We were recently asked by the museum if we would look into the life of Hughina Mcculloch as the have her medals at the museum. here,s what we found .
Hughina Ross McCulloch was born at 12noon on 28/3/1874 at Fendom,Tain,Ross and Cromarty.
She was the daughter of crofter David McCulloch and Helen Ross.Her parents were married at Fearn on 14/6/1865.
Hughina’s parents David was born at Nigg,while her mother,Helen Ross,was born in Fearn.
1871 Census of Fendom shows Hughina’s parents and siblings living there, and three years later she was born. Occupation of her father at that time was Farmer of 20 acres.
1881 Census shows 7 year old Hughina and her family still living there at Fendom.
The following Census in 1891 of Balkeith,Fendom Road,Tain shows that her father has died and her widowed mother,Helen, is now Head of the house.Her unmarried siblings Donald,Catherine and David are still at home. Hughina,aged 17,is a Sewing Maid.
1901 Census of Balkeith,Tain, shows brother Donald(33) as head of house.Mother Helen(66),sister Kate(33) and uncle Angus McCulloch(72)in the household.Hughina(27) has her occupation as “Farmer’s sister”.
The final available Census of 1911 has Hughina Ross McCulloch(aged 36)working as a “Hospital Nurse” in the St Mary’s District of Dundee.(probably Dundee Royal Infirmary).
Hughina served as a Nurse in the Girton Newnham Branch of the SWH between 2/6/1915 and 1/10/1917. The unit was named after the womens colleges in cambridge. They would have raised the money themselves and therefore were able to have a unit named after the colleges. Hughina would have worked under the leadership of Dr louise Mcllroy of glasgow and Dr Laura Sandeman of Aberdeen, by june 1915 the hospital was in service in Troyes France and Hughina remained there for around 5 months, in october 1915 the unit received ordered to make there way to the eastern front. The unit left France on a voyage through the Mediterranean seas, a dangerous journey at the time with submarines lurking in the waters.On arrival in Salonkia, greece, she would have went straight to work as troops were pouring into the camps many with horrendous injuries.
Determined to aid the serbian troops that they had becames so fond of in Salonkia they pressed on to Guevgueli a hospital on the river Vardar, however by this time serbia was on the back foot and the women were face to face with all the horrors of war, the wounded, the dead and feeling of hopelessness, the women did everything possible but with the guns of enemy fire getting closer each day the decision was taken to retreat back to salonika. The bravery shown by hughina and co workers was indesribable, working under canvas in extreme cold while trying to treat patients with severe wounds, knowing that serbia was doomed and with no communication must have been very hard indeed. Hughina continued working with the SWH in salonkia tending the sick and continued to help save lives. by october she had returned home, and im sorry i dont know what she did untill her death. If i were from Tain id be very proud of her, a wonderful lady. am glad she now will, like Dr ross have a place at your museum. Thankyou for giving me the chance to be able to bring her back to life in a few words. a privilege.
She died of breast cancer on 12/8/1959 at Dalmore House,Alness,Ross-shire aged 85 years.The Informant of death was her nephew J.Munro of Beinn Aluinn,Tain. Death Registered 12/8/1959 at Invergordon.