just now. I can’t say “go on” instead of “come on.” I cannot
 order cold spongings and hot fomentations by the dozen and then sit in
 my room and read the newspapers, can I?’

      ‘GLASGOW, _May 1892_.

 ‘What do you think of Lord Salisbury’s speech, inciting to rebellion
 and civil war? Now, don’t think of it as Lord Salisbury and Ulster,
 but think of it as advice given by Mr. Gladstone to the rest of
 Ireland. If you like to take the lead into your own hands and march on
 Dublin; I don’t know that any Government would care to use the forces
 of the Crown against you. You will be quite justified because the
 Government of your country is in the hands of your hereditary foes.
 There is only one good point in Lord Salisbury’s speech, and that is
 that he does not sham that the Ulster men are Irishmen. He calls them
 a colony from this country. Lord S. must have been feeling desperate
 before he made that speech.’

      ‘_1894_.

 ‘I think Mr. Chamberlain’s speech was very clever. It was this special
 Home Rule Bill he pulled to pieces, and one could not help feeling
 that that would have been the result whatever the Bill had been, if
 it had been introduced by anybody but Mr. C. His argument seemed to
 be in favour of Imperial Federation, as far as I could make out. I
 have no doubt the Bill can be very much improved in committee, but
 the groundwork of it is all right. The two Houses and the gradual
 giving over of the police and land, when they have had time to find
 their feet. As to the retaining the Irish members in Parliament being
 totally illogical, there is nothing in that; we always make illogical
 things work. And the Irish members must stay.

 ‘I _do_ like Mr. Balfour. He is so honest. I expect he hates the
 Irish Party as much as any man, but he spoke up for them all the
 same. If he had not, I don’t believe Mr. Chamberlain and some of the
 others would have spoken as they did. The Conservative Party was quite
 inclined to laugh at the paid stipendiaries until Mr. Balfour spoke.

 ‘I have been reading up the Bishop of Chester’s scheme and the Direct
 Veto Bill. I don’t like his scheme. It would be very nice to turn
 all the pubs into coffee-houses, but a big company over whom the
 ratepayers have no control would be just as likely to do what would
 pay best, as the tramway companies now, who work their men seventeen
 hours and their horses three, at a stretch. It would be quite a
 different thing to put the pubs under the Town and County Councils. As
 to this Bill it is not to stop people drinking, but simply to shut up
 pubs. A man can still buy his whisky and get drunk in his own house,
 but a community says, “We won’t have the nuisance of a pub at every
 corner,” and I am not sure that they have not that right, just as much
 as the private individual has to get drunk if he chooses. A great
 many men would keep straight if the temptation were not thrown in
 their faces. The system of licences was instituted for the good of the
 public, not the good of the publican.

 ‘The Elections will be three weeks after my exam. Dearest Papa!--There
 is as much chance of Mr. Gladstone being beaten in Midlothian as there
 is of a Conservative majority.’

Another friend writes:--

 ‘I should like to send you a recollection of her in the early
 Nineties. My friend, Dr. Jessie MacGregor, wrote to my home in
 Rothesay, asking us to put up Dr. Inglis, who was to give an address
 at a Sanitary Congress to be held there. It was, I believe, her first
 public appearance, and she did do well. One woman alone on a platform
 filled with well-known doctors from all parts! Her subject was
 advocating women as sanitary inspectors. She was one of the pioneers
 in that movement also. I can well remember her, a slim little girl in
 black, fearless as ever, doing her part. After she had finished, there
 was a running criticism of her subject. Many against her view, few for
 the cause on which she was speaking. It was an unique experience. The
 discussion got quite hot. One well-known doctor asked us to picture
 his dear friend Elsie Inglis carrying out a six-foot smallpox patient.

 ‘I think she was the first lady medical to speak at a Congress. It was
 such a pleasure to entertain her, she was so quiet and unobtrusive,
 and yet so humorous. I never met her again, but I could never forget
 her, though we were just like ships that pass in the night.’

One of her Suffrage organisers, Miss Bury, gives a vivid picture of her
work in the Suffrage cause:--

 ‘It was Dr. Elsie Inglis who brought me to Scotland, and sent me to
 organise Suffrage societies in the Highlands. I speak of her as I knew
 her, the best of chiefs, so kind and encouraging and appreciative of
 one’s efforts, even when they were not always crowned with success.
 I remember saying I was disappointed because the hall was only about
 three-quarters full, and her reply was, “My dear, I was not counting
 the people, I was thinking of the efforts which had brought those who
 were there.”

 ‘Her letters were an inspiration. She gave one the full responsibility
 of one’s position, and always expected the best. Resolutely direct,
 and straightforward in her dealings with me as a subordinate worker,
 she never failed to tell me of any word of appreciation that reached
 her, as she also told me candidly if she heard of any criticism.
 She had such a big, generous mind, even condescending to give an
 opportunity for argument when there was any difference of opinion, and
 absolutely tolerant and kind when one did not agree with her.

 ‘She was always considerate of one’s health, and insisted that the
 hours laid down for work were not to be exceeded, or, if this was
 unavoidable, that the time must be taken off as soon as possible
 afterwards. She only saw difficulties to conquer them, and I well
 remember in one of her letters from Lazaravatz, she wrote so
 characteristically--“the work is most interesting, bristling with
 difficulties.”

 ‘My happiest recollection is of a visit to the Highlands, to speak at
 some Suffrage meetings I had arranged for her. In the train she was
 always busy writing, in that beautiful clear characteristic hand, like
 herself, triumphing over the jolting of the Highland Railway, as she
 did later in Serbia. In the early morning she had to catch a train at
 Inverness, and we went by motor from Nairn. For once the writing was
 laid aside, and she gave herself up to the enjoyment of the sunrise,
 and the beautiful lights on the Ross-shire hills, as we travelled
 along the shores of the Moray Firth. When the car broke down, out came
 the despatch case again, while the chauffeur and I put on the Stepney.
 There was no complaining about the lost train, a wire was sent to the
 committee apologising for her absence, and then she immediately turned
 her attention to other business.’

One who first came under her influence as a patient, and became a warm
friend, gives some reminiscences. Her greeting to the elect at the
beginning of the year was, ‘A good new year, and the Vote _this_ year.’

 ‘I remember once, as we descended the steps of St. Giles’ after
 attending a service at which the Edinburgh Town Council was present,
 she spoke joyfully of the time coming when we, the women of Edinburgh
 and of Scotland, would “help to build the New Jerusalem, with the
 weapon ready to our hand--the Vote.”’

The year 1906 brought the Liberals into political power, and with
the great wave of democratic enthusiasm which gave the Government of
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman an enormous majority there came other
expressions of the people’s will.

The Franchise for women had hitherto been of academic interest in the
community: a crank, many thought it, like total abstinence or Christian
Science. The claims of women were frequently brought before Parliament
by private members, and if the Bill was not ‘talked out,’ it was talked
round, as one of the best jests of a Parliamentary holiday. The women
who advocated it were treated with tolerance, their public advocacy
was deemed a _tour de force_, and their portraits were always of the
nature of caricatures, except those in _Punch_, where the opponent was
caricatured, and the women immortalised.

The Liberal party found its right wing mainly composed of Labour, and
Socialist members were returned to Parliament. From that section of
thought sprang the militant movement, and the whole question of the
enfranchisement of women took on a different aspect.

This chapter does not attempt to give a history of the ‘common cause,’
or the reasons for the rapid way it came to the front, and ranked with
Ireland as among the questions which, left unsettled, became a thorn in
the side of any Government that attempted to govern against, or leaving
outside the expressed will of the people.

This is no place to examine the causes which, along with the militant
movement, but always separated from them, poured such fresh life and
vigour into the old constitutional and law-abiding effort to procure
the free rights of citizenship for women.

The pace quickened to an extent which was bewildering. Where a dozen
meetings a year had been the portion of many speakers, they were
multiplied by the tens and scores. Organisations had to be expanded. A
fighting fund collected, meetings arranged, debates were held all over
the country and among all classes. A press, which had never written up
the subject while its advocates were law-abiding, tumbled over each
other to advertise every movement of all sections of suffragists.
It must be admitted the militants gave them plenty of copy, and the
constitutionalists had an uneasy sense that their stable companions
would kick over the traces in some embarrassing and unexpected way on
every new occasion. Still the tide flowed steadily for the principle,
and those who had its guidance in Parliament and the country had to
use all the strength of the movement in getting it well organised and
carefully worked. Societies were federated, and the greatly growing
numbers co-ordinated into a machine which could bring the best pressure
to bear on Parliament. The well-planned Federation of Scottish
Suffrage Societies owed much to Dr. Inglis’ gift of organisation and
of taking opportunity by the hand. She was Honorary Secretary to the
Scottish Federation, and in those fighting years between 1906 and
1914 she impressed herself much on its policy. In the early years of
her professional life, she used gaily to forecast for herself a large
and paying practice. Her patients never suffered, but she sacrificed
her professional prospects in a large measure for her work for the
Franchise. She gave her time freely, and she raised money at critical
times by parting with what was of value and in her power to give.
Perhaps, the writer may here again give her own reminiscences. Her
fellowship with Dr. Inglis was all too rarely social; they met almost
entirely in their suffrage work. To know Dr. Inglis at all was to know
her well. The transparent sincerity and simplicity of her manner left
nothing to be discovered. One felt instinctively she was a comrade
one could ‘go tiger-hunting with,’ and to be in her company was to be
sustained by a true helpmate. We were asked to speak together. Invited
by the elect, and sometimes by the opponents to enjoy hospitality, Dr.
Inglis was rarely able to come in time for the baked meats before we
ascended the platform, and uttered our platitudes to rooms often empty
woodyards, stuck about with a remnant of those who would be saved. She
usually met us on the platform, having arrived by the last train, and
obliged to leave by the first. But she never came stale or discouraged.
There was always the smile at the last set-back, the ready joke at our
opponents, the subtle sense that she was out to win, the compelling
force of sustained effort that made at least one of her yoke-fellows
ashamed of the faint heart that could never hope to win through.
Sometimes we travelled back together; more often we would meet next day
in St. Giles’ after the daily service, and our walk home was always
a cheer. ‘Never mind’ the note to discouragement. ‘Remember this or
that in our favour; our next move must be in this direction.’ And the
thought was always there (if her unselfconsciousness prevented it being
spoken--as one wishes to-day it had been)--‘The meeting went, because
you were there and set your whole soul on “willing” it through.’

She had no sympathy with militantism. There was no better fighter
with legitimate weapons, but she saw how closely the claim to do wrong
that good might come was related to anarchy, and her sense of true
citizenship was outraged by law-breaking which, to her clear judgment,
could only retard the ultimate triumph of a cause rooted in all that
was just and righteous. She was not confused by any cross-currents
of admiration for individual courage and self-sacrifice, and her one
desire was to see that the Federation was ‘purged’ of all those who
belonged to the forces of disintegration.

She had the fruit of her political sagacity, and her fearless pursuit
after integrity in deed and in word. When the moment came when she was
to go to the battle fronts of the world, a succourer of many, she went
in the strength of the Suffrage women of Scotland. They were her shield
and buckler, and their loyal support of her work and its ideals was
her exceeding great reward. Without their organised strength she could
never have called into existence those units and their equipment which
have justly earned the praises of nations allied in arms.

With the rise of the militant movement, the whole Suffrage cause
passed through a cloud of opprobrium and almost universal objurgation.
Women were all tarred with the same stick, and fell under one
condemnation. It is now of little moment to recall this, except in as
much as it affected Elsie Inglis. The Scottish Suffrage societies, who
gave their organisation and their workers to start the Scottish Women’s
Hospitals, found that the community desired to forget the unpopular
Suffrage, and to remember only the Scottish Hospitals. Speakers for the
work that Dr. Inglis was doing were asked to avoid ‘the common cause.’
No one who knew her would consent to deny by implication one of the
deepest mainsprings of her work. The Churches were equally timid in
aught that gave comfort or consolation to those who were loyal to their
Christian social ideal for women. No organised society owes more to the
administrative work of women than does the Christian Church throughout
the world. No body of administrators have been slower to perceive that
women in responsible positions would be a strength to the Church than
have been the clergy of the Church. The writer of _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_
puts into the mouth of the clerical type of that day the argument
that the Old Testament gave an historic basis for the enslavement of
races, and St. Paul had sanctioned slavery in the New Testament. The
spirit of Christianity has raised women from a ‘low estate,’ and women
owe everything to the results of Christianity; but the ecclesiastical
mind has never shaken off the belief that they are under a special
curse from the days of Eden, and that St. Paul’s outlook on women
in his day was the last revelation as to their future position in a
jealously-guarded corporation. Which of us, acquainted with the Church
history of our day, but remembers the General Assembly when the women
missionaries were first invited to stand by their fellow-workers and be
addressed by the Moderator on their labours and sufferings in a common
cause? It was a great shock to the fathers and brethren that their sex
should not disqualify them from standing in the Assembly, which would
have more democratic weight in the visible Church on earth if some of
its elected lay members were women serving in the courts of the Church.
In this matter and in many others concerning women, the Church is not
yet triumphant over its prejudices bedded in the geological structure
of Genesis.

In all periods of the enfranchisement struggle there were individual
clergy who aided women with their warm advocacy and the helpful
direction of thought. Elsie Inglis was a leader of this movement in its
connection with a high Christian ideal of the citizenship of women.
To those who gathered in St. Margaret’s, the church of Parliament in
history, to commemorate all her works begun and ended as a member of
Christ’s Church here on earth, it was fitting that Bishop Gore, who had
so consistently upheld the cause, should speak of her work as one who
had helped to win the equality of women in a democratic, self-governing
State.

This memoir would utterly fail to reproduce a picture of Dr. Inglis if
it did not emphasise how her spirit was led and disciplined, tempered
and steeled, through this long and fiery trial to the goal of a leading
ideal. The contest trained her for her splendid achievements in
overcoming all obstacles in ministering to the sufferings of nations,
‘rightly struggling to be free.’ Her friend, Miss Wright, says:--

 ‘We did not always agree. Many were the arguments we had with her, but
 she was always willing to understand another point of view and willing
 to allow for difference of opinion. She was very fair-minded and
 reasonable, and deplored the excesses of the militant suffragettes.
 She was in no sense a man-hater; to her the world was composed of men
 and women, and she thought it a mistake to exalt the one unduly over
 the other. She was never embittered by her struggle for the position
 of women. She loved the fight, and the endeavour, and to arrive at any
 point just meant a fresh setting forward to another further goal.

 ‘From her girlhood onward, her effort was to free and broaden life for
 other women, to make the world a better place to live in.

 ‘I had a letter this week from Annie Wilson, Elsie’s great friend.
 She says, “It seems to me Elsie’s whole life was full of championship
 of the weak, and she was so strong in maintaining what was right. I
 feel sure she has inspired many. I remember once saying in connection
 with some work I was going to begin, ‘I wonder if I shall be able,’
 and Elsie saying in her bright way, ‘What man has done man can do.’
 I am so glad that she had the opportunity of showing her great
 administrative capacity, and that her power is known and acknowledged.
 She is a great woman. I cannot tell you what it will be not to have
 her welcome to look forward to when I come home.”

 ‘Elsie had in many respects what is, perhaps wrongly, called a man’s
 mind. She was an Imperialist in the very best sense, and had high
 ideals for her country and people. She was a very womanly woman,
 never affecting mannish ways as a pose. If she seemed a strong-minded
 woman it was because she had strenuous work to do. She was never “a
 lone woman.” She was always one of a family, and in the heart of the
 family. Elsie always had the _lovingest_ appreciation and backing from
 her nearest and dearest, and that a wide and varied circle. So, also,
 she did not need to fight for her position; it has been said of her,
 “Whenever she began to speak her pleasant well-bred accent and manner
 gained her a hearing.” She was ever a fighter, but it was because she
 wanted those out in the cold and darkness to come into the love and
 light which she herself experienced and sought after always more fully.

 ‘We looked forward to more frequent meetings when working days were
 done. Now she has gone forward to the great work beyond:

    ‘“Somewhere, surely, afar
    In the sounding labour home vast
    Of being, is practised that strength--
    Zealous, beneficent, firm.”’



CHAPTER VII

THE PROFESSION AND THE FAITH

    ‘Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
    Lift up thine eyes and seek His face;
    Life with its way before us lies,
    Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.’

    ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’


Elsie Inglis took up practice in Edinburgh, and worked in a happy
partnership with the late Dr. Jessie MacGregor, until the latter left
Scotland for work in America.

When the University of Edinburgh admitted women to the examinations for
degrees in medicine, Dr. Inglis graduated M.B., C.M. in 1899. From that
date onwards her practice, her political and suffrage work, and the
founding of the Hospice in the High Street of Edinburgh, as a nursing
home and maternity centre staffed by medical women, occupied a life
which grew and strengthened amid so many and varied experiences.

Her father’s death deprived her of what had been the very centre and
mainspring of her existence. As she records the story of his passing
on, she says that she cannot imagine life without him, and that he had
been so glad to see her begin her professional career. She was not one
to lose her place in the stream of life from any morbid inaction or
useless repining. She shared the spirit of the race from which she had
sprung, a reaching forward to obtain the prize of life fulfilled with
service, and she had inherited the childlike faith and confidence which
inspired their belief in the Father of Spirits.

Elsie lost in her father the one who had made her the centre of his
thoughts and of his most loving watchfulness. From the day that her
home with him was left unto her desolate, she was to become a centre to
many of her father’s wide household, and, even as she had learnt from
him, she became a stay and support to many of his children’s children.

The two doctors started practice in Atholl Place, and later on they
moved into 8 Walker Street, an abode which will always be associated
with the name of Dr. Elsie Inglis.

Mrs. M‘Laren says:--

 ‘My impressions of their joint house are all pleasant ones. They got
 on wonderfully together, and in every thing seemed to appreciate one
 another’s good qualities. They were very different, and had in many
 ways a different outlook. I remember Jessie saying once, “Elsie is so
 exceptionally generous in her attitude of mind, it would be difficult
 not to get on with her!” They both held their own opinions on various
 subjects without the difference of opinion really coming between them.
 Elsie said once about the arrangement, “It has all the advantages of
 marriage without any of its disabilities.” We used always to think
 they did each other worlds of good. I know how I always enjoyed a
 visit to them if it was only for an afternoon or some weeks. There was
 such an air of freedom in the whole house. You did what you liked,
 thought what you liked, without any fear of criticism or of being
 misunderstood.

 ‘I do not know much about her practice, as medicine never interested
 me, but I believe at one time, before the Suffrage work engrossed her
 so much, she was making quite a large income.’

Professionally she suffered under two disabilities: the restricted
opportunities for clinical work in the days when she was studying her
profession, combined with the constant interruptions which the struggle
against the medical obstructionists necessitated; secondly, the
various stages in the political fight incident to obtaining that wider
enfranchisement which aimed at freeing women from all those lesser
disabilities which made them the helots of every recognised profession
and industry.

When in the Scottish Women’s Hospitals abroad, Dr. Inglis rapidly
acquired a surgical skill, under the tremendous pressure of work, which
often kept her for days at the operating-table, which showed what a
great surgeon she might have been, given equal advantages in the days
of her peace practice.

Dr. Inglis lost no opportunity of enlarging her knowledge. She was
a lecturer on Gynecology in the Medical College for Women which had
been started later than Dr. Jex Blake’s school, and was on slightly
broader lines. After she had started practice she went to study German
clinics; she travelled to Vienna, and later on spent two months in
America studying the work and methods of the best surgeons in New York,
Chicago, and Rochester.

She advocated, at home and abroad, equal opportunities for work
and study in the laboratories for both men and women students. She
maintained that the lectures for women only were not as good as those
provided for the men, and that the women did not get the opportunity
of thorough laboratory practice before taking their exams. She thus
came into conflict with the University authorities, who refused to
accept women medical students within the University, or to recognise
extra-mural mixed classes in certain subjects. Step by step Dr. Inglis
fought for the students. ‘With a great price’ she might truly say
she had purchased her freedom, and nothing would turn her aside. If
one avenue was closed, try another. If one Principal was adamant,
his day could not last for ever; prepare the way for his successor.
Indomitable, unbeaten, unsoured, Dr. Inglis, with the smiling, fearless
brow, trod the years till the influence of the ‘red planet Mars’ opened
to her and others the gate of opportunity. She had achieved many
things, and was far away from her city and its hard-earned practice
when at length, in 1916, the University, under a new ‘open-minded,
generous-hearted Head,’ opened its doors to women medical students.

There were other things, besides her practice, which Dr. Inglis
subordinated in these years to the political enfranchisement of women.
It has been shown in a previous chapter how keen were her political
beliefs. She joined the Central Edinburgh Women’s Liberal Association
in its earliest organised years. She acted as Vice-President in it for
sixteen years, and was one of its most active members.

Mr. Gulland, the Liberal Whip, knew the value of her work, and must
have had reason to respect the order in which she placed her political
creed--first the citizenship of women, then the party organisation.
He speaks of her fearless partisanship and aloof attitude towards all
local political difficulties. An obstacle to her was a thing to be
overcome, not to be sat down before. Any one in politics who sees what
is right, and cannot understand any reason why the action should not
be straight, rather than compromising, is a help to party agents at
rare intervals; normally such minds cause anxiety. Her secretary, Miss
Cunningham, says about her place in the Liberal organisation:--

 ‘Not only as a speaker--though as that she was invaluable--but as one
 who mixed freely with all our members, with her sympathy, in fact, her
 enthusiasm for everything affecting the good of women, she won respect
 and liking on every side. It was not until she became convinced that
 she could help forward the great cause for women better by being
 unattached to any party organisation that she severed her connection
 with the Liberal Party. Regretted as that severance was by all, we
 understood her point of view so well that we recognised there was no
 other course open to her. Her firm grasp of and clear insight into
 matters political made her a most valued colleague, especially in
 times of difficulty, when her advice was always to be relied upon.’

In 1901 she was a member of the Women’s Liberal League, a branch of
the W.L.A. which split off at the time of the Boer War, in opposition
to the ‘Little Englanders.’ Dr. Inglis was on its first committee, and
lent her drawing-room for meetings, addressing other meetings on the
Imperialist doctrines born in that war. When that phase of politics
ended, the League became an educational body and worked on social and
factory legislation.

