July 2013 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
This is the little-known story of the gritty and free-spirited women who in 1914 put aside their fight for the vote to set up a hospital, staffed totally by women, in an abandoned French abbey to treat the soldiers injured on the Western Front. Told largely through letters home and diaries, this book throws light on wartime conditions and the cause of women's suffrage.
A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
‘I don’t think it’s too much to say that in writing Angels of Mercy the late Dr Eileen Crofton rescued an inspiring episode in history – women’s history, military history and Scottish history – which could have easily been forgotten. The story of the heroic female doctors who set up a military hospital in the old abbey of Royaumont in northern France during the darkest days of the First World War is worthy of a novel, and all the more inspiring and moving for being true.’ – Andrew Simmons, Andrew Simmons, Managing Editor, Birlinn
This is the story of the wartime experiences of a group of women who ran a field hospital near the trenches during World War I, often under conditions of great hardship. The text draws on the women's diaries and letters home. The Scottish Women's Hospitals unit offered their services to France and opened a hospital in the ancient Abbey of Royaumont, near Paris. The hospital operated from 1915 to 1919 and became famous for its nursing care, cleanliness and efficiency, recognised by the French authorities as a key wartime hospital.
'A remarkable story of women's achievement - The heroic efforts of those critical days have now finally been given their true record' - The Times Literary Supplement
'Beautifully written ... informed, accessible and finely crafted - The Herald
Publication date: 04/07/2013
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General
|Publication date:||4th July 2013|
|Publisher:||Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, History, The Real World,|
|Categories:||First World War, European history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Nursing,|
Eileen Crofton studied medicine at Somerville College, Oxford. She joined the Royal Medical Corps in 1944 and was posted to County Down where she met her husband. She was appointed county medical officer of the Midlothian branch of the British Red Cross Society in 1963, later being awarded life membership for exceptional service. In 1971 she helped to establish Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and was awarded an MBE on her retirement from ASH Scotland. She died in 2010.More About Eileen Crofton