Nursing Stories from the First World War

  • Siobhan O'Connor (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


The Young Academy of Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh co-hosted Nursing Stories from the First World War: A Conversation with Diane Atkison. This free event was held on 9th November 2018 from 6 - 7:15pm at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Dr Diane Atkinson, a well-known author of women’s history read excerpts from and answered questions about her book Elsie and Mairi Go To War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front, which focusses on nursing heroes during the First World War. This event organised by Siobhan O'Connor was accompanied by a small public exhibit to commemorate the centenary of the end of the war (in the RSE Reception 5–16 November 2018). Elsie and Mairi Go To War charts the journey of a Scottish woman, Mairi Chisholm, and her English friend, Elsie Knocker, who volunteered to work as nurses on the front lines in Belgium. Known as the ‘Madonnas of Pervyse’ they treated thousands of wounded soldiers over four years and were awarded numerous medals for bravery. A statue commemorating the courage and commitment of these two British nurses now stands in Ypres, Belgium. A crowded lecture theatre came and listened to excerpts from Dr Atkinson’s book, which was chaired by nursing historian Dr Alison O’Donnell to discuss these once famous but now forgotten heroines of The Great War. A full recording of the storytelling event can be found here:
Period9 Nov 2018
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map