Among her other enterprises was the founding of the Muir Hall of
Residence for Women Students at the University. Many came up from the
country, and, like herself in former days in Glasgow, had to find
suitable, and in many cases uncomfortable, lodgings.

Principal Muir’s old Indian friendship with Mr. Inglis had been most
helpful in former years, and now Lady Muir and other friends of the
women students started a Residence in George Square for them, and
Miss Robertson was appointed its first warden. Dr. Inglis was Hon.
Secretary to the Muir Hall till she died, and from its start was a
moving spirit in all that stood for the comfort of the students. She
attended them when they were ill, and was always ready to help them
in their difficulties with her keen, understanding advice. The child
of her love, amid all other works, was her Maternity Hospice. Of this
work Miss Mair, who was indeed ‘a nursing mother’ to so many of the
undertakings of women in the healing profession, writes of Dr. Inglis’
feeling with perfect understanding:--

 ‘To Dr. Inglis’ clear vision, even in her early years of student life,
 there shone through the mists of opposition and misunderstandings a
 future scene in which a welcome recognition would be made of women’s
 services for humanity, and with a strong, glad heart she joined with
 other pioneers in treading “the stony way” that leads to most reforms.
 Once landed on the firm rock of professional recognition, Dr. Inglis
 set about the philanthropic task of bringing succour and helpful
 advice to mothers and young babies and expectant mothers in the
 crowded homes in and about the High Street. There, with the help of a
 few friends, she founded the useful little Hospice that we trust now
 to see so developed and extended by an appreciative public, that it
 will merit the honoured name “The Dr. Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospice.”

 ‘This little Hospice lay very near the heart of its founder--she loved
 it--and with her always sensitive realisation of the needs of the
 future, she was convinced that this was a bit of work on the right
 lines for recognition in years to come. Some of us can recall the
 kindling eye, the inspiring tones, that gave animation to her whole
 being when talking of her loved Hospice. She saw in it a possible
 future that might effect much, not only for its patients, but for
 generations of medical women.’

With Dr. Elsie one idea always started another, and ‘a felt want’ in
any department of life always meant an instantly conceived scheme of
supplying the need. Those who ‘came after’ sometimes felt a breathless
wonder how ways and means could be found to establish and settle the
new idea which had been evolved from the fertile brain. The Hospice
grew out of the establishment of a nursing home for working women,
where they could be cared for near their own homes. Through the
kindness of Dr. Barbour, a house was secured at a nominal rent in
George Square, and opened in 1901. That sphere of usefulness could be
extended if a maternity home could be started in a poorer district.
Thus the Hospice in the High Street was opened in 1904. Dr. Inglis
devoted herself to the work. An operating theatre and eight beds
were provided. The midwifery department grew so rapidly that after a
few years the Hospice became a centre, one of five in Scotland, for
training nurses for the C.M.B. examination.

Dr. Inglis looked forward to a greater future for it in infant welfare
work, and she always justified the device of the site as being close
to where the people lived, and in air to which they were accustomed.
Trained district nurses visited the people in their own homes, and
in 1910 there were more cases than nurses to overtake them. In that
year the Hospice was amalgamated with Bruntsfield Hospital; medical,
surgical, and gynecological cases were treated there, while the Hospice
was devoted entirely to maternity and infant welfare cases.

Dr. Inglis’ ‘vision’ was nearly accomplished when she had a small ward
of five beds for malnutrition cases, a baby clinic, a milk depot,
health centres, and the knowledge that the Hospice has the distinction
of being the only maternity centre run by women in Scotland. This
affords women students opportunities denied to them in other maternity
hospitals.

A probationer in that Hospice says:--

 ‘Dr. Inglis’ idea was that everything, as far as possible, should
 be made subservient to the comfort of the patients. This was always
 considered when planning the routine. She disapproved of the system
 prevalent in so many hospitals of rousing the patients out of sleep
 in the small hours of the morning in order to get through the work of
 the wards. She would not have them awakened before 6 A.M., and she
 instituted a cup of tea before anything else was done. To her nurses
 she was very just and appreciative of good work, and, if complaints
 were made against any one, the wrongdoing had to be absolutely proved
 before she would take action. She also insisted on the nurses having
 adequate time off, and that it should not be infringed upon.’

These, in outline, are the interests which filled the years after Dr.
Elsie began her practice. Of her work among the people living round
her Hospice, it is best told in the words of those who watched for
her coming, and blessed the sound of her feet on their thresholds.
Freely she gave them of her best, and freely they gave her the love and
confidence of their loyal hearts.

Mrs. B. had been Dr. Inglis’ patient for twenty years, and she had
also attended her mother and grandmother. Of several children one
was called Elsie Maud Inglis, and the child was christened in the
Dean Church by Dr. Williamson, who had known Dr. Inglis as a child in
India. The whole family seem to have been her charge, for when Mrs.
B.’s husband returned from the South African War, Dr. Inglis fought
the War Office for nine months to secure him a set of teeth, and,
needless to say, after taking all the trouble entailed by a War Office
correspondence, she was successful. A son fought in the present war,
and when Dr. Inglis saw the death of a Private B., she sent a telegram
to the War Office to make sure it was not the son of Mrs. B. She would
never take any fees from this family. On one occasion Mr. B. gave her
some feathers he had brought home from Africa. She had them put in a
new hat she had got for a wedding, and came round before she went to
the festival to show them to the donor. Her cheery ways ‘helped them
all,’ and when a child of the family broke its leg, and was not mending
all round in the Infirmary, Dr. Inglis was asked to go and see her, and
the child from then ‘went forrit.’

In another family there was some stomach weakness, and three infants
died. Dr. Inglis tried hard to save the life of the third, a little
boy, who was evidently getting no nourishment. So anxious was she,
that she asked a sister who had recently had a baby, to try if she
could nurse the child. This was done, the foster mother going every day
to the house, but they could not save the infant. When the next one
arrived, Dr. Inglis was so determined the child should live, she came
every day, whatever were her engagements, to sterilise the milk. The
child throve under her care, and grew up in health.

Another of these patients of her care ‘could not control her feelings’
when speaking of the good physician. It was evident the family had
lost their best friend. The husband spoke most warmly of Dr. Inglis’
kindness to them. She would come round, after she had finished her
other work at night, to bath the baby. When another child was ill, she
told the mother not to open the door even if the King himself wished
to come in. The husband said she was so bright one felt the better
for her visit, ‘though her orders had to be obeyed and no mistake,
and she would tell you off at once if you did not carry them out.’ If
they offered payment, she would say, ‘Now, go and buy a nice chop for
yourself.’

Another family had this story. Mr. G.: ‘That woman has done more
for the folk living between Morrison Street and the High Street than
all the ministers in Edinburgh and Scotland itself ever did for any
one. She would never give in to difficulties. She gave her house, her
property, her practice, her money to help others.’ Mrs. G. fell ill
after the birth of one of her children. Dr. Elsie came in one night,
made her a cup of tea and some toast, and, as she failed to get well,
she raised money to keep her in a sanatorium for six months. After she
had been there one child, in charge of a friend, fell ill, and finally
died, Dr. Inglis doing all she could to spare the absent mother and
save the child. When it died, she wrote:--

 ‘MY DEAR MRS. G.,--You will have got the news by now. I cannot tell
 you how sorry I am for you, my dear. But you will believe, won’t you,
 that we all did everything we could for your dear little boy. Mrs. E.
 was simply goodness itself. Dr. H. and I saw him three times a day
 between us, and yesterday we saw him four times. When I sent you the
 card I hoped the high temperature was due to his teeth, because his
 pulse seemed good. However, later, Dr. H. telephoned that she was
 afraid that his pulse was flagging, and he died suddenly about one.
 Mr. G. has just been here; you must get well, my dear, for his sake,
 and for the sake of all the other little children. Poor little Johnnie
 has had a great many troubles in his little life has he not? But he
 is over them all now, dear little man. And the God in whose _safe_
 keeping he is, comfort you, dear Mrs. G.--Ever your sincere friend,

      ‘ELSIE MAUD INGLIS.’

The caretaker of the dispensary in St. Cuthbert’s Mission in Morrison
Street speaks of Dr. Inglis as the true friend of all who needed her.
She gave an hour three mornings in the week, and if she could not
overtake all the cases in the time, she would occasionally come back
later in the day.

Another of her patients was the mother of twelve children; six of
them were ‘brought home’ by Dr. Inglis. She was a friend to them all,
and never minded what trouble she took. If they did not send for her,
wishing to spare her, she scolded them for thinking of herself and not
of their need for her services. All the children loved her, and they
would watch from the window on her dispensary days for her, and she
would wave to them across the street. She would often stop them in
the street to ask after their mother, and even after she had been to
Serbia and returned to Edinburgh, she remembered about them and their
home affairs. She always made them understand that her orders must be
carried out. Once Mrs. C. was very ill, and Dr. Inglis came to attend
her. The eldest girl was washing the floor, and Dr. Inglis told her to
go for some medicine. The girl continued to finish the work she was at.
‘Child,’ said Dr. Inglis, ‘don’t you know that when I say a thing I
mean it?’ Another time she had told Mrs. C. to remain in her bed till
she came. Household cares were pressing, and Mrs. C. rose to wash the
dishes. Dr. Inglis suddenly appeared at the door. ‘What did I tell you?
Do not touch another dish.’ And she herself helped Mrs. C. back to bed.
Later on two of the children got scarlet fever, and Dr. Inglis told the
mother she was proud of her, as, through her care, the infection did
not spread in the family or outside it.

The people in Morrison Street showed their gratitude by collecting
a little sum of money to buy an electric lamp to light their doctor
friend up the dark staircase of the house. These were the true mourners
who stood round St. Giles’ with the bairns she had ‘brought home’ on
the day when her earthly presence passed from their sight. These were
they who had fitted her for her strenuous enterprises in the day when
the battle was set in array, and these were the people who knew her
best, and never doubted that when called from their midst she would go
forth strong in that spirit which is given to the weak things of the
earth, and that it would be her part to strengthen the peoples that had
no might.

The Little Sisters of the Poor had a dispensary of St. Anne, and Dr.
Elsie had it in her charge from 1903 to 1913, and the Sister Superior
speaks of the affection of the people and the good work done among them.

 ‘“How often,” writes one in charge of the servant department of the
 Y.W.C.A., “her deliberate tread has brought confidence to me when
 getting heartless over some of these poor creatures who would not
 rouse themselves, judging the world was against them. Many a time
 the patient fighting with circumstances needed a sisterly word of
 cheer which Dr. Inglis supplied, and sent the individual heartened
 and refreshed. The expression on her face, _I mean business_, had
 a wonderful uplift, while her acuteness in exactly describing the
 symptoms to those who were in constant contact gave a confidence which
 made her a power amongst us.”’

A patient has allowed some of her written prescriptions to be quoted.
They were not of a kind to be made up by a chemist:--

 ‘I want you never to miss or delay meals. I want you to go to bed at
 a reasonable time and go to sleep early. I want you to do your work
 regularly, and to take an interest in outside things--such as your
 church and suffrage.’

 ‘We should not let these Things (with a capital T) affect us so much.
 Our cause is too righteous for it to be really affected by them--if we
 don’t weaken.’

 ‘My dear, the potter’s wheel isn’t a pleasant instrument.’

 ‘Go home and say your prayers.’

 ‘Realise what you are, a free born child of the Universe. Perfection
 your Polar Star.’

These stories of her healing of mind and body might be endlessly
multiplied. Sorrow and disease are much the same whether they come to
the rich or the poor, and poverty is not always the worst trial of
many a sad tale. Dr. Elsie’s power of sympathy and understanding was
as much called upon in her paying practice as among the very poor. She
made no distinction in what she gave; her friendship was as ready as
her trained skill. There was one patient whose sufferings were largely
due to her own lack of will power. Elsie, after prescribing, bent down
and kissed her. It awoke in the individual the sense that she was not
‘altogether bad,’ and from that day forward there was a newness of life.

From what sources of inner strength did she increasingly minister
in that sphere in which she moved? ‘Thy touch has still its ancient
power,’ and no one who knew this unresting, unhasting, well-balanced
life, but felt it had drawn its spiritual strength from the deep wells
of Salvation.

In these years the kindred points of heaven and home were always
in the background of her life. Her sisters’ homes were near her in
Edinburgh, and when her brother Ernest died in India, in 1910, his
widow and her three daughters came back to her house. Her friendship
and understanding of all the large circle that called her aunt was a
very beautiful tie. The elder ones were near enough to her own age
to be companions to her from her girlhood. Miss Simson says that she
was more like an elder sister to them when she stayed with the family
on their arrival from Tasmania. ‘The next thing I remember about her
was when she went to school in Paris, she promised to bring us home
Paris dolls. She asked us how we wanted them dressed, and when she
returned we each received a beautiful one dressed in the manner chosen.
Aunt Elsie was always most careful in the choice of presents for each
individual. One always felt that she had thought of and got something
that she knew you wanted. While on her way to Russia she sent me a
cheque because she had not been able to see anything while at home. She
wrote, “This is to spend on something frivolous that you want, and not
on stockings or anything like that.”’

‘It is not her great gifts that I remember now,’ says another of that
young circle, ‘it is that she was always such a darling.’

These nieces were often the companions of Dr. Elsie’s holidays. She
had her own ideas as to how these should be spent. She always had
September as her month of recreation. She used to go away, first of
all, for a fortnight quite alone to some out-of-the-way place, when
not even her letters were sent after her. She would book to a station,
get out, and bicycle round the neighbourhood till she found a place
she liked. She wanted scenery and housing accommodation according to
her mind. Her first requirement was hot water for ‘baths.’ If that was
found in abundance she was suited; if it could not be requisitioned,
she went elsewhere. Her paintbox went with her, and when she returned
to rejoin or fetch away her family she brought many impressions of what
she had seen. The holidays were restful because always well planned.
She loved enjoyment and happiness, and she sought them in the spirit
of real relaxation and recreation. If weather or circumstances turned
out adverse, she was amused in finding some way out, and if nothing
else could be done she had a power of seeing the ludicrous under all
conditions, which in itself turned the rain-clouds of life into bursts
of sunlight.

Mrs. Inglis gives a happy picture of the life in 8 Walker Street, when
she was the guest of Dr. Inglis. Her love for the three nieces, the one
in particular who bore her name, and in whose medical education she
deeply interested herself, was great.

She used to return from a long day’s work, often late, but with a mind
at leisure from itself for the talk of the young people. However late
she was, a hot bath preluded a dinner-party full of fun and laughter,
the account of all the day’s doings, and then a game of bridge or some
other amusement. Often she would be anxious over some case, but she
used to say, ‘I have done all I know, I can only sleep over it,’ and
to bed and to sleep she went, always using her will-power to do what
was best in the situation. Those who were with her in the ‘retreats’
in Serbia or Russia saw the same quality of self-command. If transport
broke down, then the interval had better be used for rest, in the best
fashion in which it could be obtained.

Her Sundays, as far as her profession permitted, were days of rest and
social intercourse with her family and friends. After evening church
she went always to supper in the Simson family, often detained late by
pacings to and fro with her friends, Dr. and Mrs. Wallace Williamson,
engaged in some outpouring of the vital interests which were absorbing
her. One of the members of her household says:--

 ‘We all used to look forward to hearing all her doings in the past
 week, and of all that lay before her in the next. Sunday evening felt
 quite wrong and flat when she was called out to a case and could not
 come to us. It was the same with our summer holidays. Her visit in
 September was the best bit of the holidays to us. She laid herself out
 to be with us in our bathing and golfing and picnics.’

The house was ‘well run.’ Those who know what is the highest meaning
of service, have always good servants, and Dr. Elsie had a faithful
household. Her cooks were all engaged under one stipulation, ‘Hot
water for any number of baths at any time of the day or night,’ and
the hot water never failed under the most exacting conditions. Her
guests were made very comfortable, and there was only one rigid rule
in the house. However late she came downstairs after any night-work,
there was always family prayers before breakfast. The book she used
was _Euchologion_, and when in Russia asked that a copy should be
sent her. Her consulting-room was lined with bookshelves containing
all her father’s books, and of these she never lost sight. Any guest
might borrow anything else in her house and forget to return it, but if
ever one of those books were borrowed, it had to be returned, for the
quest after it was pertinacious. In her dress she became increasingly
particular, but only as the adornment, not of herself, but of the cause
of women as citizens or as doctors. When a uniform became part of her
equipment for work, she must have welcomed it with great enthusiasm. It
is in the hodden grey with the tartan shoulder straps, and the thistles
of Scotland that she will be clothed upon, in the memory of most of
those who recall her presence.

It is difficult to write of the things that belong to the Spirit,
and Dr. Elsie’s own reserve on these matters was not often broken.
She had been reared in a God-fearing household, and surrounded from
her earliest years with the atmosphere of an intensely devout home.
That she tried all things, and approved them to her own conscience,
was natural to her character. Certain doctrines and formulas found no
acceptance with her. Man was created in God’s image, and the Almighty
did not desire that His creatures should despise or underrate the work
of His Hand. The attitude of regarding the world as a desert, and human
beings as miserable sinners incapable of rendering the highest service,
never commended itself to her eminently just mind. Such difficulties of
belief as she may have experienced in early years lay in the relations
of the created to the Creator of all that is divine in man. Till she
had convinced herself that a reasonable service was asked for and would
be accepted, her mind was not completely at rest. In her correspondence
with her father, both in Glasgow and London, her interest was always
living and vital in the things which belonged to the kingdom of heaven
within. She wandered from church to church in both places. Oblivious
of all distinctions she would take her prayer book and go for ‘music’
to the Episcopal Church, or attend the undenominational meetings
connected with the Y.W.C.A. Often she found herself most interested
in the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Hunter, who subsequently left Glasgow
for London. There are many shrewd comments on other ministers, on the
‘Declaratory Acts,’ then agitating the Free Church. She thought the
Westminster Confession should either be accepted or rejected, and that
the position was made no simpler by ‘declarations.’ In London she
attended the English Church almost exclusively, listening to the many
remarkable teachers who in the Nineties occupied the pulpits of the
Anglican Church. It was not till after her father’s death that she came
to rest entirely in the ministry of the Church of Scotland, and found
in the teaching and friendship of Dr. Wallace Williamson that which
gave her the vital faith which inspired her life and work, and carried
her at last triumphantly through the swellings of Jordan.

St. Giles’ lay in the centre of her healing mission, and her
alert active figure was a familiar sight, as the little congregation
gathered for the daily service. When the kirk skailed in the fading
light of the short days, the westering sun on the windows would often
fall on the fair hair and bright face of her whose day had been spent
in ministering work. On these occasions she never talked of her work.
If she was joined by a friend, Dr. Elsie waited to see what was the
pressing thought in the mind of her companion, and into that she at
once poured her whole sympathy. Few ever walked west with her to
her home without feeling in an atmosphere of high and chivalrous
enterprise. Thus in an ordered round passed the days and years, drawing
ever nearer to the unknown destiny, when that which was to try the
reins and the hearts of many nations was to come upon the world. When
that storm burst, Elsie Inglis was among those whose lamp was burning,
and whose heart was steadfast and prepared for the things which were
coming on the earth.



[Illustration: DR. ELSIE INGLIS, 1916]



CHAPTER VIII

WAR AND THE SCOTTISH WOMEN

    ‘God the all-terrible King, Who ordainest
      Great winds Thy clarion, the lightnings Thy sword,
    Show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest,
      Give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

    God the All-wise, by the fire of Thy chastening
      Earth shall to freedom and truth be restored,
    Through the thick darkness Thy kingdom is hastening,
      Thou wilt give peace in Thy time, O Lord.’


The year of the war coincided with that period in the life of Dr.
Inglis when she was fully qualified for the great part she was to play
among the armies of the Allied nations.

It is now admitted that this country was unprepared for war, and
incredulous as to the German menace. The services of women have now
attained so high a value in the State that it is difficult to recast
their condition in 1914.

In politics there had been a succession of efforts to obtain
their enfranchisement. Each effort had been marked by a stronger
manifestation in their favour in the country, and the growing force
of the movement, coupled with the unrest in Ireland, had kept all
political organisations in a high state of tension.

It has been shown how fully organised were all the Women Suffrage
societies. Committees, organisers, adherents, and speakers were at
work, and in the highest state of efficiency. Women linked by a common
cause had learnt how to work together. The best brains in their midst
were put at the service of the Suffrage, and they had watched in the
political arena where to expect support, and who could be trusted among
the leaders of all parties. No shrewder or more experienced body of
politicians were to be found in the country than those women drawn from
all classes, in all social, professional, and industrial spheres, who
acknowledged Mrs. Fawcett as their leader, and trusted no one party,
sect, or politician in the year 1914.

When the war caused a truce to be pronounced in all questions of acute
political difference, the unenfranchised people realised that this
might mean the failure of their hopes for an indefinite time. They
never foresaw that, for the second time within a century, emancipation
was to be bought by the life blood of a generation.

The truce made no difference to any section of the Suffrage party.
It was accepted by the whole people. War found both men and women
unprepared, but the path of glory was clear for the men. A great army
must be formed in defence of national liberty. The army was mobilised.
It would have been well had the strength of the women been mobilised in
the same hour. Their long claim for the rights of citizenship made them
keenly alive and responsive to the call of national service.

War and its consequences had for many years been uppermost in their
thoughts. In the struggle for emancipation, the great argument they
had had to face among the rapidly decreasing anti-party, was the one
that women could take no part in war, and, as all Government rested
ultimately on brute force, women could not fight, and therefore must
not vote.

In countering this outlook, women had watched what war meant all over
the world, wherever it took place. With the use of scientific weapons
of destruction, with the development of scientific methods of healing,
with all that went to the maintenance of armies in the field, and the
support of populations at home, women had some vision in what manner
they would be needed if war ever came to this country.

The misfortune of such a controversy as that of the ‘Rights of Women’
is that it necessarily means the opposition has to prove a negative
proposition--a most sterilising process. Political parties were so
anxious to prove that women were incapable of citizenship, that the
whole community got into a pernicious habit of mind. Women were
underrated in every sphere of industry or scientific knowledge. Their
sense of incapacity and irresponsibility was encouraged, and when they
turned militant under such treatment, they were only voted a nuisance
which it was impossible to totally exterminate.

