Talk on the Scottish Women's Hospitals WW1

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Volunteers, Jason and Isma, show off the medals belonging to nurse Hughina MacCulloch.

Isma will be retiring from museum duty this year at the age of 93 after 20 years of service.

Tain & District Museum are delighted to present a talk on the Scottish Women’s Hospitals of WW1 in Tain Parish Church Hall on Tuesday 28th October at 7.30pm.

One of the exhibition cases at Tain & District Museum honours the memories of two very special local women who served during World War One; Dr Elizabeth MacBean Ross and Nurse Hughina MacCulloch, both of whom served with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals.

The outbreak of World War One saw the men of the country join the nation’s forces to serve King and Country but women were equally anxious “to do their bit” although not all efforts were met with enthusiasm. The Scottish Women’s Hospitals was set up with two aims: to help the war effort by providing medical assistance and to promote the cause of women’s rights. The organisers wished to establish hospitals in the field and close to the fighting. Dr Elsie Inglis, a founder of the SWH, met with the War Office to offer assistance to the British Army but was told their help was not needed; ‘go home and sit still woman’ had been the response.  Undeterred, the hospital was offered to Britain’s allies and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals operated in France, Macedonia, Greece, Corsica, Romania and Russia but it was in Serbia that they found most desperate need for their services.

Alan Cummings and colleagues from Cumbernauld, are involved in a project to remember the forgotten heroines of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. They research the lives of as many of these women as possible including Tain women Dr Elizabeth Ross and Nurse Hughina MacCulloch. They have travelled to France and Serbia where they visited the sites of the hospitals and, working with experts in these countries, discovered more about the experiences of the women who served as doctors , nurses, orderlies, cooks, drivers and all the other occupations needed to run a successful hospital in, sometimes, appalling conditions. A DVD has been made of their experiences and Alan will be presenting this at Tain Parish Church Hall on Tuesday 28th October at 7.30pm. 

The Scottish Women’s Hospital project has caught the imagination of other film makers with MacTV accompanying members of the group to Serbia. Their story will be showing on BBC and STV this November.  

For more information about the talk and presentation telephone 01862894089 or email


Tain Through Time Tower Street, Tain IV19 1DY Scotland IV19 1DY

Tel: 01862 894089