During the First World War Elsie Inglis, a Scottish Doctor, realised the urgent need for medical assistance to treat the wounded, but as a woman, her offer of assistance was declined by the War Office. Undeterred she established the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, and recruited women to go and and tend the casualties of war. My great aunt, Margaret Box, a trained nurse, was one of those women. In December 1918 she had been nursing near Skopje, but was now en-route to Sarajevo to join a hospital there. The war was over, but it had left many sick and wounded in its wake. This letter, one of many I have inherited from my Great Aunt, is from the London office of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals to my Great Grandmother to inform her of Margaret’s move. I think Margaret’s mother wanted to send her a Christmas present.
I think the parcel that Margaret’s mother would have liked to send was to include a tartan tie, which was designed by Elsie Inglis as part of the nurse’s uniform.
Dorothy Willis also writes to the Box Family on:
- 3rd October 1918 – to reassure her father that Margaret is safe
- 29th November 1918 – to tell her father that Margaret may be on her way home
- 12th December 1918 –
- 20th December 1918 – twice – once to tell her father that she might be returning soon, and later that day to tell him she would probably be in Serbia for another three months.