Remembering those who lost their lives

This morning a plaque that pays tribute to nurses who lost their lives in the First World War is to be unveiled at Central Library.

It is the first memorial to bring together more than 500 names of British, Irish and Dominion Force nurses who died in service or as a direct consequence of their role in the conflict.


The memorial is the result of research carried out at the University of Edinburgh by historian, Yvonne McEwen. Now in her role as Director of the University’s Scotland’s War engagement project, she has collaborated with a number of partner institutions to produce this fitting tribute.

The Deaconess Nurses Association, Lothian Health Service Fellowship and the Royal Naval Association in Ireland are among the organisations that have worked to support the memorial. Donations have also been made by members of the public.

A display of rare photographs and documents highlighting the role women played at the front will go on show alongside the memorial plaque. The Scarlett, Grey and Tartan exhibition runs until 16 November.

And tonight, student nurses from Napier and Queen Margaret Universities will perform the short drama, God’s Waiting Room. A public lecture delivered by Yvonne McEwen will follow.

Yvonne said: “Nurses in the First World War were often casualties in just the same way soldiers were – with mothers, fathers and siblings waiting anxiously at home. It is with the support of our partners that we have been able to create the memorial plaque, helping to share their narrative and reveal some of the hidden histories of these remarkable women.”

Meanwhile, over the next two weeks visitors to Fountainbridge Library will be able to see the results of Project Kitbag, where pupils from Tynecastle High School, and other schools across the city, have been working alongside artists to create responses to the war in the forms of art, music, documentary and literature.

Project Kitbag- Final Invite (3)

The exhibition is formally launched tonight and will be exhibited in the library for the next two weeks.


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