Elsie Inglis

Eliza Maude Inglis (1864 - 1917)

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Dr Eliza Maude (Elsie) Inglis
Born in Naini Tal, Bengalmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Newcastle, Northumberland, Englandmap
Profile last modified 16 May 2019 | Created 18 Aug 2016
This page has been accessed 263 times.


Elsie Inglis is Notable.

Eliza Maude Inglis was born on 16 August 1864 and baptised on 12 October 1864 in Naini Tal in the Bengal Presidency of British India. Her father was John Forbes Inglis and her mother was Harriet.[1]

Elsie and her family returned to Edinburgh in 1878, where Elsie attended the Edinburgh Institute for the Education of Young Ladies.[2] and lived with her family at 10 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh:[3]

First name(s)Last nameRelationshipMarital statusSexAgeBirth yearOccupationBirth place
JohnInglisHeadMarriedMale601821Bengal Civil Service RetiredEngland
EvaInglisDaughter-Female141867 ScholarIndia
BarbaraHunterServantUnmarriedFemale461835Cook Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Mary AStainsServantUnmarriedFemale231858Ladys MaidEngland
ChristinaYoungServantUnmarriedFemale191862House MaidInverkeithing, Fife, Scotland

In 1885, Elsie started her training under Sophie Jex-Blake at the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women. She then completed her training at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary eventually qualifying as a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and as a licentiate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.[2]

In 1899, Elsie graduated MB CM [Bachelor of Medicine, Master of Surgery] from Edinburgh and was appointed lecturer of gynaecology at the Medical College for Women. [2]

Elsie became active in the suffrage movement during her medical training and was honorary secretary to the Scottish Federation of Women's Suffrage Societies; whose main initiative during the First World War was the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service. Elsie was instrumental in raising the money for these hospitals which aimed to provide all female staffed relief hospitals for the Allied war effort. When Elsie approached the War Office to offer them an established medical unit staffed by qualified women she was infamously told "Go home and sit still"

However the French government did accept her offer and the first Scottish Women's Hospital was established at Royaumont Abbey in France. Further hospitals were set up in Serbia, Salonica and Russia. Elsie went to Serbia herself, where her efforts to improve hygiene reduced the typhus and other epidemics which had been raging there. In November 1915 Serbia was overrun by the Germans and Elsie and her staff were interned until April 1916 when they arrived back in Britain.

Elsie then returned to the Serbian division now fighting in Russia and, although the political situation was deteriorating rapidly, she refused to leave until the Serbs were transferred out of Russia. Elsie and her unit finally arrived in Newcastle on 25 November 1917.

Elsie Inglis died of cancer on 26 November 1917 in Newcastle.

Elsie's funeral was held on 29 November in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh where her coffin was draped with both the Union Jack and the Serbian flag. From the cathedral, her coffin was placed on a gun carriage drawn by six horses and the cortege travelled from the cathedral, down Princes Street to the Dean Cemetery where Elsie was buried.[4]

On 3 April 1916, Elsie Inglis became the first woman to be decorated with the Order of the White Eagle, Serbia's highest honour.[2]


  1. British India Office Births & Baptisms; N/1/110 folio 76; Baptism of Eliza Maude Inglis 1864; image (£) at https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=BL%2FBIND%2F005137049%2F00085&parentid=BL%2FBIND%2FB%2F155708 and (free) at https://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2017/11/dr-elsie-inglis-and-her-father-johns-teenage-misdemeanours.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh Medical Biographies; Elsie Inglis; https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/heritage/college-history/elsie-inglis; accessed 11 November 2018
  3. 1881 census; Parish: Edinburgh Newington; ED: 121; Page: 12; Line: 22; Roll: cssct1881_294; Ancestry.com. 1881 Scotland Census [database on-line]
  4. The Scotsman; 30 November 1917; page 4, col g; image (£) at https://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000540%2f19171130%2f104

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Elsie is 24 degrees from Greg Clarke, 19 degrees from George Hull and 14 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Scotland, Notables | Suffragists | Women's History | British Notables | Notables