Those who watched the gathering war clouds, and the decline of their
Parliamentary hopes, did not realise that, in the overruling providence
of God, the devastating war among nations was to open a new era for
women. They were no longer to be held cheap, as irresponsibles--mere
clogs on the machinery of the State. They were to be called on to
take the place of men who were dying by the thousand for their homes,
fighting against the doctrine that military force is the only true
Government in a Christian world.

After mobilisation, military authorities had to make provision for the
wounded. We can remember the early sensation of seeing buildings raised
for other purposes taken over for hospitals. Since the Crimea, women as
nurses at the base were institutions understood of all men. In the vast
camps which sprang up at the commencement of the war, women modestly
thought they might be usefully employed as cooks. The idea shocked the
War Office till it rocked to its foundations. A few adventurous women
started laundries for officers, and others for the men. They did it on
their own, and in peril of their beneficent soap suds, being ordered to
a region where they would be out of sight, and out of any seasonable
service, to the vermin-ridden camps.

The Suffrage organisations, staffed and equipped with able practical
women Jacks of all trades, in their midst, put themselves at the call
of national service, but were headed back from all enterprises. It
had been ordained that women could not fight, and therefore they were
of no use in war time. A few persisted in trying to find openings for
service. Among these were Dr. Inglis. It is one thing to offer to be
useful without any particular qualification; it is another to have
professional knowledge to give, and the medical women were strong in
the conviction that they had their hard-won science and skill to offer.

Those who have read the preceding pages will realise that Dr. Inglis
carried into this offer a perfect knowledge how women doctors were
regarded by the community, and she knew political departments too well
to believe that the War Office would have a more enlightened outlook.
In the past she had said in choosing her profession that she liked
‘pioneer work,’ and she was to be the pioneer woman doctor who, with
the aid of Suffrage societies, founded and led the Scottish Women’s
Hospitals to the healing of many races.

After bringing the story of Dr. Inglis to this point, it is easy
to imagine the working of her fertile brain, and her sense of vital
energy, in the opening weeks of the war. What material for instant
action she had at hand, she used. She had helped to form a detachment
of the V.A.D. when the idea of this once despised and now greatly
desired body began to take shape. Before the war men spoke slightingly
of its object, and it was much depreciated. Dr. Inglis saw all the
possibilities which lay in the voluntary aid offer. Dr. Inglis was in
Edinburgh at the commencement of the war, and the 6th Edinburgh V.A.D.,
of which she was commandant, was at once mobilised. For several weeks
she worked hard at their training. She gave up the principal rooms in
her house for a depot for the outfit of Cargilfield as an auxiliary
hospital. The hospital was not accepted. If it had been, and Dr. Inglis
put in charge of it, the wider work of her life might never have had
its fulfilment. Dr. Inglis from the first advocated that the V.A.D.
should be used as probationers in military hospitals, and the orderlies
who served in her units were chiefly drawn from this body.

In September she went to London to put her views before the National
Union and the War Office, and to offer the services of herself
and women colleagues. Miss Mair expresses the thoughts which were
dominating her mind. ‘To her it seemed wicked that women with power
to wield the surgeon’s knife in the mitigation of suffering and with
knowledge to diagnose and cure, should be withheld from serving the
sick and wounded.’

Her love for the wounded and suffering gave her a clear vision as
to what lay before the armies of the Allies. ‘At the root of all her
strenuous work of the last three years,’ says her sister, ‘was the
impelling force of her sympathy with the wounded men. This feeling
amounted at times to almost agony. Only once did she allow herself to
show this innermost feeling. This was at the root of her passionate
yearning to get with her unit to Mesopotamia during the early months
of 1916. “I cannot bear to think of them, _our Boys_.” To the woman’s
heart within her the wounded men of all nations made the same
irresistible appeal.’

In that spirit she approached a departmental chief. Official reserve at
last gave way, and the historic sentence was uttered--‘My good lady, go
home and sit still.’ In that utterance lay the germ of that inspiration
which was to carry the Red Cross and the Scottish women among many
nations, kindreds, and tongues.

It is easy to picture the scene. The overworked red-tape-bound
official: the little figure of the woman with the smile, and the ready
answer, before him. There is a story that, while a town in Serbia was
under bombardment, Dr. Inglis was also in it with some of her hospital
work. She sought an official in his quarters, as she desired certain
things for her hospital. The noise of the firing was loud, and shells
were flying around. Dr. Inglis seemed oblivious of any sound save her
own voice, and she requested of an under officer an interview with his
chief. The official had at last to confess that his superior was hiding
in the cellar till the calamity of shell-fire was overpast. In much
the same condition was the local War Office official when confronted
with Dr. Inglis and her practical importunity. No doubt she saw it was
useless to continue her offers of service. Mrs. Fawcett says:

 ‘Nearly all the memorial notices of her have recorded the fact that at
 the beginning of her work in 1914 the War Office refused her official
 recognition. The recognition so stupidly refused by her own country
 was joyfully and gratefully given by the French and later the Serbian
 A.M.S. and Red Cross.’

She went home to her family, who so often had inspired her to good
work, and as she sat and talked over the war and her plans with one of
her nieces, she suddenly said, ‘I know what we will do! We will have a
unit of our own.’

The ‘We’ referred to that close-knit body of women with whom she had
worked for a common cause, and she knew at once that ‘We’ would work
with her and in her for the accomplishment of this ideal which so
rapidly took shape in her teeming brain.

She was never left alone in any part of her life’s work. Her
personality knit not only her family to her in the closest bonds of
love, but she had devoted friends among those who did not see eye
to eye with her in the common cause. She never loved them the less
for disagreeing with her, and though their indifference to her views
might at times obscure her belief in their mental calibre, it never
interfered with the mutual affections of all. She did not leave these
friends out of her scheme when it began to take shape.

The Edinburgh Suffrage offices, no longer needed for propaganda and
organisation work, became the headquarters of the Scottish Women’s
Hospitals, and the enlarged committee, chiefly of Dr. Inglis’ personal
friends, began its work under the steam-hammer of her energy. Miss Mair
may again be quoted.

 ‘Well do I recall the first suggestion that passed between us on the
 subject of directing the energies of our Suffrage Societies to the
 starting of a hospital. Let us gather a few hundred pounds, and then
 appeal to the public, was the decision of our ever courageous Dr.
 Elsie, and from that moment she never swerved in her purpose. Some of
 us gasped when she announced that the sum of £50,000 must speedily
 be advertised for. Some timid souls advised the naming of a smaller
 amount as our goal. With unerring perception, our leader refused to
 lower the standard, and abundantly has she been proved right! Not
 £50,000, but over £200,000 have rewarded her faith and her hope.

 ‘This quick perception was one of the greatest of her gifts, and it
 was with perfect simplicity she stated to me once that when on rare
 occasions she had yielded her own conviction to pressure from others,
 the result had been unfortunate. There was not an ounce of vanity in
 her composition. She was merely stating a simple fact. Her outlook was
 both wide and direct. She saw the object aimed at, and she marched
 straight on. If, on the road, some obstacles had to be not exactly
 ruthlessly, but very firmly brushed aside, her strength of purpose
 was in the end a blessing to all concerned. Strength combined with
 sweetness--with a wholesome dash of humour thrown in--in my mind sums
 up her character. What that strength did for agonised Serbia only the
 grateful Serbs can fully tell.’

A letter written in October of this year to Mrs. Fawcett tells of the
rapid formation of the hospital idea.

      ‘8 WALKER STREET,
      ‘_Oct. 9, 1914_.

 ‘DEAR MRS. FAWCETT,--I wrote to you from the office this morning,
 but I want to point out a little more fully what the Committee felt
 about the name of the hospitals. We felt that our original scheme
 was growing very quickly into something very big--much bigger than
 anything we had thought of at the beginning--and we felt that if the
 hospitals were called by a non-committal name it would be much easier
 to get all men and women to help. The scheme is _of course_ a National
 Union scheme, and that fact the Scottish Federation will never lose
 sight of, or attempt to disguise. The National Union will be at the
 head of all our appeals, and press notices, and paper.

 ‘But--if you could reverse the position, and imagine for a moment
 that the Anti-Suffrage Society had thought of organising all these
 skilled women for service, you can quite see that many more neutrals,
 and a great many suffragists would have been ready to help if they
 sent their subscriptions to the “Scottish Women’s Hospital for Foreign
 Service,” than if they had to send to the Anti-Suffrage League
 Hospital.

 ‘We were convinced that the more women we could get to help, the
 greater would be the gain to the woman’s movement.

 ‘For we have hit upon a really splendid scheme. When Mrs. Laurie and
 I went to see Sir George Beatson--the head of the Scottish Red Cross,
 in Glasgow--he said at once: “Our War Office will have nothing to say
 to you,” and then he added, “yet there is no knowing what they may do
 before the end of the war.”

 ‘You see, we get these expert women doctors, nurses, and ambulance
 workers organised. We send our units wherever they are wanted. Once
 these units are out, the work is bound to grow. The need is there,
 and too terrible to allow any haggling about who does the work. If
 we have a thoroughly good organisation here, we can send out more
 and more units, or strengthen those already out. We can add motor
 ambulances, organise rest stations on the lines of communication, and
 so on. It will all depend on how well we are supplied with funds and
 brains at our base. Each unit ought to be carefully chosen, and the
 very best women doctors must go out with them. I wrote this morning to
 the Registered Medical Women’s Association in London, and asked them
 to help us, and offered to address a meeting when I come up for your
 meeting. Next week a special meeting of the Scottish Medical Women’s
 Association is being called to discuss the question.

 ‘From the very beginning we must make it clear that our hospitals are
 as well-equipped and well-manned as any in the field, more economical
 (easy!), and thoroughly efficient.

 ‘I cannot think of anything more calculated to bring home to men the
 fact that women _can help_ intelligently in any kind of work. So much
 of our work is done where they cannot see it. They’ll see every bit of
 this.

 ‘The fates seem to be fighting for us! Sometimes schemes do float off
 with the most extraordinary ease. The Belgian Consul here is Professor
 Sarolea--the editor of _Everyman_. He grasped at the help we offered,
 and has written off to several influential people. And then yesterday
 morning he wrote saying that his brother Dr. Leon Sarolea, would come
 and “work under” us. He is an M.P., a man of considerable influence.
 So you can see the Belgian Hospital will have everything in its favour.

 ‘Then Mr. Seton Watson, who has devoted his life to the Balkan States,
 has taken up the Servian Unit. He puts himself “entirely at our
 service.” He knows all the powers that be in Servia.

 ‘Two people in the Press have offered to help.

 ‘The money is the thing now. It must not be wasted, but we must have
 lots.

 ‘And as the work grows do let’s keep it _together_, so that, however
 many hospitals we send out, they all shall be run on the same lines,
 and wherever people see the Union Jack with the red, white and green
 flag below it, they’ll know it means efficiency and kindness and
 intelligence.

 ‘I wanted the Executive, for this reason, to call the hospitals
 “British Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service,” but of course it was
 their own idea, and one understood the desire to call it “Scottish”;
 but if there is a splendid response from England and from other
 federations, that will have to be reconsidered, _I_ think. The great
 thing is to do the thing well, and do it as _one_ scheme.

 ‘I do hope you’ll approve of all this. I am marking this letter
 “Private,” because it isn’t an official letter, but just what I
 think--to you, my Chief. But you can show it to anybody you like--as
 that.

 ‘I can think of nothing except these “Units” just now! And when one
 hears of the awful need, one can hardly sit still till they are ready.
 Professor Sarolea simply made one’s heart bleed. He is just back from
 Belgium. He said, “You talk of distress from the war here. You simply
 know nothing about it.”--Ever yours sincerely,

      ‘ELSIE MAUD INGLIS.’

In October 1914 the scheme was finally adopted by the Scottish
Federation, and the name of Scottish Women’s Hospitals was chosen.

At the same meeting the committee decided to send Dr. Inglis to London
to explain the plan to the National Union, and to speak at a meeting
in the Kingsway Hall, on ‘What women could do to help in the war.’ At
that meeting she was authorised to speak on the plans of the S.W.H.
The N.U.W.S.S. adopted the plan of campaign on 15th October, and the
London society was soon taking up the work of procuring money to start
new units, and to send Dr. Inglis out on her last enterprise, with a
unit fully equipped to work with the Serbian army, then fighting on the
Bulgarian front.

The use she made of individuals is well illustrated by Miss Burke. She
was ‘found’ by Dr. Inglis in the office of the London Society, and sent
forth to speak and fill the Treasury chest of the S.W.H. It is written
in the records of that work how wonderfully Miss Burke influenced her
countrymen in America, and how nobly, through her efforts, they have
aided ‘the great adventure.’

      ‘U.S.M.S. _St. Paul_,
      ‘_Saturday, February 9th_.

 ‘DEAR LADY FRANCES,--Certainly I am one of Dr. Elsie’s children. It
 was largely due to her intuition and clear judgment of character that
 my feet were placed in the path which led to my reaching my maximum
 efficiency as a hospital worker and a member of the Scottish Women’s
 Hospitals. I first met Dr. Elsie after I had been the Secretary of the
 London Committee for about a month. There was no question of meeting a
 “stranger”; her kindly eyes smiled straight into mine.

 ‘Was I young and rather shy? Well, the best way to encourage me was to
 give me responsibility.

 ‘“Do you speak French?”

 ‘“Yes.”

 ‘“Very well, go and write me a letter to General de Torcy, telling him
 we accept the building he has offered at Troyes.”

 ‘Some one hazarded the suggestion that the letter should be passed on.

 ‘“Nonsense,” replied Dr. Elsie, “I know the type. That girl probably
 speaks six languages. If she says she speaks French, she does.”

 ‘She practically signed the letter I wrote her without reading it.
 Doubtless all the time I was with her I was under her keen scrutiny,
 and when finally, after arranging a meeting for her at Oxford, which
 she found impossible to take, owing to her sudden decision to leave
 for Serbia, she had already judged me, and without hesitation she told
 me to go to Oxford and speak myself. I have wondered often whether any
 one else would have sent a young and unknown speaker--it needed Dr.
 Elsie’s knowledge of human character and rapid energetic method of
 making decisions.

 ‘It would be difficult for we young ones of the Scottish Women’s
 Hospitals to analyse our feelings towards Dr. Elsie. A wave of her
 hand in passing meant much to us.’

Space utterly forbids our following the fortunes of the Scottish
Women’s Hospitals as they went forth one by one to France, to Belgium,
to Serbia, to Corsica, and Russia. That history will have some day to
be written. It is only possible in this memoir to speak of their work
in relation to their founder and leader. ‘Not I, but my unit,’ was
her dying watchword, and when the work of her unit is reviewed, it is
obvious how they carried with them, as an oriflamme, the inspiration of
unselfish devotion set them by Dr. Inglis.

Besides going into all the detailed work of the hospital equipment, Dr.
Inglis found time to continue her work of speaking for the cause of the
hospitals. We find her addressing her old friends:

 ‘I have the happiest recollection of Dr. I. addressing a small meeting
 of the W. L. Association here. It was one of her first meetings to
 raise money. She told us how she wanted to go to Serbia. She was so
 convincing, but with all my faith in her, I never thought she _would_
 get there! That, and much more she did--a lesson in faith.

 ‘She looked round the little gathering in the Good Templar Hall and
 said, “I suppose nobody here could lend me a yacht?” She did get her
 ship there.’

To one of her workers in this time, she said, ‘My dear, we shall live
all our lives in the shadow of war.’ The one to whom she spoke says, ‘A
cold chill struck my heart. Did she feel it, and know that never again
would things be as they were?’

At the close of 1914 Dr. Inglis went to France to see the Scottish
Women’s Hospital established and working under the French Red Cross at
Royaumont. It was probably on her way back that she went to Paris on
business connected with Royaumont. She went into Notre Dame, and chose
a seat in a part of the cathedral where she could feel alone. She there
had an experience which she afterwards told to Mrs. M‘Laren. As she
sat there she had a strong feeling that some one was behind her. She
resisted the impulse to turn round, thinking it was some one who like
herself wanted to be quiet! The feeling grew so strong at last, that
she involuntarily turned round. There was no one near her, but for the
first time she realised she was sitting in front of a statue of Joan of
Arc. To her it appeared as if the statue was instinct with life. She
added: ‘Wasn’t it curious?’ Then later she said, ‘I would like to know
what Joan was wanting to say to me!’ I often think of the natural way
which she told me of the experience, and the _practical_ conclusion
of wishing to know what Joan wanted. Once again she referred to the
incident, before going to Russia. I see her expression now, just for a
moment forgetting everything else, keen, concentrated, and her humorous
smile, as she said, ‘You know I would like awfully to know what Joan
was trying to say to me.’

Elsie Inglis was not the first, nor will she be the last woman who has
found help in the story of the Maid of Orleans, when the causes dear to
the hearts of nations are at stake. It is easy to hear the words that
would pass between these two leaders in the time of their country’s
warfare. The graven figure of Joan was instinct with life, from the
undying love of race and country, which flowed back to her from the
woman who was as ready to dedicate to her country her self-forgetting
devotion, as Jeanne d’Arc had been in her day. Both, in their day and
generation, had heard--

    ‘The quick alarming drum--
    Saying, Come,
    Freemen, come,
    Ere your heritage be wasted, said the quick alarming drum.’

      ‘ABBAYE DE ROYAUMONT,
      ‘_Dec. 22, 1914_.

 ‘DEAREST AMY,--Many, many happy Christmases to you, dear, and to
 all the others. Everything is splendid here now, and if the General
 from headquarters would only come and inspect us, we could begin.
 The wards are perfect. I only wish you could see them with their
 red bedcovers, and little tables. There are four wards, and we have
 called them Blanche of Castille (the woman who really started the
 building of this place, the mother of Louis IX., the Founder, as he
 is called), Queen Margaret of Scotland, Joan of Arc, and Millicent
 Fawcett. Now, don’t you think that is rather nice! The Abbaye itself
 is a wonderful place. It has beautiful architecture, and is placed in
 delightful woods. One wants to spend hours exploring it, instead of
 which we have all been working like galley slaves getting the hospital
 in order. The equipment has come out practically all right. There are
 no thermometers and no sandbags. I feel they’ll turn up. Yesterday,
 I was told there were no tooth-brushes and no nail-brushes, but they
 appeared. After all the fuss, you can imagine our feelings when the
 “Director,” an official of the French Red Cross, who has to live here
 with us, told us French soldiers don’t want tooth-brushes!

 ‘Our first visitors were three French officers, whom we took for the
 inspecting general, and treated with grovelling deference, till we
 found they knew nothing about it, and were much more interested in the
 tapestry in the proprietor’s house than in our instruments. However,
 they were very nice, and said we were _bien meublé_.

 ‘Once we had all been on tenterhooks all day about the inspection.
 Suddenly, a man poked his head round the door of the doctor’s
 sitting-room and said, “The General.” In one flash every doctor was
 out of the room and into her bedroom for her uniform coat, and I was
 left sitting. I got up, and wandered downstairs, when an excited
 orderly dashed past, singing, “Nothing but two British officers!”
 Another time we were routed out from breakfast by the cry of “The
 General,” but this time it turned out to be a French regiment, whose
 officers had been moved by curiosity to come round by here. The
 General has not arrived yet.

 ‘We have had to get a new boiler in the kitchen, new taps and
 lavatories, and electric light, an absolute necessity in this huge
 place, and all the theatre sinks. We certainly are no longer a
 _mobile_ hospital, but as we are twelve miles from the point from
 which the wounded are distributed (I am getting very discreet about
 names since a telegram of mine was censored), we shall probably be as
 useful here as anywhere. They even think we may get English Tommies.

 ‘You have no idea of the conditions to which the units came out, and
 they have behaved like perfect bricks. The place was like an ice hole:
 there were no fires, no hot water, no furniture, not even blankets,
 and the equipment did not arrive for five days. They have scrubbed the
 whole place out themselves, as if they were born housemaids; put up
 the beds, stuffed the mattresses, and done everything. Really, I am
 proud of them! They stick at absolutely nothing, and when Madame came,
 she said, “What it is to belong to a practical nation!”

 ‘We had a service in the ward on Sunday. We are going to see if they
 will let us use the little St. Louis Chapel. There are two other
 chapels, one in use, that we hope the soldiers will go to, and a
 beautiful chapel the same style of architecture as the chapel at Mont
 St. Michel. It is a perfect joy to walk through it to meals. The
 village curé has been to tea with us.

 ‘Will you believe it, that General hasn’t arrived _yet_!--Your loving

      ELSIE.’

Mr. Seton Watson has permitted his article in the December number of
the _New Europe_ (1917) to be reprinted here. His complete knowledge
of Serbia enables him to describe both the work and Dr. Inglis who
undertook the great task set before her.

 ‘Elsie Inglis was one of the heroic figures of the war, one whose
 memory her many friends will cherish with pride and confidence--pride
 at having been privileged to work with her, confidence in the race
 which breeds such women. This is not the place to tell the full story
 of her devotion to many a good cause at home, but the _New Europe_
 owes her a debt of special interest and affection. For in her own
 person she stood for that spirit of sympathy and comprehension upon
 which intercourse between the nations must be founded, if the ideal of
 a New Europe is ever to become a reality.

 ‘Though her lifework had hitherto lain in utterly different fields,
 she saw in a flash the needs of a tragic situation; and when war came
 offered all her indomitable spirit and tireless energy to a cause
 till recently unknown and even frowned upon in our country. Like
 the Douglas of old, she flung herself where the battle raged most
 fiercely--always claiming and at last obtaining permission to set up
 her hospitals where the obstacles were greatest and the dangers most
 acute. But absorbed as she was in her noble task of healing, she saw
 beyond it the high national ideal that inspired the Serbs to endure
 sufferings unexampled even in this war, and became an enthusiastic
 convert to the cause of Southern Slav unity. To her, as to all true
 Europeans, the principle of nationality is not, indeed, the end of
 all human wisdom, but the sure foundation upon which a new and saner
 internationalism is to be built, and an inalienable right to which
 great and small alike are entitled. Perhaps the fact that she herself
 came of a small nation which, like Serbia, has known how to celebrate
 its defeats, was not without its share in determining her sympathies.

