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Volume 1, Issue 1 (2009)
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Costel Coroban



Head of Department for Humanities and Social Studies, Cambridge International Examinations Center Constanta; Grigore Gafencu Research Center, Valahia University of Târgoviote; E-mail:



This paper has been presented at the Third International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies: European networks: the Balkans, Scandinavia and the Baltic world in a time of economic and ideological crisis hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, Târgoviste, May 25-27, 2012.

Gathering materials for this research would not have been possible without the help of Dr. Harry T. Dickinson (Professor Emeritus at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology,University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Jane McDermid (Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities,University of Southampton). Also I must thank Mr. Robert Redfern-West (Director of Academica Press, LLC) and Dr. Vanessa Heggie (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge). Not least, I must also mention the help provided by Mr. Benjamin Schemmel (editor of I am compelled to express my profound gratitude for their help.



This article is about the venture of the units of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals organization in the Balkans during World War I. It is important to note that these women, inspired by the ideals of equality and compassion, were not part of any governmental organization, as the British War Office refused to employ them, and thus acted entirely based on their ideals. The first unit to serve in the Balkans under Dr. Elsie Inglis was captured by the Central Powers on the invasion of Serbia, but would be later reorganized as the SWH London unit, and would travel to Romania and Russia together with its ambulance unit, in order to help the First Serbian Volunteer Division. After the unfortunate demise of Dr. Elsie Inglis on 26 November 1917 upon her arrival at Newcastle upon Tyne, the unit was renamed the “Dr. Elsie Inglis” unit, and travelled to Macedonia and Serbia in order to continue its relief work. Other units that served in Macedonia and Serbia since 1916 were the Girton and Newnham unit, the America Unit, their transport (ambulance) sub-units, and briefly Dr. Mary Blair’s unit. The SWH Committee in Edinburgh had the honourable initiative of crowning their efforts throughout the war by founding an “Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital” in Belgrade during the spring of 1919, but this project would last only for a year.



Acest articol ilustreaza misiunile unita?ilor Spitalele Femeilor Sco?iene (SWH) în zona Balcanilor în timpul Primului Razboi Mondial. Este important de notat ca aceste femei, inspirate de idealurile egalita?ii de gen oi ale compasiunii deopotriva, nu faceau parte din nicio organiza?ie guvernamentala, dupa ce War Office-ul britanic refuzase sa le angajeze, astfel ca acestea au ac?ionat în mod categoric din propria lor ini?iativa. Prima lor unitate care a func?ionat în Balcani sub Dr. Elsie Inglis a fost capturata în timpul ocuparii Serbiei de catre Puterile Centrale, dar a fost mai târziu reorganizata ca unitatea londoneza a SWH, oi a calatorit în România oi Rusia împreuna cu sub-unitatea sa de ambulan?e pentru a oferi ajutor Diviziei I de Voluntari Sârbi. Dupa decesul regretabil al Dr. Elsie Inglis pe 26 noiembrie 1917, la o zi dupa întoarcerea la Newcastle upon Tyne, numele unita?ii a fost schimbat în „unitatea Dr. Elsie Inglis,” calatorind apoi în Macedonia oi Serbia pentru a-oi continua ac?iunile de binefacere. Alte unita?i care au slujit în Macedonia oi Serbia din 1916 au fost unita?ile Girton oi Newnham, unitatea „America”, sub-unita?ile lor de ambulan?e, oi pentru scurt timp, unitatea Dr. Mary Blair. Comitetul SWH din Edinburgh a avut ini?iativa onorabila de a încorona eforturile lor în razboi prin înfiin?area „Spitalului Memorial Dr. Elsie Inglis” în Belgrad în primavara anului 1919, dar acest proiect a rezistat doar timp de un an de zile.


Keywords: Scottish Women’s Hospitals; Elsie Inglis; Serbia; Macedonia; Dobrogea; World War I


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Call for papers

Seventh annual international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania. Good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries

Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Romania
November 24-25, 2016

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