Galashiels stories of WWI

Saving and Sharing Galashiels stories of WWI

Published on Wednesday 17th February 2016

WWI mobile recruitment drive in Galashiels, image courtesy Old Gala Club

People from the Galashiels community are being invited to contribute to the ‘Saving and Sharing the Borders experience: Scottish Borders Stories of World War One’ project

Come along to the event in Trinity Parish Church on Saturday 12 March from 10.30am-4pm.

Share your World War I memories

The day is a chance for anyone from the local area to share their family’s memories of the First World War and to bring along:

  • letters
  • diaries
  • photographs
  • memorabilia

Programme for the day

A variety of other activities will be available.

  • 12noon – Langlee Community Choir will perform a set of songs from the period
  • 3pm – Alan Cumming’s popular talk on Scottish Women’s Hospitals during WWI

People attending will also be able to meet characters from the time and see a collection of First World War artefacts provided by the Living History Society ‘Scots and the Great War’.

Cllr Vicky Davidson, Executive Member for Culture, Sport, Youth and Communities

“The aim of this unique project is to document the impact and significance of the turbulent WW1 years on our local and national heritage. This is a chance for people from Galashiels and the surrounding area to share their own memories and experiences and contribute to the picture being gathered for the Borders as a whole. We are particularly keen to hear from the generation who has a direct link with those who participated as we are only too aware that these people are inevitably getting older and this may be our last chance to capture their recollections.”

Ongoing project looks at Borders’ legacy

‘Saving and Sharing the Borders experience: Scottish Borders Stories of World War One’ is a two year project being co-ordinated by our Museums, Archives and Library services. It aims to provide a unique and lasting commemorative record of the First World War and its legacy for the Borders.

Everybody’s Darling The First World War Nurse

Everybody’s Darling The First World War Nurse 13 February-16 April North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre Open Monday – Saturday 9.30am-4.30pm We know millions of men saw action in the trenches, or behind the lines – but what about the women of the First World War? Explore this touring exhibition of objects, postcards and illustrations to find out more about these brave and often forgotten women. Weekly Film Screenings – Free Admission Wednesday and Saturday 10.30am CultureNL Limited is a registered Scottish charity number SC043891 Company number SC435540 17 & 20 Feb The Officers Ward (2001) 27 Feb In Love and War (1997) 2 & 5 March Testament of Youth (2014) *screening at 2.30pm on event day 5th March 9 & 12 March The African Queen (1951) 16 & 19 March Johnny Got His Gun (1971) 23 & 26 March Regeneration (1997) 30 March & 2 April Nurse Edith Cavell (1939) 6 & 9 April A Very Long Engagement (2004) 13 & 16 April A Farewell to Arms (1932) Talk: Medical and Nursing Management of Casualties 11.30m This talk will cover the care and chain of evacuation of casualties from the Fighting Front to the Home Front, including the work of Casualty Clearing Stations, Ambulance Trains and Hospital Ships. Talk: Scottish Women’s Hospitals 1.00pm The Scottish Women’s Hospitals was the idea of Dr Elsie Inglis, one of Scotland’s first female surgeons and a prominent suffragette. The story of Elsie and her colleagues’ contribution throughout the war is told by Alan Cumming, from Cumbernauld who uncovered a memorial to the women on a trip to watch football in Belgrade, Serbia. Join us to hear more about their extraordinary story. Film Screening: Testament of Youth (2014) 2.30pm A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I – a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times. School workshops First World War workshops for primary and secondary schools are available. Please call 01236 638352. Women in War Open day – Free Admission 5 March 2016 11am-4.30pm To mark International Women’s Day, join us for an open day of talks, children’s activities and film screenings. Learn more about the significant role women played during the conflict. A small charge applies to craft activities.

WW1 Heroines commemorated

Serbs in London will come together at 1.30pm on Sunday 13 March to commemorate the lives of the brave women in foreign medical missions in Serbia during the Great War.


The memorial service will be held at St Sava’s Church and Father Goran and Father Dragan will officiate at St Sava’s Church. Panels will be on display to explain the lives and good deeds of Lady Paget, Dr Elsie Inglis, Dr Katharine McPhail, Mabel Stobart, Flora Sandes, Evelina Haverfield, Olive King, Dr Elizabeth Ross and hundreds of other women who risked or sacrificed their lives in Serbia and on the related fronts.

Please confirm your attendance by emailing

International Women’s Day: Suffragists, Suffragettes, Heroines and Martyrs

In a related event, Zvezdana Popovic sheds light on suffragists and suffragettes during the Great War. By 1913 nearly 500 regional suffrage societies had joined the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), with over 100,000 members by 1914. So, what happened to them when the war started? The NUWSS appeared to drop its work for women’s suffrage in order to support the war effort. However, this was the way it proved its ‘national worthiness’ and won the right to vote.