 ‘The full political meaning of her work has not yet been brought home
 to her countrymen, and yet what she has done will live after her. Her
 achievement in Serbia itself in 1915 was sufficiently remarkable, but
 even that was a mere prelude to her achievement on the Eastern front.
 The Serbian Division in Southern Russia, which the Scottish Women’s
 Hospitals went out to help, was not Serbian at all in the _ordinary_
 sense of the word. Its proper name is the Jugoslav Division, for
 it was composed entirely of volunteers drawn from among the Serbs,
 Croats, and Slovenes of Austria-Hungary who had been taken prisoners
 by the Russian army. Thousands of these men enrolled themselves on the
 side of the Entente and in the service of Serbia, in order to fight
 for the realisation of Southern Slav independence and unity under the
 national dynasty of Kara George. Beyond the ordinary risks of war
 they acted in full knowledge that capture by the enemy would mean the
 same fate as Austria meted out to the heroic Italian deputy, Cesare
 Battisti; and some of them, left wounded on the battle-field after
 a retreat, shot each other to avoid being taken alive. Throughout
 the Dobrudja campaign they fought with the most desperate gallantry
 against impossible odds, and, owing to inadequate support during the
 retreat, their main body was reduced from 15,000 to 4000. Latterly the
 other divisions had been withdrawn to recruit at Odessa, after sharing
 the defence of the Rumanian southern front.

 ‘To these men in the summer of 1916 Serbia had sent a certain number
 of higher officers, but, for equipment and medical help, they were
 dependent upon what the Russians could spare from their own almost
 unlimited needs. At the worst hour Dr. Inglis and her unit came to the
 help of the Jugoslavs, shared their privations and misfortunes, and
 spared no effort in their cause.

 ‘History will record the name of Elsie Inglis, like that of Lady
 Paget, as pre-eminent among that band of women who have redeemed for
 all time the honour of Britain in the Balkans. Among the Serbs it is
 already assuming an almost legendary quality. To us it will serve to
 remind us that Florence Nightingale will never be without successors
 among us. And in particular, every true Scotsman will cherish her
 memory, every believer in the cause for which she gave her life will
 gain fresh courage from her example.

      R. W. SETON-WATSON.



CHAPTER IX

SERBIA

    ‘Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great
    waters, from the hand of strange children.’

    ‘And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those
    days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the
    creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.’

    ‘On either side of the river, was there the tree of life: And the
    leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’


Dr. Inglis remained at home directing the many operations necessary
to ensure the proper equipment of the units, and the difficult task of
getting them conveyed overseas. From the beginning, till her return
with her unit serving with the Serbian army in Russia, she had the
sustaining co-operation both of the Admiralty and the Foreign Office.
In the many complications surrounding the history of the hospitals
with the Allied armies, the Scottish women owed very much to both
Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, and very particularly to Lord
Robert Cecil in his department of the Foreign Office.

It was not easy to get the scheme of hospitals staffed entirely by
women, serving abroad with armies fighting the common and unscrupulous
foe, accepted by those in authority. The Foreign Office was responsible
for the safety of these British outpost hospitals, and they knew well
the dangers and privations to which the devoted pioneer band of women
would be exposed. They made many stipulations with Dr. Inglis, which
she accepted, and abided by as long as her work was not hindered. No
care or diplomatic work was spared, and if at the end of their service
in Russia the safety of the unit was a matter of grave anxiety to
the Foreign Office, it had never cause to be ashamed of the way this
country’s honour and good faith was upheld by the hospitals under the
British flag, amid the chaotic sufferings of the Russian people.

In the spring of 1915 Dr. Eleanor Soltau, who was in charge of the
First Serbian Unit, became ill with diphtheria in the midst of the
typhus epidemic which was devastating the Serbian people. The Serbian
Minister writes of that time:--

 ‘They were the first to go to the help of Serbia when the Austrians,
 after they were defeated, besides 60,000 prisoners, also left behind
 them epidemics in all the districts which they had invaded. The
 Scottish women turned up their sleeves, so to speak, at the railways
 station itself, and went straight to typhus and typhoid-stricken
 patients, who were pitifully dying in the crowded hospitals.’

Colonel Hunter, A.M.S., wrote after her death: ‘It was my privilege
and happiness to see much of her work in Serbia when I was officer in
charge of the corps of R.A.M.C. officers sent out by the W.O. to deal
with the raging epidemic of typhus and famine fevers then devastating
the land. I have never met with any one who gave me so deep an
impression of singlemindedness, gentleheartedness, clear and purposeful
vision, wise judgment, and absolutely fearless disposition.... No more
lovable personality than hers, or more devoted and courageous body of
women, ever set out to help effectively a people in dire distress than
the S.W.H.,’ which she organised and sent out, and afterwards took
personal charge of in Serbia in 1915. Amidst the most trying conditions
she, or they, never faltered in courage or endurance. Under her wise
and gentle leadership difficulties seemed only to stir to further
endeavour, more extended work, and greater endurance of hardship.
Captain Ralph Glyn writes from France:--

 ‘I see you went to the funeral of that wonderful person, Dr. Elsie
 Inglis. I shall never forget arriving where that S.W. unit was in the
 midst of the typhus in Serbia, and finding her and all her people so
 “clean” and obviously ready for anything.’

The Serbian nation lost no time in commemorating her services to them.
At Mladenovatz they built a beautiful fountain close to the camp
hospital. On 7th October 1915 it was formally opened with a religious
service according to the rites of the Greek Church. Dr. Inglis turned
on the water, which was to flow through the coming years in grateful
memory of the good work done by the Scottish Women’s Hospitals.

 IN HONOUR OF DR. ELSIE INGLIS

 (Obiit Nov. 27, 1917.)

    At Mladenovatz still the fountain sings
      Raised by the Serbs to you their angel friend,
      Who fought the hunger-typhus to its end;
    A nobler fountain from your memory springs,
    A fountain-head where Faith renews its wings
      --Faith in the powers of womanhood to bend
      War’s curse to blessing, and to make amend
    By Love, for Hate’s unutterable things.

    Wherefore, when cannon-voices cease to roar,
      A louder voice shall echo in our ears
        --Voice of three peoples joined in one accord,
    Telling that, gentle to your brave heart’s core,
      You faced unwavering all that woman fears,
        And clear of vision followed Christ the Lord.

 [NOTE.--Two years ago the Serbians dedicated a simple fountain in
 ‘Mladenovatz’ to the grateful memory of one they spoke of as ‘the
 angel of their people.’ The Rumanian and Russian refugees in the
 Dobrudja will never forget her.]

      H. D. RAWNSLEY.

_The Englishwoman_, April and June 1916, has two articles written by
Dr. Inglis, under the title ‘The Tragedy of Serbia.’ The literary power
of her narrative makes one regret that she did not live to give a
consecutive account of all she passed through in the countries in which
she suffered with the peoples:--

 ‘When we reached Serbia in May 1915, she was lying in sunshine. Two
 storms had raged over her during the preceding months--the Austrian
 invasion and the terrific typhus epidemic. In our safe little island
 we can hardly realise what either meant. At the end of 1914, the
 Austrian Empire hurled its “punitive expedition” across the Danube--a
 punitive expedition that ended in the condign punishment of the
 invader. They left behind them a worse foe than themselves, and the
 typhus, which began in the hospitals they left so scandalously filthy
 and overcrowded, swept over the land.’

Dr. Inglis describes ‘the long peaceful summer,’ with its hopes of
an advance to their aid on the part of the Allies. The Serbs were
conscious the ‘Great Powers’ owed them much, for how often we heard the
words, ‘We are the only one, as yet, who has beaten our enemy.’

‘Not till September did any real sense of danger trouble them. Then the
clouds rolled up black and threatening on the horizon--Bulgaria arming,
and a hundred thousand Germans massing on the northern frontier. They
began to draw off the main part of their army from the Danube towards
the east, to meet their old enemies. The Powers refused to let them
attack, and they waited till the Bulgarian mobilisation was complete.
The Allies discounted the attack from the north; aeroplanes had been
out, and “there are no Germans there.” There are no signs whatever of
any military movements, so said the wiseacres. The only troops there
are untrained Austrian levies, which the Serbs ought to be able to deal
with themselves, if they are up to their form last year.

‘Then the storm broke. The 100,000 Germans appeared on the northern
frontier. The Bulgars invaded from the east, the Greeks did not come
in, and the Austrians poured in from the west. The Serbian army
shortened the enormous line they had to defend, but they could not
stand against the long-distance German guns, and so began the retreat.

‘“What is coming to Serbia?” said a Serb to me, “we cannot think.”
And then, hopefully, “But God is great and powerful, and our Allies
are great and powerful too.” Strong men could hardly speak of the
disaster without breaking down. They looked at one so eagerly. “When
are your men coming up? They must come soon.” “We must give our people
two months,” the experts among us answered, “to bring up the heavy
artillery. We thought the Serbs would be able to hold the West Morava
Valley.” “It is too hilly for the German artillery to be of any use,”
they said.’

Dr. Inglis goes on to relate how all the calculations were wrong, how
the Austrian force came down that very valley. The Serbs were caught
in a trap, and that 160,000 of their gallant little army escaped was
a wonderful feat. ‘That they are already keen to take the field again
is but one more proof of the extraordinary recuperative power of the
nation.’

Dr. Elsie gives an account of the typhus epidemic. The first unit
under Dr. Soltau, in 1914, was able at Kragujevatz to do excellent
work for the Serbian army after its victories, and it was only
evacuated owing to the retreat in October 1915. The unit had only
been a fortnight out when the committee got from it a telegram, ‘dire
necessity’ for more doctors and nurses. The word _dire_ was used,
hoping it would pass unnoticed by the censor, for the authorities did
not wish the state of Serbia from typhus to be generally known. We
shall never know what the death-rate was during the epidemic; but of
the 425 Serbian doctors, 125 died of the disease, and two-thirds of the
remainder had it.

The Scottish Committee hastened out supplies and staff.

 ‘For three months the epidemic raged, and all women may ever be proud
 of the way those women worked. It was like a long-drawn-out battle,
 and not one of them played the coward. Not one of them asked to come
 away. There were three deaths and nine cases of illness among the
 unit; and may we not truly claim that those three women who died gave
 their lives for the great cause for which our country stands to-day as
 much as any man in the trenches.’

Dr. Inglis speaks of the full share of work taken by other British
units--Lady Paget’s Hospital at Skopio, ‘magnificently organised’; The
Red Cross under Dr. Banks ‘took more than its share of the burden’; and
how Dr. Ryan of the American hospital asserted that Serbia would have
been wiped out but for the work of the Foreign Missions.

Miss Holme tells of some of her experiences with her leader:--

      ‘KRAGUJEVATZ.

 ‘One day, Dr. Elsie Inglis took me out shopping with her, and we
 wanted a great many things for our hospital in the way of drugs, etc.,
 and we also wanted more than anything else some medical scales for
 weighing drugs. While we were in the shop Dr. Inglis saw hanging up
 in it three pairs of these scales. So she asked the man, in her most
 persuasive manner, if he would sell her a pair of these scales for our
 hospital use. He explained at length that he used all the scales, and
 was sorry that he could not possibly sell them. So Dr. Inglis bought
 some more things--in fact, we stayed in the shop for about an hour
 buying things to the amount of £10, and between each of the different
 articles purchased, she would again revert to the scales and say,
 “You know it is for _your_ men that we want them,” until at last the
 man--exhausted by his refusals--took down the scales and presented
 them to her. When she asked “How much are they?” he made a bow, and
 said it would be a pleasure to give them to her.

 ‘When we were taken prisoners, and had been so for some time, and
 before we were liberated, the German Command came bringing a paper
 which they commanded Dr. Inglis to sign. The purport of the paper was
 a statement which declared that the British prisoners had been well
 treated in the hands of the Germans, and was already signed by two men
 who were heads of other British units. Dr. Inglis said, “Why should
 I sign this paper? I do not know if all the prisoners are being well
 treated by you, therefore I decline to sign it.” To which the German
 authorities replied, “You must sign it.” Dr. Inglis then said, “Well,
 make me,” and that was the end of that incident--she never did sign it.

 ‘So convinced were some of the people belonging to the Scottish
 Women’s unit that the British forces were coming to the aid of their
 Serbian ally, that long after they were taken prisoners they thought,
 each time they heard a gun from a different quarter, that their
 liberators were close at hand. So much so indeed, that three of the
 members of the unit begged that in the event of the unit being sent
 home they might be allowed to stay behind in Serbia with the Serbs,
 to help the Serbian Red Cross. Dr. Inglis _unofficially_ consented to
 this, and with the help of the Serbian Red Cross these three people in
 question adjourned to a village hard by which was about a mile from
 the hospital, three days before the unit had orders to move. No one
 except Dr. Inglis and three other people of the unit knew where these
 three members were living. However, the date of the departure was
 changed, and the unit was told they were to wait another twenty days.
 This made it impossible for these three people to appear again with
 the unit. They continued to live at the little house which sheltered
 them. Suddenly one afternoon one of the members of the unit went to
 ask at the German Command if there were any letters for the unit. At
 this interview, which took place about three o’clock in the afternoon,
 the person was informed that the whole unit was to leave that night
 at 7.30. Dr. Inglis sent the person who received this command to tell
 the three people in the cottage to get ready, and that they must go,
 she thought. But the messenger only said, “We have had orders that the
 unit is to go at 7.30 to-night,” but did not say that Dr. Inglis had
 sent an order for the three people to get ready, so they did nothing
 but simply went to bed at ten o’clock, thinking the unit had already
 started. It was a wintry night, snowing heavily, and not a night that
 one would have sent out a dog!

 ‘At about half-past ten a knock came to the window, and Dr. Inglis’
 voice was heard saying, “You have to come at once to the train. I
 am here with an armed guard!” (All the rest of the unit had been at
 the station for some hours, but the train was not allowed to start
 until every one was there.) So Dr. Inglis came herself for us. It was
 difficult to get her to enter the house, and naturally she seemed
 rather ruffled, having had to come more than a mile in the deep snow,
 as she was the only person who knew anything about us. One of the
 party said, “Are you really cross, or are you pretending because the
 armed guard understands English?” She gave her queer little smile, and
 said, “No, I am not pretending.” The whole party tramped through the
 snow to the station, and on the way she told them she was afraid that
 she had smashed somebody’s window, having knocked at another cottage
 before she found ours in the dark, thinking it was the one we lived
 in, for which she was very much chaffed by her companions, who knew
 well her views on the question of militant tactics!

 ‘The first stages of this journey were made in horse-boxes with no
 accommodation whatsoever. Occasionally the train drew up in the middle
 of the country, and anybody who wished to get out had simply to ask
 the sentry who guarded the door, to allow them to get out for a moment.

 ‘The next night was spent lying on the floor of the station at
 Belgrade, the eight sentries and all their charges all lying on the
 floor together; the only person who seemed to be awake was the officer
 who guarded the door himself all night. In the morning one was not
 allowed to go even to wash one’s hands without a sentry to come and
 stand at the door. The next two days were spent in an ordinary train
 rather too well heated with four a side in second-class compartments.
 At Vienna all the British units who were being sent away were formed
 into a group on the station at 6 A.M., where they awaited the arrival
 of the American Consul, guarded all the time by their sentries, who
 gave his parole that if the people were allowed to go out of the
 station they would return at eight o’clock, the time they had to leave
 that town. This was granted. Dr. Inglis with a party adjourned to a
 hotel where baths, etc., were provided. Other members were allowed to
 do what they liked.

 ‘The unit was detained for eight days at Bludenz, close to the
 frontier, for Switzerland. On their arrival at Zürich they were met
 by the British Consul-General, Vice-Consul, and many members of the
 British Colony, who gave Dr. Inglis and her unit a very warm-hearted
 welcome, bringing quantities of flowers, and doing all they could to
 show them kindness and pleasure at their safe arrival.

 ‘It is difficult for people who have never been prisoners to know what
 the first day’s freedom means. Everybody had a different expression,
 and seemed to have a different outlook on life. But already we could
 see our leader was engrossed with plans and busy with schemes for the
 future work of the unit.

 ‘The next day the Consul-General made a speech in which he told the
 unit all that had passed during the last four months, of which they
 knew nothing.’

_To her Sister._

      ‘BRINDISI, _en route_ for SERBIA,
      ‘_April 28, 1915_.

 ‘The boat ought to have left last night, but it did not even come in
 till this morning. However, we have only lost twenty-four hours.

 ‘It has been a most luxurious journey, except the bit from Naples
 here, and that was rather awful, with spitting men and shut windows,
 in first-class carriages, remember. When we got here we immediately
 ordered baths, but “the boiler was broken.” So, I said, “Well, then,
 we must go somewhere else”--with the result that we were promised
 baths in our rooms at once. That was a nice bath, and then I curled
 up on the sofa and went to sleep. Our windows look right on to the
 docks, and the blue Mediterranean beyond. It is so queer to see the
 red, white, and green flags, and to think they mean Italy, and not the
 N.U.W.S.S.!

 ‘I went out before dinner last night, and strolled through the quaint
 streets. The whole population was out, and most whole-hearted and
 openly interested in my uniform.

 ‘This is a most delightful window, with all the ships and the colours.
 There are three men-of-war in, and half a dozen of the quaintest
 little boats, which a soldier told me were “scouts.” I wished I had
 asked a sailor, for I had never heard of “scouts.” The soldier I asked
 is one of the bersaglieri with cock’s feathers, a huge mass of them,
 in his hat. They all say Italy is certainly coming into the war. One
 man on the train to Rome was coming from Cardiff to sell coal to the
 Italian Government. He told us weird stories about German tricks to
 get our coal through Spain and other countries.

 ‘It was a pleasure seeing Royaumont. It is a _huge_ success, and I do
 think Dr. Ivens deserves a lot of credit. The wards and the theatre,
 and the X-Ray department, and the rooms for mending and cleaning the
 men’s clothes were all perfect.’

_To Mrs. Simson._

      ‘S.W.H., KRAGUJEVATZ,
      _May 30/15_.

 ‘Well, this is a perfectly lovely place, and the Serbians are
 delightful. I am staying with a charming woman, Madame Milanovitz. She
 is a Vice-President of the Serbian Women’s League, formed to help the
 country in time of war. I think she wanted to help us because of all
 the hospital has done here. Any how, _I_ score--I have a beautiful
 room and everything. She gives me an early cup of coffee, and for the
 rest I live with the unit. Neither she nor I can speak six words of
 one another’s languages, but her husband can talk a little French.
 Now, she has asked the little Serbian lady who teaches the unit
 Serbian, to live with her to interpret. Anyhow, we are great friends!

 ‘We have had a busy time since we arrived. The unit is nursing 550
 beds, in three hospitals, having been sent out to nurse 300 beds.
 There is first the surgical hospital, called Reserve No. 3. It was a
 school, and is in two blocks with a long courtyard between. I think
 we have got it really quite well equipped, with a fine X-Ray room.
 The theatre, and the room opposite where the dressings are done, both
 very well arranged, and a great credit to Sister Bozket. The one thing
 that troubled me was the floor--old wood and holes in it, impossible
 to sterilise--but yesterday, Major Protitch, our Director, said he was
 going to get cement laid down in it and the theatre. Then it will be
 perfect. He said to Dr. Chesney, “This is the best surgical hospital
 in Serbia.” You must not believe that _quite_, for they are very good
 at saying pleasant things here!

 ‘There are two other hospitals, the typhus one, No. 6 Reserve, and
 one for relapsing fever and general diseases, No. 7 Reserve, both
 barracks. We have put most of our strength in No. 6, and it is in
 good working order, but No. 7 has had only one doctor, and two day
 Sisters and one night, for over 200 beds. Still it is wonderful what
 those three women have done. We have Austrian prisoners as orderlies
 everywhere, in the hospitals and in the houses. The conglomeration of
 languages is too funny for words--Serbian, German, French, English.
 Sometimes, you have to get an orderly to translate Serbian into
 German, and another to translate the German into French before you can
 get at what is wanted. Two words we have all learnt, _dotra_, which
 means “good,” and which these grateful people use at once if they
 feel a little better, or are pleased about anything, and the other is
 _boli_, pain--poor men!

 ‘So much for what we _have_ been doing; but the day before
 yesterday we got our orders for a new bit of work. They are forming a
 disinfecting centre at Mladanovatz, and Colonel Grustitch, who is the
 head of the Medical Service here, wants us to go up there at once,
 with our whole fever staff, under canvas. They are giving us the tents
 till ours come out. Typhus is decreasing so much, that No. 6 is to be
 turned into a surgical hospital, and there will be only one infectious
 diseases hospital here. I am so pleased at being asked to do this,
 for it is part of a big and well thought out scheme. The surgical
 hospital is to remain here. Alice Hutchison goes to Posheravatz also
 for infectious diseases. I hope she is at Salonika to-day. She left
 Malta last Sunday. We really began to think the Governor was going to
 keep her altogether! Her equipment has all come, and yesterday I sent
 Mrs. Haverfield and Mr. Smith up to Posheravatz to choose the site and
 pitch the tent.

 ‘They gave me an awfully exciting bit of news in Colonel G.’s office
 yesterday, and that was that five motor cars were in Serbia, north of
 Mladanovatz, for _me_. Of course, I had wired for six, but you have
 been prompt about them. How they got into the north of Serbia I cannot
 imagine, unless they were dropped out of aeroplanes.

 ‘Really, it is wonderful the work this unit has done in the most awful
 stress all through March and April. We ought to be awfully proud of
 them. The Serbian Government gave Dr. Soltau a decoration, and Patsy
 Hunter had two medals.

_To her Niece, Amy M‘Laren._

      ‘VALJEVO, _August 16, 1915_.

