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Unfortunately for Ailsa the story of the unit during this spell was a time of upheaval.Although their were times when the hospital was very much in demand, it was a quieter time and tensions were building in the unit.
Salonika its self had in the summer of 1917 went through a horrendous time when a fire burned for 2 days, even the hospital was a one point in danger of bursting into flames.
Date of Bith: 1883Place of Birth: Wales Evelyn Margaret Abbott was born in 1883 at Grosmont, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Her father Joseph was a Schoolmaster and as a family they tended to move around.
It was still not a course for the faint-hearted and the women had to fight for an equal education. She graduated MA in 1906 and proceeded to Medicine.
Each year, she featured in the prize-list, taking Second Class certificates in Anatomy, Chemistry and Surgery, First Class certificates in Medical Jurisprudence, Midwifery, the Practice of Medicine and Eye Diseases. Mary Alexander was one of a number of courageous medical graduates who volunteered for war service. During initial difficulties with management, she and Honoria Keer and Barbara Mc Gregor tendered their resignations in support of Glasgow graduate Annie Mc Ilroy when she challenged the running of the tented hospital.
In 1911, Ailsa is listed on the Anchor Line “Caledonia”.
Her parents were also on this voyage to NY,giving their address as New Jersey, USA.
Ailsa would have been very busy in the days after, as the hospital took in victims affected by the flames and smoke.
In mid-October a flash flood nearly destroyed the hospital and Ailsa would have spent days cleaning up the mud and water damage. Date of Bith: 1886Place of Birth: Glasgow Mary Alexander was among the first generation of Glasgow University’s women doctors.
The Medical School was established in Queen Margaret College in 1890 and in 1894 Miss Marion Gilchrist graduated MB and CM, the first woman to graduate from Glasgow University. In her second year, in 1905-1906 she gained a First Class certificate in Ordinary French.
By the time Mary Alexander matriculated in Medicine in 1907 there were sixty women in the Faculty. When she matriculated in the Arts faculty for the first time in October 1903, to study Latin and Mathematics, her father William, whose occupation she described as a blockmaker, was already deceased. She gave her home address as the United Free Manse, Kilmallie, Corpach and in term time she was living at Queen Margaret Hall. The following year she took third place (equal) in German.
For anyone connected with the Battle of the Somme these were horrendous, dangerous and difficult days.