Suffragists, Suffragettes, Heroines and Martyrs starts 6.30pm through to 7.45pm, Tuesday 8th March in North Kensington Library.

John Bellany Exhibition: Captain Flora Sandes: From Suffolk to the Trenches

The only western woman to go into battle as an enlisted soldier in the First World War, Flora Sandes from Suffolk became a heroine and a media sensation after she was wounded fighting in the Serbian Army. She rose rapidly through the ranks, was mentioned twice in despatches and was awarded the Star of Karadorde for bravery under fire, eventually becoming a Captain.

Flora was one of the hundreds of British women who flocked to Serbia in the early months of the war. Many worked under the auspices of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, established in Edinburgh in 1914 by Dr Elsie Inglis. Desperate for competent help, the Serbs gave them freedom to work as they wished, often for the first time in their lives.

But of all the millions of Allied women who undertook some form of war work, only Flora was able to become a soldier. Louise Miller will examine how she managed to achieve this unique status by looking both at her upbringing and the extraordinary set of circumstances that arose in Serbia during the War.


The ‘John Bellany and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals’ exhibition takes place at the Scottish Parliament from 20 January to 16 April 2016 (closed 15-20 February and Sundays).

Tickets are FREE – see website, or call 0131 348 6933 for details and to book:


I am really looking forward to this talk.  Louise Miller is an inspiring and gifted speaker and author.  I certainly see her as the leading light on this and many other important subjects.

One Hundred Years of SWH in Krusevac: Heroic Heart Dr Inglis!

They showed exceptional courage, daily care of 800 to 900 patients. About 2,000 doctors, nurses and paramedics applied for the mission in Serbia.

SCOTLAND Women’s Hospital worked within the current barracks “Car Lazar” exactly 100 years ago. To century after selfless mission Dr. Elsie Inglis Mod (1864-1917), this fact can not be forgotten, in Krusevac library managed to collect photographs, written and electronic sources that represent an invaluable testimony to the heroism of a medical examiner from Great Britain.

– We started a track and reach more documents, photos and scientific works that speak of the stay nurses in Krusevac, from November 1915 to February 1916 – says for “Novosti” Snezana Nenezic, director of the library. – For some we know what they looked difficult days of their mission in neuslovnoj barracks. There were worried about 800 to 900 patients. They were in a kind of warehouse, paternalistic wounded on the shelf. Heavier patients were lying on the lower, lighter on higher shelves.

And the nurses, as can be seen from several written sources were located in one room, where they found shelter after the withdrawal of our troops from Kragujevac. In Lazarus town and welcomed the definitive occupation of Serbia in the Great War. Did not want to leave Krusevac even when the bombs began to fall from the sky.

– More texts extensions Dr. Zarko Vukovic, in proceedings in daily newspapers indicating their heroism in Krusevac barracks – said our interlocutor.

The documents mentioned resourcefulness Dr Inglis, who despite the swamp in the military circle managed to provide hot water for the wounded, and to the nurses under guard, with bayonets, were forced to leave Krusevac in the “repartiracije” human missions.Patients were referred for home treatment or have completed in Hungary and Austria. Dr Inglis until his death continued to fight for the Serbs.

– Female staff at the hospital were highly educated, were mostly students of the University of Glasgow – stand out in the library. They had managed to get one of the car, that facilitated the work.

If Serbia in the First World War was the darling of the oldest continent, synonymous with resistance and struggle against others insane territorial claims, by the fact that the response to humanitarian and medical missions around the world was striking.

– The victory of the Serbian Army on Cer 1914 had a great impact in the public allied countries – researched once scientist Dr. Zarko Vukovic in the “British Medical Mission in Serbia and Krusevac 1914 and 1915”, which highlights the merits of the mission of the Red Cross USA , French and British organizations. – They began gathering for Serbia, and the biggest turnout was among the medical staff.

A large number of doctors, nurses and volunteer nurses, a total of more than 2,000 have applied for medical missions.

MORE THAN doctor

Elsie Inglis mode, a medical examiner trained in Edinburgh and Glasgow, one of the founders of the Scottish Federation of Women’s Suffrage, and after the First World War, the founder of Scottish Women’s Hospital. Medical first attempts made in France and Russia, and then in Serbia, where the Scottish nurses were treating the wounded in Kragujevac, Lazarevac, Valjevo, Mladenovac. With Serbian troops remained until the Corfu exodus. Dr. Noble was decorated with the Order of the White Eagle and the Order of St. Sava.