 ‘DARLING AMY,--I wonder if you could find this place on the map.
 I have spelt it properly, but if you want to say it you must say
 _Valuvo_. One of the hospitals mother has been collecting so much
 money for is here. Such a beautiful hospital it is. It is in tents,
 on a bit of sloping ground looking south. There are big tents for
 the patients, and little tents for the staff. I pull my bed out
 of the tent every night, and sleep outside under the stars. Such
 lovely starlight nights we have here. Dr. Alice Hutchison is head of
 this unit, and I am here on a visit to her. My own hospital is in
 a town--Kragujevatz. Now, I wonder if you can find that place? The
 hospital there is in a girls’ school. Now--I wonder what will happen
 to the lessons of all those little girls as long as the war lasts?
 Serbia has been at war for three years, four wars in three years, and
 the women of the country have kept the agriculture of the country
 going all that time. A Serbian officer told me the other day that
 the country is so grateful to them, that they are going to strike a
 special medal for the women to show their thanks, when this war is
 over. This is such a beautiful country, and such nice people. Some day
 when the war is over, we’ll come here, and have a holiday. How are you
 getting on, my precious? Is school as nice as ever? God bless you,
 dear little girlie.--Ever your loving Aunt

      ELSIE.’

As the fever died out, a worse enemy came in. Serbia was overrun by
the Austro-German forces, and she, with others of her units, was taken
prisoner, as they had decided it was their duty to remain at their work
among the sick and wounded.

Again the Serbian Minister is quoted:--

 ‘When the typhus calamity was overcome, the Scottish women reorganised
 themselves as tent hospitals and offered to go as near as possible
 to the army at the front. Their camp in the town of Valjevo--which
 suffered most of all from the Austrian invasion--might have stood
 in the middle of England. In Lazarevatz, shortly before the new
 Austro-German offensive, they formed a surgical hospital almost out
 of nothing, in the devastated shops and the village inns, and they
 accomplished the nursing of hundreds of wounded who poured in from
 the battle-field. When it became obvious that the Serbian army could
 not resist the combined Austrians, Germans, Magyars, and Bulgarians,
 who were about four times their numbers, the main care of the Serbian
 military authorities was what to do with the hospitals full of
 wounded, and whom to leave with the wounded soldiers, who refused to
 be left to fall into the hands of the cruel enemy. Then the Scottish
 women declared that they were not going to leave their patients, and
 that they would stay with them, whatever the conditions, and whatever
 might be expected from the enemy. They remained with the Serbian
 wounded as long as they could be of use to them.

_To Mrs. Simson._

      ‘KRUSHIEEVATZ, _Nov. 6, 1915_.

 ‘We are in the very centre of the storm, and it just feels exactly
 like having the rain pouring down, and the wind beating in gusts, and
 not being able to see for the water in one’s eyes, and just holding on
 and saying, “It cannot last, it is so bad.” These poor little people,
 you cannot imagine anything more miserable than they are. Remember,
 they have been fighting for years for their independence, and now it
 all seems to end. The whole country is overrun. Germans, Austrians,
 Bulgars, and all that is left is this western Morava Valley, and
 the country a little south of it. And their big Allies--from here
 it looks as if they are never going to move. I went into Craijuvo
 yesterday, in the car, to see about Dr. MacGregor’s unit. The road
 was crowded with refugees pouring away, all their goods piled on
 their rickety ox-wagons, little children on the top, and then bands
 of soldiers, stragglers from the army. These men were forming up
 again, as we passed back later on. The hospitals are packed with
 wounded. We decided we must stand by our hospitals; it was too awful
 leaving badly wounded men with no proper care. Sir Ralph eventually
 agreed, and we gave everybody in the units the choice of going or
 staying. We have about 115 people in the Scottish unit, and twenty
 have gone. Mr. Smith brings up the rear-guard to-day, with one or two
 laggards and a wounded English soldier we have had charge of. Two of
 our units are here. Dr. MacGregor has trekked for Novi Bazaar. It is
 the starting-place for Montenegro. We all managed wonderfully in our
 first “evacuations,” and saved practically everything, but now it is
 hopeless. The bridges are down, and the trucks standing anyhow on
 sidings, and, worst of all, the people have begun looting. I don’t
 wonder. There’ll be famine, as well as cold, in this corner of the
 world soon, and then the distant prospect of 150,000 British troops at
 Salonika won’t help much.

 ‘The beloved British troops,--the thought of them always cheers. But
 not the thought of the idiots at the top who had not enough gumption
 to _know_ this must happen. Anybody, even us women, could have told
 them that the Germans must try and break through to the help of the
 Turks.

 ‘We have got a nice building here for a hospital, and Dr. Holloway
 is helping in the military hospital. I believe there are about 1000
 wounded in the place. I can’t write a very interesting letter, Amy
 dear, because at the bottom of my heart I don’t believe it will ever
 reach you. I don’t see them managing the Montenegrin passes at this
 time of year! There is a persistent rumour that the French have
 retaken Skopiro, and if that is true perhaps the Salonika route will
 be open soon.

 ‘Some day, I’ll tell you all the exciting things that have been
 happening, and all the funny things too! For there have been funny
 things, in the middle of all the sadness. The guns are booming away,
 and the country looking so lovely in the sunlight. I wonder if Serbia
 is a particularly beautiful country, or whether it looks so lovely
 because of the tragedy of this war, just as bed seems particularly
 delightful when the night bell goes!’

      ‘SERBIAN MILITARY HOSPITAL,
      ‘KRUSHIEEVATZ, _Nov. 30, 1915_.

 ‘We have been here about a month. It was dreadfully sad work leaving
 our beautiful little hospital at Krushieevatz. Here, we are working in
 the Serbian military hospital, and living in it also. You can imagine
 that we have plenty to do, when you hear we have 900 wounded. The
 prisoners are brought in every day, sometimes thousands, and go on to
 the north, leaving the sick. The Director has put the sanitation and
 the laundry into our hands also.

 ‘We have had a hard frost for four days now, and snowstorms. My
 warm things did not arrive--I suppose they are safe at Salonika.
 Fortunately last year’s uniform was still in existence, and I wear
 three pairs of stockings, with my high boots. We have all cut our
 skirts short, for Serbian mud is awful. It is a lovely land, and the
 views round here are very cheering. One sunset I shall never forget--a
 glorious sky, and the hills deep blue against it. In the foreground
 the camp fires, and the prisoners round them in the fading light.’

With the invasion came the question of evacuation. At one time it was
possible the whole of the British unit might escape _via_ Montenegro.
Sir Ralph Paget, realising that the equipment could not be saved,
allowed any of the hospital unit who wished to remain with their
wounded. Two parties went with the retreating Serbs, and their story
and the extraordinary hardships they endured has been told elsewhere.

Those left at Krushieevatz were in Dr. Inglis’ opinion the fortunate
units. For three months they tended the Serbian wounded under foreign
occupation. The unit with Dr. Inglis kept to their work, and when
necessary confronted the Austro-German officers with all the audacity
of their leader and the Scottish thistle combined.

Their hospital accommodation was designed for 400 beds. When we went up
there were 900 patients. During the greatest part of the pressure the
number rose to 1200. Patients were placed in the corridors--at first
one man to one bed, but later two beds together, and three men in them.
Then there were no more bedsteads, and mattresses were placed on the
floor. We filled up the outhouses. The magazine in full blast was a
sight, once seen, never to be forgotten.

Upstairs the patients occupied the shelving. There were three tiers,
the slightly wounded men in the highest tier. The magazine was under
Dr. Holloway, and Dr. Inglis says the time to see the place at its
best or its worst was in the gloaming, when two or three feeble oil
lamps illuminated the gloom, and the tin bowls clattered and rattled as
the evening ration of beans was given out, and the men swarmed up and
down the poles of their shelves chattering as Serbs will chatter. The
Sisters called the place ‘the Zoo.’

The dread of the renewal of the typhus scourge, amid such conditions
of overcrowding, underfeeding, fatigue and depression, was great. Dr.
Inglis details the appalling tasks the unit undertook in sanitation.
There was no expert amongst them:--

 ‘When we arrived, the hospital compound was a truly terrible
 place--the sights and smells beyond description. We dug the rubbish
 into the ground, emptied the overflowing cesspool, built incinerators,
 and cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. That is an Englishman’s job all
 over the world. Our three untrained English girl orderlies took to it
 like ducks to water. It was not the pleasantest or easiest work in the
 world; but they did it, and did it magnificently.

 ‘Laundry and bathing arrangements were installed and kept going. We
 had not a single case of typhus; we had a greater achievement than
 its prevention. Late of an evening, when men among the prisoners were
 put into the wards, straight from the march, unwashed and crawling
 with lice, there was great indignation among the patients already in.
 “Doktoritza,” they said, “if you put these dirty men in among us we
 shall all get typhus.” Our hearts rejoiced. If we have done nothing
 else, we thought, we have driven that fact home to the Serbian mind
 that dirt and typhus go together.’

Dr. Inglis describes the misery of the Serbian prisoners:--

 ‘They had seen men go out to battle, conscious of the good work they
 had done for the Allies in driving back the Austrians in their first
 punitive expedition. We are the only ones who, so far, have beaten
 our enemy. They came back to us broken and dispirited. They were
 turned into the hospital grounds, with a scanty ration of beans, with
 a little meat and half a loaf of bread for twenty-four hours. Their
 camp fires flickered fitfully through the long bitter cold nights.
 Every scrap of wood was torn up, the foot bridges over the drains, and
 the trees hacked down for firewood. We added to the rations of our
 sanitary workers, we gave away all the bread we could, but we could
 not feed that enclosure of hungry men. We used to hear them coughing
 and moaning all night.’

Dr. Inglis details the starving condition of the whole country, the
weakness of the famine-stricken men who worked for them, the starved
yoke oxen, and all the manifold miseries of a country overrun by the
enemy.

 ‘There was,’ she says, ‘a curious exhilaration in working for those
 grateful patient men, and in helping the director, Major Nicolitch, so
 loyal to his country and so conscientious in his work, to bring order
 out of chaos, and yet the unhappiness in the Serbian houses, and the
 physical wretchedness of those cold hungry prisoners lay always like
 a dead weight on our spirit. Never shall we forget the beauty of the
 sunrises, or the glory of the sunsets, with clear, cold sunlit days
 between, and the wonderful starlit nights. But we shall never forget
 “the Zoo” either, or the groans outside the windows when we hid our
 heads under the blankets to shut out the sound. The unit got no news,
 and they made it a point of honour to believe nothing said in the
 German telegrams. We could not believe Serbia had been sacrificed for
 nothing. We were convinced it was some deep laid scheme for weakening
 other fronts, and so it was natural to believe rumours, such as that
 the English had taken Belgium, and the French were in Metz.

 ‘The end of the five months of service in captivity, and to captive
 Serbs ended. On the 11th February 1916, they were sent north under an
 Austrian guard with fixed bayonets, thus to Vienna, and so by slow
 stages they came to Zürich.

 ‘It was a great thing to be once more “home” and to realise how strong
 and straight and fearless a people inhabit these islands: to realise
 not so much that they mean to win the war, but rather that they
 consider any other issue impossible.’

So Dr. Inglis came back to plan new campaigns for the help of the
Serbian people, who lay night and day upon her heart. She knew she had
the backing of the Suffrage societies, and she intended to get the
ear of the English public for the cause of the Allies in the Balkans.
‘We,’ who had sent her out, found her changed in many ways. Physically
she had altered much, and if we could ever have thought of the body
in the presence of that dauntless spirit, we might have seen that the
Angel of Shadows was not far away. The privations and sufferings she
described so well when she had to speak of her beloved Serbs had been
fully shared by the unit. Their comfort was always her thought; she
never would have anything that could not be shared and shared alike,
but there was little but hardship to share, and one and all scorned to
speak of privations which were a light affliction compared to those
of a whole nation groaning and waiting to be redeemed from its great
tribulation.

There was a look in her face of one whose spirit had been pierced by
the sword. The brightness of her eyes was dimmed, for she had seen the
days when His judgments were abroad upon the earth:--

    ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are
        stored;
    He has loosed the fatal lightning of His terrible swift sword:
    I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
    They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
    I have read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps.’

She could never forget the tragedy of Serbia, and she came home, not
to rest, but vowed to yet greater endeavours for their welfare. The
attitude of the Allies she did not pretend to understand. She had
something of the spirit of Oliver Cromwell, when he threatened to
send his fleet across the Alps to help the Waldensians. In her public
speeches, when she set forth what in her outlook could have been done,
no censor cut out the sentences which were touched by the live coals
from off her altar of service. Dr. Elsie never recognised the word
‘impossible’ for herself, and for her work that was well. As to her
political and military outlook, the story of the nations will find it a
place in the history of the war.

For a few months she worked from the bases of her two loyal
Committees in London and Edinburgh. She spoke at many a public meeting,
and filled many a drawing-room. The Church of Scotland knew her
presence in London. ‘One of our most treasured memories will be that
keen, clever face of hers in St. Columba’s of a Sunday--with the far,
wistful melancholy in it, added to its firm determination.’ So writes
the minister. ‘We’ knew what lay behind the wistful brave eyes, a yet
more complete dedication to the service of her Serbian brethren.



CHAPTER X

RUSSIA

1917

    ‘Even so in our mortal journey,
      The bitter north winds blow,
    And thus upon life’s red river,
      Our hearts as oarsmen row.

    And when the Angel of Shadow
      Rests his feet on wave and shore,
    And our eyes grow dim with watching,
      And our hearts faint at the oar,

    Happy is he who heareth
      The signal of his release
    In the bells of the holy city
      The chimes of eternal peace.’


Dr. Inglis’ return to England was the signal for renewed efforts
on the part of the Committees managing the S.W.H. This memoir has
necessarily to follow the personality of the leader, but it must never
be forgotten that her strength and all her sinews of war lay in the
work of those who carried on at home, week by week. Strong committees
of women, ably organised and thoroughly staffed, took over the burden
of finance--a matter Dr. Inglis once amusingly said, ‘did not interest
her.’ They found and selected the _personnel_ on which success so much
depended, they contracted for and supervised the sending out of immense
consignments of equipment and motor transport. They dealt with the
Government department, and in loyal devotion smoothed every possible
obstacle out of the path of those flying squadrons, the units of the
S.W.H.

It was inevitable the quick brain and tenacious energy of Dr. Inglis,
far away from the base of her operations, should at times have found
it hard to understand why the wheels occasionally seemed to drag, and
the new effort she desired to make did not move at the pace which to
her eager spirit seemed possible. Two enterprises filled her mind on
her return in 1916. One, by the help of the London Committee, she put
through. This was the celebration of Kossovo Day in Great Britain.
The flag-day of the Serbian Patriot King was under her chairmanship
prepared for in six weeks. Hundreds of lectures on the history of
Serbia were arranged for and delivered throughout the country, and no
one failed to do her work, however remote they might think the prospect
of making the British people interested in a country and patriot so far
from the ken of their island isolation.

Kossovo Day was a success, and through the rush of the work Dr. Inglis
was planning the last and most arduous of all the undertakings of the
S.W.H., that of the unit which was to serve with the Serbian Volunteers
on the Rumanian Russian front. Dr. Inglis knew from private sources the
lack of hospital arrangements in Mesopotamia, and she, with the backing
of the Committees, had approached the authorities for leave to take a
fully equipped unit to Basra. When the story of the Scottish Women’s
Hospital is written, the correspondence between the War Office, the
Foreign Office, and S.W.H. will throw a tragic light on this lamentable
episode, and, read with the report of the Committees, it will prove how
quick and foreseeing of trouble was her outlook. As soon as Dr. Inglis
brought her units back from Serbia, she again urged the War Office to
send her out. Of her treatment by the War Office, Mrs. Fawcett writes:
‘She was not only refused, but refused with contumely and insult.’

True to her instinct never to pause over a set-back, she lost no time
in pressing on her last enterprise for the Serbians. M. Curcin, in _The
Englishwoman_, says:--

 ‘She was already acquainted with one side of the Serbian
 problem--Serbia; she was told that in Russia there was the best
 opportunity to learn about the second half--the Serbs of Austria, the
 Jugoslavs. In six weeks Dr. Inglis succeeded in raising a hospital
 unit and transport section staffed by eighty women heroes of the
 Scottish Women’s Hospitals to start with her on a most adventurous
 undertaking, _via_ Archangel, through Russia to Odessa and the
 Dobrudja. Dr. Inglis succeeded also--most difficult of all--in
 getting permission from the British authorities for the journey.
 Eye-witnesses--officers and soldiers--tell everybody to-day how those
 women descended, practically straight from the railway carriages,
 after forty days’ travelling, beside the stretchers with wounded,
 and helped to dress the wounds of those who had had to defend the
 centre and also a wing of the retreating army. For fifteen months she
 remained with those men, whose _rôle_ is not yet fully realised, but
 is certain to become one of the most wonderful and characteristic
 facts of the conflagration of nations.’

The Edinburgh Committee had already so many undertakings on behalf of
the S.W.H. that they gladly allowed the Committee formed by the London
Branch of the N.U.W.S.S. to undertake the whole work of organising this
last adventure for the Serbian Army. It was as their Commissioner that
Dr. Inglis and her unit sailed the wintry main, and to them she sent
the voluminous and brilliant reports of her work. When the Russian
revolution imperilled the safety of the Serbian Army on the Rumanian
front, she sent home members of her unit, charged with important
verbal messages to her Government. Through the last anxious month,
when communications were cut off, short messages, unmistakably her
own, came back to the London Committee, that they might order her to
return. She would come with the Serbian Army and not without them. We
at home had to rest on the assurances of the Foreign Office, always
alive to the care and encouragement of the S.W.H., that Dr. Inglis and
her unit were safe, and that their return would be expedited at the
safest hour. In those assurances we learnt to rest, and the British
Government did not fail that allied force--the Serbian Army and the
Scottish women serving them. The following letters were those written
to her family with notes from her graphic report to her Committees. The
clear style and beautiful handwriting never changed even in those last
days, when those who were with her knew that nothing but the spirit
kept the wasted body at its work. ‘The Serbian Division is superb; we
are proud to be attached to it.’ These were the last words in her last
letter from Odessa in June 1917. That pride of service runs through
all the correspondence. The spirit she inspired is noteworthy in a
book which covers the greater part of these fifteen months, _With the
Scottish Nurses in Rumania_, by Yvonne Fitzroy. In a daily diary a
searchlight is allowed to fall on some of the experiences borne with
such high-hearted nonchalance by the leader and her gallant disciples.

Mrs. Haverfield, who saw her work, writes:

 ‘It was perfectly incredible that one human being could do the work
 she accomplished. Her record piece of work perhaps was at Galatz,
 Rumania, at the end of the retreat. There were masses and masses of
 wounded, and she and her doctors and nurses performed operations and
 dressings for fifty-eight hours out of sixty-three. Dr. Scott, of the
 armoured cars, noted the time, and when he told her how long she had
 been working, she simply said, “Well, it was all due to Mrs. Milne,
 the cook, who kept us supplied with hot soup.” She had been very
 tired for a long time; undoubtedly the lack of food, the necessity of
 sleeping on the floor, and nursing her patients all the time told on
 her health. In Russia she was getting gradually more tired until she
 became ill. When she was the least bit better she was up again, and
 all the time she attended to the business of the unit.

 ‘Just before getting home she had a relapse, and the last two or
 three days on board ship, we know now, she was dying. She made all the
 arrangements for the unit which she brought with her, however, and
 interviewed every member of it. To Miss Onslow, her transport officer,
 she said, when she arrived at Newcastle, “I shall be up in London in a
 few days’ time, and we will talk the matter of a new unit over.” Miss
 Onslow turned away with tears in her eyes.’

      ‘H.M. TRANSPORT ----,
      ‘_Sep. 6, 1916_.

 ‘DEAREST AMY,--Here we are more than half way through our voyage. We
 got off eventually on Wednesday night, and lay all Thursday in the
 river. You never in your life saw such a filthy boat as this was when
 we came on board. The captain had been taken off an American liner the
 day before. The only officer who had been on this boat before was the
 engineer officer. All the rest were new. The crew were drunk to a man,
 and, as the Transport officer said, “The only way to get this ship
 right, is to get her _out_.” So we got out. I must say we got into
 shape very quickly. We cleaned up, and now we are painting. They won’t
 know her when she gets back. She is an Austrian Lloyd captured at the
 beginning of the war, and she has been trooping in the Mediterranean
 since. She was up at Glasgow for this new start, but she struck the
 Glasgow Fair, and could therefore get nothing done, so she was brought
 down to the port we started from--as she was. We are a wonderful
 people! The captain seems to be an awfully good man. He is Scotch,
 and was on the Anchor Line to Bombay. This is quite a tiny little
 boat. She has all our equipment, fourteen of our cars. For passengers,
 there are ourselves, seventy-five people, and three Serbian officers,
 and the mother and sister of one of them, and thirty-two Serbian
 non-commissioned officers. They are going to our Division.

 ‘The cabins are most comfortable. On the saloon deck there are
 twenty-two very small, single cabins. And on this deck larger cabins
 with either three or four berths. I am on this deck in the most
 luxurious quarters. It is called _The Commanding Officer’s Cabin_
 (ahem). There is a huge cabin with one berth; off it on one side
 another cabin with a writing-table and sofa, and off it on the other
 side a bathroom and dressing-room! Of course, if we had had rough
 weather, and the ports had had to be closed, it would not have been so
 nice, especially as the glass in all the portholes is blackened, but
 we have had perfectly glorious weather. At night every porthole and
 window is closed to shut in the light, but the whole ship is very well
 ventilated. A good many of them sleep up in the boats, or in one of
 the lorries.

 ‘We sighted one submarine, but it took no notice of us, so we took
 no notice of it. We had all our boats allotted to us the very first
 day. We divided the unit among them, putting one responsible person
 in charge of each, and had boat drill several times. Then one day the
 captain sounded the alarm for practice, and everybody was at their
 station in three minutes in greatcoat and life-belt. The amusing
 thing was that some of them thought it was a real alarm, and were
 most annoyed and disappointed to find there was not a submarine
 really there! The unit as a whole seems very nice and capable, though
 there are one or two queer characters! But most of them are healthy,
 wholesome bricks of girls. I hope we shall get on all right. Of course
 a field hospital is quite a new bit of work.

 ‘We reach our port of disembarkation this afternoon. The voyage
 has been a most pleasant one in every way. As soon as sea-sickness
 was over the unit developed a tremendous amount of energy, and we
 have had games on deck, and concerts, and sports, and a fancy dress
 competition! All this in addition to drill every morning, which was
 compulsory.

 ‘We began the day at 8.30--breakfast, the cabins were tidied.
 9.30--roll call and cabin inspection immediately after; then
 drill--ordinary drill, stretcher drill, and Swedish drill in sections.
 Lunch was at 12.30, and then there were lessons in Russian, Serbian,
 and French, to which they could go if they liked, and most of them
 took one, or even two, and lectures on motor construction, etc. Tea at
 4, and dinner 6.30. You would have thought there was not much time for
 anything else, but the superfluous energy of a British unit manages
 to put a good deal more in. (The head of a British unit in Serbia
 once said to me that the chief duty of the head of a British unit was
 to use up the superfluous energy of the unit in harmless ways. He
 said that the only time there was no superfluous energy was when the
 unit was overworking. That was the time I found that particular unit
 playing rounders!) The sports were most amusing. I was standing next
 to a Serb officer during the obstacle race, and he suddenly turned to
 me and said, “C’est tout-à-fait nouveau pour nous, Madame.” I thought
 it must be, for at that moment they were getting under a sail which
 had been tied down to the deck--two of them hurled themselves on the
 sail and dived under it, you saw four legs kicking wildly, and then
 the sail heaved and fell, and two dishevelled creatures emerged at the
 other side, and tore at two life-belts which they went through, and so
 on. I should think it was indeed _tout-à-fait nouveau_. Some of the
 dresses at the fancy dress competition were most clever. There was
 Napoleon--the last phase, in the captain’s long coat and somebody’s
 epaulettes, and one of our grey hats, side to the front, excellent;
 and Tweedledum and Tweedledee, in saucepans and life-belts. One of
 them got herself up as a “greaser,” and went down to the engine-room
 to get properly dirty, with such successful result that, when she was
 coming up to the saloon, with her little oiling can in her hand, one
 of the officers stopped her with, “Now, where are you going to, my
 lad?”

 ‘We ended up with all the allied National Anthems, the Serbs leading
 their own.

 ‘I do love to see them enjoying themselves, and to hear them
 chattering and laughing along the passages, for they’ll have plenty
 of hard work later. We had service on Sunday, which I took, as
 the captain could not come down. Could you get us some copies of
 the Archbishop of Canterbury’s war prayers? We have just had our
 photograph taken. The captain declares he was snap-shotted six times
 one morning. I don’t know if the Russian Government will let us take
 all these cameras with us. We are flying the Union Jack for the first
 time to-day since we came out. It is good to know you are all thinking
 of us.--Ever your loving sister,

      ELSIE MAUD INGLIS.’

      ‘ON THE TRAIN TO MOSCOW,
      ‘_Sep. 14, 1916_.

 ‘DEAREST AMY,--Here we are well on our way to Moscow, having got
 through Archangel in 2½ days--a feat, for we were told at home that it
 might be six weeks. They did not know that there is a party of our
 naval men there helping the Russians, and Archangel is magnificently
 organised now.

 ‘When one realises that the population was 5000 before the war,
 and is now 20,000, it is quite clear there was bound to be some
 disorganisation at first.

 ‘I never met a kinder set of people than are collected at Archangel
 just now. They simply did everything for us, and sent us off in a
 train with a berth for each person, and gave us a wonderful send off.
 The Russian Admiral gave us a letter which acts as a kind of magic
 ring whenever it is produced. The first time it was really quite
 startling. We were longing for Nyamdonia where we were to get dinner.
 We were told we should be there at four o’clock, then at five, and
 at six o’clock we pulled up at a place unknown, and rumours began
 to spread that our engine was off, and sure enough it was, and was
 shunting trucks. Miss Little, one of our Russian-speaking people,
 and I got out. We tried our united eloquence, she in fluent Russian,
 and I saying, _Shechaz_, which means “immediately” at intervals, and
 still they looked helpless and said, “Two hours and a half.” Then I
 produced my letter, and you never saw such a change. They said, “Five
 minutes,” and we were off in three. We tried it all along the line
 after that; my own belief is that we should still be at the unknown
 place, without that letter, shunting trucks. At one station, Miss
 Little heard the station-master saying, “There is a great row going
 on here, and there will be trouble to-morrow if this train isn’t got
 through.” Eventually, we reached Nyamdonia at 11.30, and found a
 delightful Russian officer, and an excellent dinner paid for by the
 Russian Government, waiting for us. We all thought the food very good,
 and I thought the sauce of hunger helped. The next day, profiting
 over our Nyamdonia experience, I said meals were to be had at regular
 times from our stores in the train, and we should take the restaurants
 as we found them, with the result that we arrived at Vorega, where
 _déjeuner_ had been ordered just as we finished a solid lunch of ham
 and eggs. I said they had better go out and have two more courses,
 which they did with great content, and found it quite as nice as the
 night before.

 ‘This is a special train for us and the Serbian officers and
 non-coms. We broke a coupling after we left Nyamdonia, and they sent
 out another carriage from there, but it had not top berths, so they
 had another sleeper ready when we reached Vologda. They gave us
 another and stronger engine at Nyamdonia, because we asked for it, and
 have repaired cisterns, and given us chickens and eggs; and when we
 thank them, they say, “It is for our friends.” The crowd stand round
 three deep while we eat, and watch us all the time, quite silently in
 the stations. In Archangel one old man asked, “Who, on God’s earth,
 are you?”

 ‘They gave us such a send-off from Archangel! Russian soldiers were
 drawn up between the ship and the train, and cheered us the whole way,
 with a regular British cheer; our own crew turned out with a drum
 and a fife and various other instruments, and marched about singing.
 Then they made speeches, and cheered everybody, and then suddenly the
 Russian soldiers seized the Serbian officers and tossed them up and
 down, up and down, till they were stopped by a whistle. But they had
 got into the mood by then, and they rushed at me. You can imagine, I
 fled, and seized hold of the British Consul. I did think the British
 Empire would stand by me, but he would do nothing but laugh. And I
 found myself up in the air above the crowd, up and down, quite safe,
 hands under one and round one. They were so happy that I waved my hand
 to them, and they shouted and cheered. The unit is only annoyed that
 they had not their cameras, and that anyhow it was dark. Then they
 tossed Captain Bevan, who is in command there, because he was English,
 and the Consul for the same reason, and the captain of the transport
 because he had brought us out. We sang all the national anthems, and
 then they danced for us. It was a weird sight in the moonlight. Some
 of the dances were like Indian ones, and some reminded me of our
 Highland flings. We went on till one in the morning--all the British
 colony, there. I confess, I was tired--though I did enjoy it. Captain
 Bevan’s good-bye was the nicest and so unexpected--simply “God bless
 you.” Mrs. Young, the Consul’s wife, Mrs. Kerr, both Russians, simply
 gave up their whole time to us, took the girls about, and Mrs. Kerr
 had _the whole unit_ to tea. I had lunch one day at the British Mess,
 and another day at the Russian Admiral’s. They all came out to dinner
 with us.

 ‘Of course a new face means a lot in an out-of-the-way place, and
 seventy-five new faces was a God-send. Well, as I said before, they
 are the kindest set of people I ever came across. They brought us our
 bread, and changed our money, and arranged with the bank, and got us
 this train with berths, and thought of every single thing for us.

      ‘NEARING ODESSA,
      ‘_Sep. 21, 1916_.

 ‘DARLING EVE,--We are nearing the second stage of our journey, and
 _they say_ we shall be in Odessa to-night. We have all come to the
 conclusion that a Russian minute is about ten times as long as ours.
 If we get in to-night we shall have taken nine days from Archangel;
 with all the lines blocked with military trains, that is not bad.
 All the same we have had some struggles, but it has been a very
 comfortable journey and very pleasant. The Russian officials all along
 the line have been most helpful and kind. A Serbian officer on board,
 or rather a Montenegrin, looked after us like a father.

 ‘What we should have done without M. and Mme. Malinina at Moscow, I
 don’t know. They gave the whole afternoon up to us: took us to the
 Kremlin--he, the whole unit on special tramcars, and she, three of
 us in her motor. They are both very busy people. She has a beautiful
 hospital, a clearing one at the station, and he is a member of the
 Duma, and Commandant of all the Red Cross work in Moscow. We only had
 a glimpse of the Kremlin, yet enough to make one want to see more. I
 carried away one beautiful picture to remember--the view of Moscow in
 the sunset light, simply gorgeous.

 ‘The unit are very very well, and exceedingly cheerful. I am not
 sorry to have had these three weeks since we left to get the unit in
 hand. They are in splendid order now. When M. Malinina said it was
 time to leave the Kremlin, and the order was given to “Fall in,” I was
 quite proud of them, they did it so quickly. It is wonderful even now
 what they manage to do. Miss H. says they are like eels in a basket.
 They were told not to eat fruit without peeling it, so one of them
 peeled an apple with her teeth. They were told not to drink unboiled
 water, so they handed their water-bottles out at dead of night to
 Russian soldiers, to whom they could not explain, to fill for them,
 as of course they understood they were not to fill them from water on
 the train. I must say they are an awfully nice lot on the whole. We
 certainly shall not fail for want of energy. The Russian crowds are
 tremendously interested in them.--Ever your loving aunt,

      ‘ELSIE.’

      ‘RENI, _Sep. 29, 1916_.

 ‘DEAREST AMY,--We have left Odessa and are really off to our
 Division. We are going to the 1st Division. General Haditch is in
 command there. We were told this is the important point in the war
 just now--“A Second Verdun.” The great General Mackensen is in command
 against us. He was in command at Krushinjevatz when we were taken
 prisoners. Every one says how anxiously they are looking out for us,
 and, indeed, we shall have our work cut out for us. We are two little
 field hospitals for a whole Division. Think if that was the provision
 for our own men. They are such a magnificent body of men. We saw the
 2nd Division preparing in Odessa. Only from the point of view of the
 war, they ought to be looked after, but when one remembers that they
 are men, every one of them with somebody who cares for them, it is
 dreadful. I wish we were each six women instead of one. I have wired
 home for another Base Hospital to take the place of the British Red
 Cross units when they move on with the 2nd Division. The Russians are
 splendid in taking the Serbs into their Base Hospitals, but you can
 imagine what the pressure is from their own huge armies. We had such
 a reception at Odessa. All the Russian officials, at the station, and
 our Consul, and a line drawn up of twenty Serbian officers. They had
 a motor car and forty droskies and a squad of Serbian soldiers to
 carry up our personal luggage, and most delightful quarters for us on
 the outskirts of the town in a sanatorium. We were the guests of the
 city while we were there. Our Consul was so good and helpful. Odessa
 is immensely interested in us. We were told that the form of greeting
 while we were there was, “Have you seen _them_?” The two best things
 were the evening at the Serbian Mess, and the gala performance at the
 opera. The cheering of the Serbian mess when we went in was something
 to remember, but I can tell you I felt quite choking when the whole
 house last night turned round and cheered us after we tried to sing
 our National Anthem to them with the orchestra.

      ‘RENI, _Oct. 28, 1916_.

 ‘DEAREST AMY,--Just a line to say I am all right. Four weeks to-morrow
 since we reached Medgidia, and began our hospital. We evacuated it in
 three weeks, and here we are all back on the frontier. Such a time it
 has been, Amy dear. You cannot imagine what war is just behind the
 lines, and in a retreat!--our second retreat, and almost to the same
 day. We evacuated Kragujevatz on the 25th of October last year. We
 evacuated Medgidia on the 22nd this year. On the 25th this year, we
 were working in a Russian dressing-station at Harshova, and were moved
 on in the evening. We arrived at Braila to find 11,000 wounded, and
 seven doctors--only one of them a surgeon.

 ‘Boat came. Must stop. Am going back to Braila to do surgery. Have
 sent every trained person there.--Your loving sister,

      ELSIE.

 ‘_P.S._--We have had lots of exciting things too, and amusing things,
 and _good_ things.’

      ‘ON THE DANUBE AT TULCEA,
      ‘_Nov. 11/16_.

 ‘DEAREST AMY,--I am writing this on the boat between Tulcea and
 Ismail, where I am going to see our second hospital and the transport.
 Admiral Vesolskin has given me a special boat, and we motored over
 from Braila. The Étappen command had been expecting us all afternoon,
 and the boat was ready. They were very amused to find that “the
 doctor” they had been expecting was a _woman_!

 ‘Our main hospital was at Medgidia, and our field hospital at
 Bulbulmic, only about seven miles from the front. They gave us a
 very nice building, a barrack, at Medgidia for the hospital, and the
 _personnel_ were in tents on the opposite hill. We arrived on the
 day of the offensive, and were ready for patients within forty-eight
 hours. We were there less than three weeks, and during that time we
 unpacked the equipment and repacked it. We made really a rather nice
 hospital at Medgidia, and the field hospital. We pitched and struck
 the camp--we were nursing and operating the whole time, and evacuating
 rapidly too, and our cars were on the road practically always.

 ‘The first notice we got of the retreat was our field hospital being
 brought back five versts. Then the transport. Then we were told to
 send the equipment to Galatz, but to keep essential things and the
 _personnel_. Then came orders to go ourselves. I never saw such a
 retreat. Serbia was nothing to it. The whole country was covered with
 groups of soldiers who had lost their regiments. Russians, Serbs, and
 Rumanians. The Rumanian guns were simply being rushed back, through
 the crowds of refugees. The whole country was moving: in some places
 the panic was awful. One part of our scattered unit came in for it.
 You would have thought the Bulgars were at the heels of the people.
 One man threw away a baby right in front of the cars. They were
 throwing everything off the carts to lighten them, and our people,
 being of a calmer disposition, picked up what they wanted in the way
 of vegetables, etc. Men, with their rifles and bayonets, climbed on
 to the Red Cross cars to save a few minutes. We simply went head
 over heels out of the country. I want to collect all the different
 stories of our groups. My special lot slept the first night on straw
 in Caromacat; the next night on the roadside round a lovely fire; the
 next (much reduced in numbers, for I had cleared the majority off in
 barges for Galatz), we slept in an empty room at Hershova, and spent
 the next day dressing at the wharf. And by the next night we were in
 Braila, involved in the avalanche of wounded that descended on that
 place, and there we have been ever since.

 ‘We found some of our transport, and, while we were having tea, an
 officer came in and asked us to go round and help in a hospital.
 There, we were told, there were 11,000 wounded (I believe the official
 figures are 7000). They had been working thirty-six hours without
 stopping when we arrived.

 ‘The wounded had overflowed into empty houses, and were lying about in
 their uniforms, and their wounds not dressed for four or five days.
 You can imagine the conditions.

 ‘So we just turned up our sleeves and went in. I got back all the
 trained Sisters from Galatz, and now the pressure is over. One thing
 I am going up to Ismail for, is to get into touch with the Serbian H.
 2, and find out what they want us to do next. The Serb wounded were
 evacuated straight to Odessa.

 ‘The unit as a whole has behaved splendidly, plucky and cheery through
 everything, and game for any amount of work.

 ‘And we are prouder of our Serbs than ever. I do hope the papers at
 home have realised what the 1st Division did, and how they suffered in
 the fight in the middle of September. General Genlikoffsky said to me,
 “_C’était magnifique, magnifique! Ils sont les héros_”;--and another
 Russian: “We did not quite believe in these Austrian Serbs, but no one
 will ever doubt them again.”

 ‘Personally, I have been awfully well, and prouder than ever of
 British women. I wish you could have seen trained Sisters scrubbing
 floors at Medgidia, and those strapping transport girls lifting the
 stretchers out of the ambulances so steadily and gently. I have told
 in the Report how Miss Borrowman and Miss Brown brought the equipments
 through to Galatz. We lost only one Ludgate boiler and one box of
 radiators. We lost two cars, but that was really the fault of a rather
 stupid Serbian officer. It is a comfort to feel you are all thinking
 of us.--Your loving sister,

      ‘E. I.’

      ‘IN AN AMBULANCE TRAIN BETWEEN
      ‘RENI AND ODESSA, _Jan. 24, 1917_.

 ‘DARLING EVE,--Now we have got a hospital at Reni again, for badly
 wounded, working in connection with the evacuation station. We have
 got the dearest little house to live in ourselves, but, as we are
 getting far more people out from Odessa, we shall have to overflow
 into the Expedition houses. Reni itself is quite a small village. I
 remember thinking Reni a most uninteresting place--crowds of shipping
 and the wharf all crammed with sacks. It was just a big junction like
 Crewe!

 ‘The hospital at Reni is a real building, but it is not finished. One
 unfinished bit is the windows, which have one layer of glass each,
 though they have double sashes. When this was pointed out, I thought
 it was a mere continental foible. When the cold came I realised
 that there is some sense in this foible after all! We _cannot_ get
 the wards warm, notwithstanding extra stoves and roaring fires. The
 poor Russians do mind cold so much. But they don’t want to leave the
 hospital. One man whom I told he must have an operation later on in
 another hospital, said he would rather wait for it in ours. The first
 time we had to evacuate, we simply could not get the men to go. Nice,
 isn’t it?

 ‘We have got a Russian Secretary now, because we are using Russian
 Red Cross money, and he told us he had been told in Petrograd that
 the S.W.H. were beautifully organised, and the only drawback was
 the language. Quite true. I wish we were polyglots. We have got a
 certain number of Austrian prisoners as orderlies, and most of them
 curiously can speak Russian, so we get on better. Did you know I could
 speak German? I did not until I had to! This is a most comfortable
 way of travelling, and the quickest. We have 500 wounded on board,
 twenty-three of them ours. I am going to Odessa to find out why we
 cannot get Serb patients. There are still thousands of them in Odessa,
 and yet Dr. Chesney gets nothing but Russians. The Serbs we meet seem
 to think it is somehow our fault! I tell them I have written and
 telegraphed, and planned and made two journeys to Ismail, to try and
 get a real Serbian Hospital going, and yet it doesn’t go.

 ‘What did happen over the change of Government? I do hope we have got
 the right lot now, to put things straight at home, and carry through
 things abroad. Remember it all depends on you people at home. _The
 whole thing depends on us._ I know we lose the perspective in this
 gloomy corner, but there is one thing quite clear, and that is that
 they are all trusting to our _sticking_ powers. They know we’ll hold
 on--of course--I only wish we would realise that it would be as well
 to use our intellects too, and have them clear of alcohol.’

      ‘IN AN AMBULANCE TRAIN,
      ‘NEAR ODESSA, _Jan. 25, 1917_.

 ‘You don’t know what a comfort it is on this tumultuous front, to
 know that all you people at home have just settled down to it, and
 that you’ll put things right in the long run. It is curious to feel
 how everybody is trusting to that. The day we left Braila, a Rumanian
 said to me in the hall, “It is England we are trusting to. She has
 got hold now like a strong dog!” But it is a bigger job than any of
 you imagine, _I_ think. But there is not the slightest doubt we shall
 pull it off. I am glad to think the country has discovered that it is
 possible to have an alternative Government. If it does not do, we must
 find yet another.

_To her little Niece, Amy M‘Laren_

      ‘ON AN AMBULANCE TRAIN,
      ‘NEAR ODESSA, _Jan. 25, 1917_.

 ‘DARLING AMY,--How are you all? We have been very busy since we came
 out here: first a hospital for the Serbs at Medgidia, then in a
 Rumanian hospital at Braila, and then for the Russians at Galatz and
 Reni. In the very middle, by some funny mistake, we were sent flying
 right on to the front line. However we nipped out again just in time,
 and the station was burnt to the ground just half an hour after we
 left. I’ll tell you the name of the place when the war is over, and
 show it to you on the map. We saw the petrol tanks on fire as we came
 away, and the ricks of grain too.

 ‘Our hospital at Galatz was in a school. I don’t think the children
 in these parts are doing many lessons during the war, and that will
 be a great handicap for their countries afterwards. Perhaps, however,
 they are learning other lessons. When we left the Dobrudja we saw the
 crowds of refugees on their carts, with the things they had been able
 to save, and all the little children packed in among the furniture and
 pots and pans and pigs.

 ‘In one cart I saw two fascinating babies about three years old,
 sitting in a kind of little nest made of pillows and rugs. They were
 little girls, one fair and one dark, and they sat there, as good as
 gold, watching everything with such interest. There were streams of
 carts along the roads, and all the villages deserted. That is what
 the war means out here. It is not quite so bad in our safe Scotland,
 is it?--thanks to the fleet. And that is why it seems to me we have
 got to help these people, because they are having the worst of it.
 I wonder if you can knit socks yet, for I can use any number, and
 bandages. Do you know how to roll bandages? Blessings on you, precious
 little girl.--Your loving aunt,

      ELSIE.’

 ‘I have had my meals with the Staff. Unfortunately, most of them
 speak only Russian, but one man speaks French, and another German.
 One of the Sisters speaks English. The man who speaks German is
 having English lessons from her. His despair over the pronunciation
 is comic. He picked up _Punch_ and showed _me_ YOU. So, I said “you.”
 He repeated it quite nicely, and then found another OU. “Though,”
 and when I said “though,” he flung up his hands, and said, “Why a
 practical nation like the English should do things like this!”’

      ‘S.W.H.,
      RENI, _March 5, 1917_.

 ‘DARLING MARY,--We have been having such icy weather here, such
 snowstorms sweeping across the plain. You should see the snowdrifts.
 One day I really thought the house would be cut off from the hospital.
 The unit going over to Roll was quite a sight, with the indiarubber
 boots, and peaked Russian caps, with the ends twisted round their
 throats. We should have thoroughly enjoyed it if it had not been for
 the shortage of fuel. However, we were never absolutely without wood,
 and now have plenty, as a Cossack regiment sent a squad of men across
 the Danube to cut for us, and we brought it back in our carts. The
 Danube is frozen right across--such a curious sight. The first time in
 seven years, they say--so nice of it to do it just when we are here! I
 would not have missed it for anything. The hospital has only had about
 forty patients for some time, as there has been no fighting, and it
 was just as well when we were so short of wood. We collected them all
 into one ward, and let the other fires out.

 ‘The chief of the medical department held an inspection. That was an
 inspection! The old gentleman poked into every corner. Took off the
 men’s shirts and looked for lice, turned up the sheets, and beat the
 mattresses to look for dust, tasted the men’s food, and in the end
 stated we were _ochin chesté_ (very clean), and that the patients
 were well cared for medically and well nursed. All of which was
 very satisfactory, but he added that the condition of the orderlies
 was disgraceful, and so it was. I hadn’t realised they were my job.
 However, I told him next time he came he should not find one single
 louse. He was very amused and pleased.

 ‘Dr. Laird and I have a nice snug little room together. That is one
 blessing here, we have plenty of sun. Very soon it will begin to get
 quite hot. I woke up on the 1st of March and thought of getting home
 last year that day, and two days after waking up in Eve’s dear little
 room, with the roses on the roof. Bless all you dear people.--Ever
 your loving aunt,

      ‘ELSIE.’

      ‘_March 23, 1917._

 ‘We have been awfully excited and interested in the news from
 Petrograd. We heard of it, probably long after you people at home
 knew all about it! It is most interesting to see how everybody is on
 the side of the change, from Russian officers, who come to tea and
 beam at us, and say, “Heresho” (good) to the men in the wards. In any
 case they say we shall find the difference all over the war area. One
 Russian officer, who was here before the news came, was talking about
 the Revolution in England two hundred years ago, and said it was the
 most interesting period of European history. “They say all these ideas
 began with the French Revolution, but they didn’t--they began long
 before in England,” he thought. He spoke English beautifully, and had
 had an English nurse. He had read Milton’s political pamphlets, and
 we wondered all the time whether he was thinking of changes in Russia
 after the war, but now I wonder if he knew the changes were coming
 sooner.

 ‘Do you know we have all been given the St. George Medal? Prince
 Dolgourokoff, who is in command on this front, arrived quite
 unexpectedly, just after roll call. The telegram saying he was coming
 arrived a quarter of an hour after he left! General Kropensky, the
 head of the Red Cross, rushed up, and the Prince arrived about two
 minutes after him. He went all over the hospital, and a member of
 his gilded staff told matron he was very pleased with everything.
 He decorated two men in the wards with St. George’s Medal, and then
 said he wanted to see us together, and shook hands with everybody and
 said, “Thank you,” and gave each of us a medal too; Dr. Laird’s was
 for service, as she had not been under fire. St. George’s Medal is a
 silver one with “For Bravery” on its back. Our patients were awfully
 pleased, and inpressed on us that it carried with it a pension of a
 rouble a month for life. We gave them all cigarettes to commemorate
 the occasion.

 ‘It was rather satisfactory to see how the hospital looked in its
 ordinary, and even I was _fairly_ satisfied. I tell the unit that
 they must remember that they have an old maid as commandant, and must
 live up to it! I cannot stand dirt, and crooked charts and crumpled
 sheets. One Sister, I hear, put it delightfully in a letter home: “Our
 C.M.O. is an idealist!” I thought that was rather sweet; I believe she
 added, “but she does appreciate good work.” Certainly, I appreciate
 hers. She is in charge of the room for dressings, and it is one of the
 thoroughly satisfactory points in the hospital.

 ‘The Greek priest came yesterday to bless the hospital. We put up
 “Icons” in each of the four wards. The Russians are a very religious
 people, and it seems to appeal to some mystic sense in them. The
 priest just put on a stole, green and gold, and came in his long grey
 cloak. The two wards open out of one another, so he held the service
 in one, the men all saying the responses and crossing themselves. The
 four icons lay on the table before him, with three lighted candles at
 the inner comers, and he blessed water and sprinkled them, and then he
 sprinkled everybody in the room. The icons were fixed up in the corner
 of the wards, and I bought little lamps to burn in front of them, as
 they always have them. We are going to have the evening hymn sung
 every evening at six o’clock. I heard that first in Serbia from those
 poor Russian prisoners, who sang it regularly every evening.

 ‘The mud has been literally awful. The night nurses come up from the
 village literally wet through, having dragged one another out of mud
 holes all the way. Now, a cart goes down to fetch them each evening.
 We have twenty horses and nine carts belonging to us. I have made Vera
 Holme master of the horse.

 ‘I have heard two delightful stories from the Sisters who have
 returned from Odessa. There is a great rivalry between the Armoured
 Car men and the British Red Cross men, about the capabilities of
 their Sisters. (We, it appears, are the Armoured Car Sisters!) A
 B.R.C. man said their Sisters were so smart they got a man on to the
 operating-table five minutes after the other one went off. Said an
 Armoured Car man: “But that’s nothing. The Scottish Sisters get the
 second one on before the first one is off.” The other story runs that
 there was some idea of the men waiting all night on a quay, and the
 men said, “But you don’t think we are Scottish Sisters, sir, do you?”
 I have no doubt that refers to Galatz, where we made them work all
 night.’

      ‘RENI, _Easter Day, 1917_.

 ‘We, all the patients, sick and wounded, belonging to the Army and
 Navy, and coming from different parts of the great, free Russia, who
 are at present in your hospital, are filled with feelings of the
 truest respect for you. We think it our duty as citizens on this
 beautiful day of Holy Easter to express to you, highly respected and
 much beloved Doctor, as well as to your whole Unit, our best thanks
 for all the care and attention you have bestowed upon us. We bow low
 and very respectfully before the constant and useful work which we
 have seen daily, and which we know to be for the well-being of our
 allied countries.

 ‘We are quite sure that, thanks to the complete unity of action of
 all the allied countries, the hour of gladness and the triumph of the
 Allied arms in the cause of humanity and the honour of nations is near.

 ‘_Vive l’Angleterre!_

      ‘Russian Soldiers, Citizens, and the Russian Sister,
      ’VERA V. DE KOLESNIKOFF.’

      ‘RENI, _March 2, 1917_.

 ‘DARLING EVE,--Very many thanks for the war prayers. They are a
 great help on Sundays. The Archbishop’s prayers that I wanted are the
 original ones at the beginning of the war. Just at present we are
 very lucky as regards the singing, as there are three or four capital
 voices in the unit. We have the service at 1.30 on Sunday. That lets
 all the morning work be finished. I do wonder what has become of Miss
 Henderson and the new orderlies! And the equipment! We want them all
 so badly, not to speak of my cool uniform. That will be needed very
 soon I think. It is so delicious to feel warm again. We are having
 glorious weather, so sunny and warm. All the snow has gone, and the
 mud is appalling. I thought I knew the worst mud could do in Serbia,
 but it was nothing to this. We have made little tiled paths all about
 our domain, and keep comparatively clean there. I wish we could take
 over the lot of buildings. The other day I thought I had made a great
 score, and bought two thousand poud of wood at a very small price. It
 was thirty-five versts out. We got the Cossacks to lend us transport.
 But the transport stuck in the mud, and came back the next day, having
 had to haul the empty carts out of mud holes by harnessing four horses
 first to one cart and then to another. It was no wonder I got the wood
 so cheap. One of our great difficulties has been fuel.

      ‘_April 18, 1918._

 ‘I am writing this sitting out in my little tent, with a glorious
 view over the Danube. We have pitched some of the tents to relieve
 the crowding in the house. They are no longer beautiful and white, as
 they were at Medgidia. We have had to stain them a dirty grey colour,
 so as to hide them from aeroplanes. Yesterday, we had an awful gale,
 and a downpour of rain, and the tents stood splendidly, and not a
 drop of water came through. Miss Pleister and the Austrian orderly
 who helped her to pitch them are triumphant. Do get our spy-incident,
 from the office. My dear, they thought we were spies. We had an awful
 two days, but it is quite a joke to look back on. The unit were most
 thoroughly and Britishly angry. Quite rightly. But I very soon saw
 the other side, and managed to get them in hand once more. General
 Kropensky, our chief, was a perfect brick. The armoured car section
 sent a special despatch rider over to Galatz to fetch him, and he came
 off at once. He talks perfect English, and he has since written me a
 charming letter saying our _sang-froid_ and our _savoir-faire_ saved
 the situation. I am afraid there was not much _sang-froid_ among us,
 but some of us managed to keep hold of our common sense. As I told
 the girls, in common fairness they must look at the other side--spy
 fever raging, a foreign hospital right on the front, and a Revolution
 in progress. I told them, even if they did not care about Russia, I
 supposed they cared about the war and England, and I wondered what
 effect it would have on all these Russian soldiers if we went away
 with the thing not cleared up, and still under suspicion. After all,
 the ordinary Russian soldier knows nothing about England, except in
 the very concrete form of _us_. We should have played right into the
 devil’s hands if we had gone away. Of course, they saw it at once,
 and we stuck to our guns for England’s sake. The 6th Army, I think,
 understands that England, as represented by this small unit, is keen
 on the war, and does not spy! We have had a telegram from the General
 in command, apologising, and our patients have been perfectly angelic.
 And the men from all regiments round come up to the out-patients’
 department, and are most grateful and punctiliously polite. So all is
 well that ends well.

 ‘We had a very interesting Easter. You know the Russian greeting
 on Easter morning, “Christ is risen,” and the answer, “He is risen
 indeed.” We learnt them both, and made our greetings in Russian
 fashion. On Easter Eve we went to the church in the village. The
 service is at midnight. The church was crowded with soldiers--very
 few women there. They were most reverent and absorbed outside in the
 courtyards. It was a very curious scene; little groups of people with
 lighted candles waiting to get in. Here, we had a very nice Easter
 service. My “choir” had three lovely Easter hymns, and we even sang
 the Magnificat. One of the armoured car men, on his way from Galatz
 to Belgrade, stayed for the service, and it was nice to have a man’s
 voice in the singing. We gave our patients Easter eggs and cigarettes.
 Except that we are very idle, we are very happy here. Our patients are
 delightful, the hospital in good order. The Steppe is a fascinating
 place to wander over, the little valleys, and the villages hidden
 away in them, and the flowers! We have been riding our transport
 horses--rather rough, but quite nice and gentle. We all ride astride
 of course.

‘_On Active Service._

      ‘To Mrs. FLINDERS PETRIE,
      Hon. Sec., Scottish Women’s Hospitals.

      ‘RENI, _May 8, 1917_.

 ‘DEAR MRS. PETRIE,--How perfectly splendid about the Egyptologists.
 Miss Henderson brought me your message, saying how splendidly they are
 subscribing. That is of course all due to you, you wonderful woman.
 It was such a tantalising thing to hear that you had actually thought
 of coming out as an Administrator, and that you found you could not.
 I cannot tell you how splendid it would have been if you could have
 come.... I want “a woman of the world” ... and I want an adaptable
 person, who will talk to the innumerable officers who swarm about this
 place, and ride with the girls, and manage the officials!

 ‘I do wish you could see our hospital now. It really is quite nice.
 Such a nice story:--Matron was in Reni the other day, seeing the
 Commandant of the town about some things for the hospital, and when
 she came out she found a crowd of Russian soldiers standing round her
 house. They asked her if she had got what she wanted, and she said the
 Commandant was going to see about it. Whereupon the men said, “The
 Commandant must be told that the Scottish Hospital (_Schottlandsche
 bolnitza_) is the best hospital on this front, and must have whatever
 it wants. That is the opinion of the Russian Soldier.” Do you
 recognise the echo of the big reverberation that has shaken Russia.
 We get on awfully well with the Russian soldier. Two of our patients
 were overheard talking the other day, and they said, “The Russian
 Sisters are pretty but not good, and the English Sisters are good
 and not pretty.” The story was brought up to the mess-room by quite
 a nice-looking girl who had overheard it. But we thought we’d let
 the judgment stand and be like Kingsley’s “maid”--though we _don’t_
 undertake to endorse the Russian part of it!

 ‘We have got some of the _personnel_ tents pitched now, and it is
 delightful. It was rather close quarters in the little house. I am
 writing in my tent now, looking out over the Danube. Such a lovely
 place, Reni is--and the Steppe is fascinating with its wide plains and
 little unexpected valleys full of flowers. We have some glorious rides
 over it. The other night our camp was the centre of a fight. Only a
 sham one! They are drilling recruits here, and suddenly the other
 night we found ourselves being defended by one party while another
 attacked from the Steppe. The battle raged all night, and the camp was
 finally carried at four o’clock in the morning amid shouts and cheers
 and barking of dogs. It was even too much for me, and I have slept
 through bombardments.

 ‘It has been so nice hearing about you all from Miss Henderson. How
 splendidly the money is coming in. Only _one_ thing, dear Mrs. Petrie,
 _do_ make them send the reliefs more quickly. I know all about boats,
 but, as you knew the orderlies had to leave on the 15th of January,
 the reliefs ought to have been off by the 1st.

 ‘I wish you could hear the men singing their evening hymn in hospital.
 They have just sung it. I am so glad we thought of putting up the
 icons for them.

 ‘Good-bye for the present, dear Mrs. Petrie. My kindest regards to
 Professor Flinders Petrie.--Ever yours affectionately,

      ELSIE MAUD INGLIS.’

      ‘_May 11, 1917._

 ‘It was delightful seeing Miss Henderson, and getting news of all you
 dear people. She took two months over the journey. But she did arrive
 with all her equipment. The equipment I wired for in October, and
 which was sent out by itself, arrived in Petrograd, got through to
 Jassy, and has there stuck. We have not got a single thing, and the
 Consuls have done their best.

 ‘Mr. French, one of the chaplains in Petrograd, came here. He said
 he would have some services here. We pitched a tent, and we had the
 Communion. It was a joy. I have sent down a notice to the armoured car
 yacht, and I hope some of the men will come up. We and they are the
 only English people here.

 ‘The Serbs have sent me a message saying we may have to rejoin our
 Division soon. I don’t put too much weight on this, because I know
 my dearly beloved Serbs, and their habit of saying the thing they
 think you would like, but still we are preparing. I shall be very
 sorry to leave our dear little hospital here, and the Russians. They
 are a fascinating people, especially the common soldier. I hope that
 as we have done this work for the Russians and therefore have some
 little claim on them, it will help us to get things more easily for
 the Serbs. We have one little laddie in, about ten years old, the
 most amusing brat. He was wounded by an aeroplane bomb in a village
 seven versts out, and was sent into Reni to a hospital. But, when he
 got there he found the hospital was for sick only (a very inferior
 place!), so he proceeded on to us. He wanders about with a Russian
 soldier’s cap on his head and wrapped round with a blanket, and we
 hear his pretty little voice singing to himself all over the place.

 ‘Nicolai, the man who came in when the hospital was first opened,
 and has been so very ill, is really getting better. He had his
 dressing left for two days for the first time the other day, and his
 excitement and joy were quite pathetic. “_Ochin heroshe doktorutza,
 ochin herosho_” (Very good, dear doctor, very good), he kept saying,
 and then he added, “Now, I know I am not going to die!” Poor boy,
 he has nearly died several times, and would have died if he had not
 had English Sisters to nurse him. He has been awfully naughty--the
 wretch. He bit one of the Sisters one day when she tried to give him
 his medicine. Now, he kisses my hand to make up. The other day I
 ordered massage for his leg, and he made the most awful row, howled
 and whined, and declared it would hurt (really, he has had enough pain
 to destroy anybody’s nerve), and then suddenly pointed to a Sister who
 had come in, and said what she had done for him was the right thing.
 I asked what she had done for him; “Massaged his leg,” she said. I
 got that promptly translated into Russian, and the whole room roared
 with laughter. Poor Nicolai--after a minute, he joined in. His home
 is in Serbia, “a very nice home with a beautiful garden.” His mother
 is evidently the important person there. His father is a smith, and
 he had meant to be a smith too, but now he has got the St. George’s
 Cross, which carries with it a pension of six roubles a month, and he
 does not think he will do any work at all. He is the eldest of the
 family, twenty-four years old, and has three sisters, and a little
 brother of five. Can’t you imagine how he was spoilt! and how proud
 they are of him now, only twenty-four, and a _sous-officier_, and
 been awarded the St. George’s Cross which is better than the medal;
 and been wounded, four months in hospital, and had three operations!
 He has been so ill I am afraid the spoiling continued in the Scottish
 Women’s Hospital. Dr. Laird says she would not be his future wife for
 anything.

 ‘We admitted such a nice-looking boy to-day, with thick, curly, yellow
 hair, which I had ruthlessly cropped, against his strong opposition. I
 doubt if I should have had the heart, if I had known how ill he was.
 He will need a very serious operation. I found him this evening with
 tears running silently over his cheeks, a Cossack, a great big man.
 His nerve is quite gone. He may have to go on to Odessa, as a severe
 operation and bombs and a nervous breakdown don’t go together. We will
 see how he settles down.

 ‘We have made friends with lots of the officers; there is one, also
 a Cossack, who spends a great part of his time here. His regiment is
 at the front, and he has been left for some special work, and he seems
 rather lonely. He is a nice boy, and brings nice horses for us to
 ride. We have been having quite a lot of riding, on our own transport
 horses too. It is heavenly riding here across the great plain. We all
 ride astride, and at first we found the Cossacks’ saddles most awfully
 uncomfortable, but now we are quite used to them. Our days fly past
 here, and in a sense are monotonous, but I don’t think we are any of
 us the worse for a little monotony as an interlude! Alas! quite fairly
 often there is a party at one of the regiments here! The girls enjoy
 them, and matron and I chaperone them alternately and reluctantly. It
 was quite a rest during Lent when there were no parties.

 ‘The spy incident has quite ended, and we have won. Matron was in Reni
 the other day asking the Commandant about something, and when she came
 out she found a little crowd of Russian soldiers round her house. They
 asked her if she had got what she wanted, and she said the Commandant
 had said he would see about it. They answered, “The Commandant must
 be told that the S.W.H. is the best hospital on this front, and that
 it must have everything it wants.” That is the opinion of the Russian
 soldier! If you were here you would recognise the new tone of the
 Russian soldier in these days,--but I am glad he approves of our
 hospital.’

      ‘ODESSA, _June 24, 1917_.

 ‘I wish you could realise how the little nations, Serbs and Rumanians
 and Poles, count on us. What a comfort it is to them to think we are
 “the most tenacious” nation in Europe. In their eyes it all hangs on
 us. It is all terrible and awful. I don’t believe we can disentangle
 it all in our minds just now. The only thing is just to go on doing
 one’s bit. Because, one thing is quite clear, Europe won’t be a
 habitable place if Germany wins--for anybody.

 ‘I think there are going to be a lot of changes here.’

      ‘_July 15, 1917._

 ‘I have had German measles! The Consul asked me what I meant by that
 at my time of life! The majority of people say how unpatriotic and
 Hunnish of you! Well, a few days off did not do me any harm. I had
 a very luxurious time lying in my tent. The last lot of orderlies
 brought it out.’

      ‘ODESSA, _Aug. 15, 1917_.

 ‘The work at Reni is coming to an end, and we are to go to the front
 with the Serbian Division. I cannot write about it owing to censors
 and people. But I am going to risk this: the Serbs ought to be most
 awfully proud. The Russian General on the front is going to insist on
 having them “to stiffen up his Russian troops.” I think you people at
 home ought to know what magnificent fighting men these Serbs are, and
 so splendidly disciplined, simply worth their weight in gold. There
 are only two divisions of them after all. We have about thirty-five of
 them in hospital just now as sanitaries, and they are such a comfort;
 their quickness and their devotion is wonderful. The hospital was full
 and overflowing when I left--still Russians. Most of the cases were
 slight; a great many left hands, if you know what that _means_. I
 don’t think the British Army does know!

 ‘We had a Red Cross inspecting officer down from Petrograd. He was
 very pleased with everything, and kissed my hand on departing, and
 said we were doing great things for the Alliance. I wanted to say many
 things, but thought I had better leave it alone.

 ‘We are operating at 5 A.M. now, because the afternoons are so hot.
 The other day we began at 5, and had to go till 4 P.M. after all.

 ‘Matron and I had a delightful ride the other evening. Just as we
 had turned for home, an aeroplane appeared, and the first shot from
 the anti-aircraft guns close beside us was too much for our horses,
 who promptly bolted. However, there was nothing but the clear Steppe
 before us, so we just sat tight and went. After a little they
 recovered themselves, and really behaved very well.’

      ‘_Aug. 28._

 ‘You dear, dear people, how sweet of you to send me a telegram for
 my birthday. You don’t know how nice it was to get it and to feel you
 were thinking of me. It made me happy for days. Miss G. brought it
 me with a very puzzled face, and said, “I cannot quite make out this
 telegram.” It was written in Russian characters. She evidently was not
 used to people doing such mad things as telegraphing the “Many happy
 returns of the day” half across the world. I understood it at once,
 and it nearly made me cry. It was good to get it, though I think the
 Food Controller or somebody ought to come down on you for wasting
 money in the middle of a war.

 ‘I am finishing this letter in Reni. We closed the hospital yesterday,
 and joined our Division somewhere on Friday. The rush that had begun
 before I got to Odessa got much worse. They had an awfully busy time,
 a faint reminiscence of Galatz, though, as they were operating twelve
 hours on end, I don’t know it was so very faint. We had no more left
 hands, but all the bad cases. Everybody worked magnificently, but they
 always do in a push. The time a British unit goes to pieces is when
 there is nothing to do!

 ‘So this bit of work ends, eight months. I am quite sorry to leave it,
 but quite quite glad to get back to our Division.

 ‘Well, Amy dearest, good-bye for the present. I wonder what will
 happen next! Love to all you dear people.’

      ‘S.W.H.,
      ‘HADJI ABDUL, _Oct. 17, 1917_.

 ‘I wonder if this is my last letter from Russia! We hope to be off
 in a very few days now. We have had a very pleasant time in this
 place with its Turkish name. It shows how far north Turkey once came.
 We are with the Division, and were given this perfectly beautiful
 camping-ground, with trees, and a slope towards the east. The question
 was whether we were going to Rumania or elsewhere. It is nice being
 back with these nice people. They have been most kind and friendly,
 and we have picnics and rides and _dances_, and dinners, and till this
 turmoil of the move began we had an afternoon reception every day
 under the walnut trees! Now, we are packed up and ready to go, and I
 mean to walk in on you one morning. It does not stand thinking of!

 ‘We shall have about two months to refit, but one of those is my due
 as a holiday, _which I am going to take_. I’ll see you all soon.--Your
 loving aunt,

      ‘ELSIE.’

_To Mrs. Simson_

      ‘ARCHANGEL, _Nov. 18, 1917_.

 ‘On our way home. Have not been very well; nothing to worry about.
 Shall report in London, then come straight to you. Longing to see you
 all.

      ‘INGLIS.’



CHAPTER XI

THE MOORINGS CUT

    ‘Not I, but my Unit.’

    ‘My dear Unit, good-bye.’--Nov. 26, 1917.

      E. M. I.

    ‘Into the wide deep seas which we call God
    You plunged.
                              This is not death,
    You seemed to say, but fuller life.’

The reports of Dr. Inglis as chief medical officer to the London
Committee were as detailed and foreseeing in the very last one that
she wrote as in the first from on board the transport that took her
and her unit out. She writes:--‘In view of the fact that we are in the
middle of big happenings I should like Dr. Laird to bring ½ ton cotton
wool, six bales moss dressings, 100 lb. chloroform, 50 lb. ether, 20
gallons rectified spirits. I wonder what news of the river boat for
Mesopotamia?’ After they had landed and were at work:--‘I have wired
asking for another hospital for the base. I know you have your hands
full, but I also know that if the people at home realise what their
help would mean out here just now, we would not have to ask twice. And
again:--’Keep the home fires burning and let us feel their warmth.’ She
soon encountered the usual obstacles:--‘I saw that there was no good in
the world talking about regular field hospitals to them until they had
tried our mettle. The ordinary male disbelief in our capacity cannot
be argued away. It can only be worked away.’ So she acted. Russia
created disbelief, but the men at arms of all nations saw and believed.
In November she wrote back incredulously:--‘Rumours of falling back.
Things look serious. Anxious about the equipment.’ In bombardments, in
retreat, and evacuations the equipment was her one thought. ‘Stand by
the equipment’ became a joke in her unit. On one occasion one of the
orderlies had a heavy fall from a lorry on which she was in charge of
the precious stuff. Dusty and shaken, she was gathering herself up,
when the voice of the chief rang out imperatively urgent, ‘Stand by the
equipment.’ On the rail certain trucks, bearing all the equipment, got
on a wrong line, and were carried away:--‘The blue ribbon belongs to
Miss Borrowman and Miss Brown. They saw our wagons disappearing with
a refugee train, whereupon these two ran after it and jumped on, and
finally brought the equipment safely to Galatz. They invented a General
Popovitch who would be very angry if it did not get through. Without
those two girls and their ingenuity, the equipment would not have got
through.’

She details all the difficulties of packing up and evacuating after
the despatch rider came with the order that the hospitals were to
fall back to Galatz. The only method their own, all else chaotic and
helpless, working night and day, the unit accomplished everything. At
the station, packed with a country and army in flight, Dr. Inglis had a
talk with a Rumanian officer. He told her that he had been in Glasgow,
and had there been invited out to dinner, and had seen ‘English
customs.’ ‘It was good to feel those English customs were still going
on quietly, whatever was happening here, breakfast coming regularly and
hot water for baths, and everything as it should be. It was probably
absurd, but it came like a great wave of comfort to feel that England
was there quiet and strong and invincible behind everything and
everybody.’

As we read these natural vivid diary reports, we too can feel it was
good of England that Dr. Inglis was to the last on that front--

    ‘Ambassador from Britain’s Crown,
      And type of all her race.’

Dr. Inglis never lost sight of the Army she went out to serve. She
refused to return unless they were brought away from the Russian front
with her.

 ‘I wonder if a proper account of what happened then went home to
 the English papers? The Serbian Division went into the fight 15,000
 strong. They were in the centre--the Rumanians on their left, and the
 Russians on their right. The Rumanians broke, and they fought for
 twenty-four hours on two fronts. They came out of the fight, having
 lost 11,000 men. It is almost incredible, and that is when we ought to
 have been out, and could have been out if we had not taken so long to
 get under way.’

In the last Report, dated October 29, 1917, she tells her Committee she
has been ‘tied by the leg to bed.’ There are notes on coming events:--

 ‘There really seems a prospect of getting away soon. The Foreign
 Office knows us only too well. Only 6000 of the Division go in this
 lot, the rest (15,000) to follow.’

There is a characteristic last touch.

 ‘I have asked Miss Onslow to get English paper-back novels for the
 unit on their journey. At a certain shop, they can be got for a rouble
 each, and good ones.’

To members of that unit, doctors, sisters, orderlies, we are indebted
for many personal details, and for the story of the voyage west,
when for her the sun was setting. Her work was accomplished when on
the transport with her and her unit were the representatives of that
Serbian Army with whom she served, faithful unto death.

Miss Arbuthnot, the granddaughter of Sir William Muir, the friend of
John Inglis, was one of those who helped to nurse Dr. Inglis:--

 ‘I sometimes looked after her when the Sister attending her was
 off duty. Her consideration and kindness were quite extraordinary,
 while her will and courage were quite indomitable. To die as she did
 in harness, having completed her great work in getting the Serbs away
 from Russia, is what she would have chosen.

 ‘I first met Dr. Inglis at Hadji Abdul, a small mud village about ten
 miles from Galatz. She was looking very ill, but was always busy. For
 some time she had been ill with dysentery, but she never even stayed
 in bed for breakfast till it was impossible for her to move from bed.

 ‘During our time at Hadji we had about forty Serbian patients, a few
 wounded, but mostly sick. Dr. Inglis did a few minor operations, but
 her last major one was a gastro-enterotomy performed on one of our own
 chauffeurs, a Serb, Joe, by name. The operation took three hours and
 was entirely satisfactory, although Dr. Inglis did not consider him
 strong enough to travel back to England. She was particularly fond of
 this man, and took no end of trouble with him. Even after she became
 so very ill she used constantly to visit him.

 ‘The Serbs entertained us to several picnics, which we duly returned.
 Dr. Inglis was always an excellent hostess, so charming and genial
 to every one, and so eager that both entertainers and entertained
 should equally enjoy themselves. Provided her permission was asked
 first, and duty hours or regular meals not neglected, she was always
 keen every one should enjoy themselves riding, walking, or going for
 picnics. If any one was ill, she never insisted on their getting up
 in spite of everything, as most doctors, and certainly all matrons,
 wish us to do. She was strict during duty hours, and always required
 implicit obedience to her orders--whatever they were. She was always
 so well groomed--never a hair out of place. In appearance she was a
 splendid head. One felt so proud of her among the dirty and generally
 unsuitably dressed women in other hospitals. She was very independent,
 and would never allow any of us to wait on her. The cooks were not
 allowed to make her any special dishes that the whole unit could not
 share. As long as she could, she messed with the unit, and there was
 no possibility of avoiding her quick eye; anything which was reserved
 for her special comfort was rejected. Once, a portion of chicken was
 kept as a surprise for her. She asked whether there had been enough
 for all, and when the cooks reluctantly confessed there was only the
 one portion she sent it away.

 ‘During one of the evacuations, an order had been given that there
 were only two blankets allowed in each valise. Some one, mindful of
 her weakness, stuffed an extra one into Dr. Inglis’ bag, because in
 her emaciated condition she suffered much from the cold. It stirred
 her to impetuous anger, and with something of the spirit of David, as
 he poured out the water brought him at the peril of the lives of his
 followers, she flung the blanket out of the railway carriage, as a
 lesson to those of her unit who had disobeyed an order.

 ‘Every Sunday Dr. Inglis read the Church service with great dignity
 and simplicity. On the weekday evenings, before she became so ill,
 she would join us in a game of bridge, and played nearly every night.
 During the retreats when nothing more could be done, and she felt
 anxious, she would sit down and play a game of patience. During the
 weeks of uncertainty, when the future of the Serbs was doubtful, and
 she was unable to take any active part, she fretted very much.

 ‘After endless conflicting rumours and days of waiting, the
 news arrived that they were to go to England. Her delight was
 extraordinary, for she had lain in her bed day after day planning how
 she could help them, and sending endless wires to those in authority
 in England, but feeling herself very impotent. Once the good news
 arrived, her marvellous courage and tenacity helped her to recover
 sufficiently, and prepare all the details for the journey with the
 Serbs. We left on the 29th October, with the H.G. Staff and two
 thousand Serbian soldiers, in a special train going to Archangel.

 ‘Dr. Inglis spent fifteen days on the train, in a second-class
 compartment, with no proper bed. Her strength varied, but she was
 compelled to lie down a great deal, although she insisted on dressing
 every morning. On two occasions she walked for five minutes on the
 station platform; each time it absolutely exhausted her. Though she
 suffered much pain and discomfort, she never complained. She could
 only have benger, chicken broth and condensed milk, and she often
 found it impossible to take even these. If one happened to bring her
 tea, or her food, she thanked one so charmingly.

 ‘At Archangel there was no means of carrying her on to the boat, so
 with help (one orderly in front, and one lifting her behind), she
 climbed a ladder twenty feet high, from the platform to the deck of
 the transport. She was a good sailor, and had a comfortable cabin on
 the ship. She improved on board slightly, and used to sit in the small
 cabin allotted to us on the upper deck. She played patience, and was
 interested in our sea-sick symptoms. There was a young naval officer
 very seriously ill on the boat. Our people were nursing him, and she
 constantly went to prescribe; she feared he would not live, and he
 died before we reached our port.

 ‘After some improvement, Dr. Inglis had a relapse; violent pain set
 in, and she had to return to bed. Even then, a few days before we
 reached England, she insisted on going through all the accounts,
 and prepared fresh plans to take the unit on to join the Serbs at
 Salonika. In six weeks she expected to be ready to start. She sent for
 each of us in turn, and asked if we would go with her. Needless to
 say, only those who could not again leave home, refused, and then with
 the deepest regret. The night before we reached Newcastle, Dr. Inglis
 had a violent attack of pain, and had no sleep all night. Next morning
 she insisted on getting up to say good-bye to the Serbian staff.

 ‘It was a wonderful example of her courage and fortitude, to see her
 standing unsupported--a splendid figure of quiet dignity. Her face
 ashen and drawn like a mask, dressed in her worn uniform coat, with
 the faded ribbons that had seen such good service. As the officers
 kissed her hand, and thanked her for all she had done for them, she
 said to each of them a few words accompanied with her wonderful smile.’

As they looked on her, they also must have understood, ‘sorrowing most
of all, that they should see her face no more.’

 ‘After that parting was over, Dr. Inglis collapsed from great
 weakness. She left the boat Sunday afternoon, 25th November, and
 arrived quite exhausted at the hotel. I was allowed to see her for
 a minute before the unit left for London that night. She could only
 whisper, but was as sweet and patient as she ever was. She said we
 should meet soon in London.’

After her death, many who had watched her through these strenuous
years, regretted that she did not take more care of herself. Symptoms
of the disease appeared so soon, she must have known what overwork and
war rations meant in her state. This may be said of every follower of
the One who saved others, but could not save Himself. The life story
of Saint and Pioneer is always the same. To continue to ill-treat
‘brother body’ meant death to St. Francis; to remain in the fever
swamps of Africa meant death to Livingstone. The poor, and the freedom
of the slave, were the common cause for which both these laid down
their lives. Of the same spirit was this daughter of our race. Had she
remained at home on her return from Serbia she might have been with us
to-day, but we should not have the woman we now know, and for whom we
give thanks on every remembrance of her.

The long voyage ended at last. Miss Arbuthnot makes no allusion to
its dangers. Everything written by the ‘unit’ is instinct with the
high courage of their leader. We know now how great were the perils
surrounding the transports on the North seas. Old, and unseaworthy, the
menace below, the storm above, through the night of the Arctic Circle,
she was safely brought to the haven where all would be. More than once
death in open boats was a possibility to be faced; there were seven
feet of water in the engine-room, and only the stout hearts of her
captain and crew knew all the dangers of their long watch and ward.
As the transport entered the Tyne a blizzard swept over the country.
We who waited for news on shore wondered where on the cold grey seas
laboured the ship bringing home ‘Dr. Elsie and her unit.’

In her last hours she told her own people of the closing days on
board:--

 ‘When we left Orkney we had a dreadful passage, and even after we got
 into the river it was very rough. We were moored lower down, and,
 owing to the high wind and storm, a big liner suddenly bore down upon
 us, and came within a foot of cutting us in two, when our moorings
 broke, we swung round, and were saved. I said to the one who told
 me--“Who cut our moorings?” She answered, “No one cut them, they
 broke.”’

There was a pause, and then to her own she broke the knowledge that she
had heard the call and was about to obey the summons.

 ‘The same hand who cut our moorings then is cutting mine now, and I am
 going forth.’

Her niece Evelyn Simson notes how they heard of the arrival:--

 ‘A wire came on Friday from Aunt Elsie, saying they had arrived in
 Newcastle. We tried all Saturday to get news by wire and ’phone,
 but got none. We think now this was because the first news came by
 wireless, and they did not land till Sunday.

 ‘Aunt Elsie answered our prepaid wire, simply saying, “I am in bed, do
 not telephone for a few days.” I was free to start off by the night
 train, and arrived about 2 A.M. at Newcastle. I found the S.W.H. were
 at the Station Hotel, and I saw Aunt Elsie’s name in the book. I did
 not like to disturb her at that hour, and went to my room till 7.30. I
 found her alone; the night nurse was next door. She was surprised to
 see me, as she thought it would be noon before any one could arrive.
 She looked terribly wasted, but she gave me such a strong embrace that
 I never thought the illness was more than what might easily be cured
 on land, with suitable diet.

 ‘I felt her pulse, and she said. “It is not very good, Eve dear, I
 know, for I have a pulse that beats in my head, and I know it has been
 dropping beats all night.” She wanted to know all about every one, and
 we had a long talk before any one came in. She told me how good Dr.
 Ward had been to her, always, and we arranged that Dr. Ethel Williams
 should come. Aunt Elsie then packed me off to get some breakfast, and
 Dr. Ward told me she was much worse than she had been the night before.

 ‘I telephoned to Edinburgh saying she was “very ill.” When Dr.
 Williams came, I learnt that there was practically no hope of her
 living. They started injections and oxygen, and Aunt Elsie said, “Now
 don’t think we didn’t think of all these things before, but on board
 ship nothing was possible.”

 ‘It was not till Dr. Williams’ second visit that she asked me if the
 doctor thought “this was the end.” When she saw that it was so, she
 at once said, without pause or hesitation, “Eve, it will be grand
 starting a new job over there,”--then, with a smile, “although there
 are two or three jobs here I would like to have finished.” After this
 her whole mind seemed taken up with the sending of last messages to
 her committees, units, friends, and relations. It simply amazed me how
 she remembered every one down to her grand-nieces and nephews. When I
 knew mother and Aunt Eva were on their way, I told her, and she was
 overjoyed. Early in the morning she told me wonderful things about
 bringing back the Serbs. I found it very hard to follow, as it was an
 unknown story to me. I clearly remember she went one day to the Consul
 in Odessa, and said she must wire certain things. She was told she
 could only wire straight to the War Office--“and so I got into touch
 straight with the War Office.”

 ‘Mrs. M‘Laren at one moment commented--“You have done magnificent
 work.” Back swiftly came her answer, “Not I, but my unit.”

 ‘Mrs. M‘Laren says: ‘Mrs. Simson and I arrived at Newcastle on Monday
 evening. It was a glorious experience to be with her those last two
 hours. She was emaciated almost beyond recognition, but all sense
 of her bodily weakness was lost in the grip one felt of the strong
 alert spirit, which dominated every one in the room. She was clear
 in her mind, and most loving to the end. The words she greeted us
 with were--“So, I am going over to the other side.” When she saw we
 could not believe it, she said, with a smile, “For a long time I
 _meant_ to live, but now I _know_ I am going.” She spoke naturally
 and expectantly of going over. Certainly she met the unknown with a
 cheer! As the minutes passed she seemed to be entering into some great
 experience, for she kept repeating, “This is wonderful--but this is
 wonderful.” Then, she would notice that some one of us was standing,
 and she would order us to sit down--another chair must be brought if
 there were not enough. To the end, she would revert to small details
 for our comfort. As flesh and heart failed, she seemed to be breasting
 some difficulty, and in her own strong way, without distress or fear,
 she asked for help, “You must all of you help me through this.” We
 repeated to her many words of comfort. Again and again she answered
 back, “I know.” One, standing at the foot of the bed, said to her,
 “You will give my love to father”; instantly the humorous smile lit
 her face, and she answered, “Of course I will.”

 ‘At her own request her sister read to her words of the life
 beyond--“Let not your heart be troubled--In my Father’s house are many
 mansions; if it were not so I would have told you,” and, even as they
 watched her, she fell on sleep.

 ‘After she had left us, there remained with those that loved her only
 a great sense of triumph and perfect peace. The room seemed full of a
 glorious presence. One of us said, “This is not death; it makes one
 wish to follow after.”’

As ‘We’ waited those anxious weeks for the news of the arrival of Dr.
Inglis and her Army, there were questionings, how we should welcome
and show her all love and service. The news quickly spread she was not
well--might be delayed in reaching London; the manner of greeting her
must be to ensure rest.

The storm had spent itself, and the moon was riding high in a cloudless
heaven, when others waiting in Edinburgh on the 26th learnt the news
that she too had passed through the storm and shadows, and had crossed
the bar.

That her work here was to end with her life had not entered the minds
of those who watched for her return, overjoyed to think of seeing her
face once more. She had concealed her mortal weakness so completely,
that even to her own the first note of warning had come with the words
that she had landed, but was in bed:--‘then we thought it was time one
of us should go to her.’

Her people brought her back to the city of her fathers, and to the
hearts who had sent her forth, and carried her on the wings of their
strong confidence. There was to be no more going forth of her active
feet in the service of man, and all that was mortal was carried for
the last time into the church she had loved so well. Then we knew and
understood that she had been called where His servants shall serve Him.

The Madonna lilies, the lilies of France and of the fields, were placed
around her. Over her hung the torn banners of Scotland’s history. The
Scottish women had wrapped their country’s flag around them in one of
their hard-pressed flights. On her coffin, as she lay looking to the
East in high St. Giles’, were placed the flags of Great Britain and
Serbia.

She had worn ‘the faded ribbons’ of the orders bestowed on her by
France, Russia, and Serbia. It has often been asked at home and abroad
why she had received no decorations at the hands of her Sovereign. It
is not an easy question to answer.

On November the 29th, Dr. Inglis was buried, amid marks of respect
and recognition which make that passing stand alone in the history of
the last rites of any of her fellow-citizens. Great was the company
gathered within the church. The chancel was filled by her family and
relatives--her Suffrage colleagues, representatives from all the
societies, the officials of the hospitals and hostels she had founded
at home, the units whom she had led and by whose aid she had done great
things abroad. Last and first of all true-hearted mourners the people
of Serbia represented by their Minister and members of the Legation.
The chief of the Scottish Command was present, and by his orders
military honours were paid to this happy warrior of the Red Cross.

The service had for its keynote the Hallelujah Chorus, which was played
as the procession left St. Giles’. It was a thanksgiving instinct with
triumph and hope. The Resurrection and the Life was in prayer and
praise. The Dean of the Order of the Thistle revealed the thoughts of
many hearts in his farewell words:--

 ‘We are assembled this day with sad but proud and grateful hearts to
 remember before God a very dear and noble lady, our beloved sister,
 Elsie Inglis, who has been called to her rest. We mourn only for
 ourselves, not for her. She has died as she lived, in the clear light
 of faith and self-forgetfulness, and now her name is linked for ever
 with the great souls who have led the van of womanly service for God
 and man. A wondrous union of strength and tenderness, of courage
 and sweetness, she remains for us a bright and noble memory of high
 devotion and stainless honour. Especially to-day, in the presence of
 representatives of the land for which she died, we think of her as an
 immortal link between Serbia and Scotland, and as a symbol of that
 high courage which will sustain us, please God, till that stricken
 land is once again restored, and till the tragedy of war is eradicated
 and crowned with God’s great gifts of peace and of righteousness.’

The buglers of the Royal Scots sounded ‘the Reveille to the waking
morn,’ and the coffin with the Allied flags was placed on the gun
carriage. Women were in the majority of the massed crowd that awaited
the last passing. ‘Why did they no gie her the V.C.?’ asked the
shawl-draped women holding the bairns of her care: these and many
another of her fellow-citizens lined the route and followed on foot
the long road across the city. As the procession was being formed,
Dr. Inglis’ last message was put into the hands of the members of the
London Committee for S.W.H. It ran:--

      ‘_November 26, 1917._

 ‘So sorry I cannot come to London. Dr. Williams and Dr. Ward are
 agreed, and quite rightly. Will send Gwynn in a day or two with
 explanations and suggestions. Colonel Miliantinovitch and Colonel
 Tcholah Antitch were to make appointment this week or next from
 Winchester; do see them, and also as many of the committee as possible
 and show them every hospitality. They have been very kind to us, and
 whatever happens, dear Miss Palliser, do beg the Committee to make
 sure that they (the Serbs) have their hospitals and transport, for
 they do need them.

 ‘Many thanks to the Committee for their kindness to me and their
 support of me.

      ‘ELSIE INGLIS.

 ‘Dictated to Miss Evelyn Simson.’

How the people loved her! was the thought, as she passed through the
grief-stricken crowds. These, who knew her best, smiled as they said
one to another, ‘How all this would surprise her!’

Edinburgh is a city of spires and of God’s acres, the graves cut in
the living rock, within gardens and beside running waters. Across the
Water of Leith the long procession wound its way. Within sight of the
grave, it was granted to her grateful brethren, the representatives
of the Serbian nation, to carry her coffin, and lower it to the place
where the mortal in her was to lie in its last rest. Her life’s story
was grouped around her--the Serbian officers, the military of her own
nation at war, the women comrades of the common cause, the poor and
suffering--to one and all she had been the inspiring succourer.

November mists had drifted all day across the city, veiling the
fortress strength of Scotland, and the wild wastes of seas over which
she had returned home to our island strength. Even as we turned and
left her, the grey clouds at eventide were transfused and glorified by
the crimson glow of the sunset on the hills of Time.


Printed in Great Britain by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His
Majesty at the Edinburgh University Press



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber’s note:

Illustrations have been moved to be near the text they illustrate.

Variant spelling is retained.

A very few changes have been made to punctuation for consistency.

On page 210 “C’état” has been changed to “C’était” in “C’était
magnifique, magnifique! Ils sont les héros”.





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