About the Book
They may have been angels of mercy. But they were also angels with attitude – real women, with real guts.
This is the little-known story of the gritty and free-spirited women who, in 1914, put aside their fight for the vote to set up a hospital in an abandoned French abbey to treat the appalling injuries sustained on the Western Front. Uniquely in that theatre, the hospital was staffed entirely by women – doctors, surgeons, nurses, bateriologists, radiographers, orderlies and ambulance drivers.
In the face of opposition from the military and medical establishments, and in the teeth of many hardships, they succeeded in establishing one of the most effective and longest-serving frontline military hospitals of the First World War.
Eileen Crofton studied medicine at Somerville College, Oxford. She joined the Royal Medical Corps in 1944 and was posted to County Down where she met her husband. She was appointed county medical officer of the Midlothian branch of the British Red Cross Society in 1963, later being awarded life membership for exceptional service. In 1971 she helped to establish Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and was awarded an MBE on her retirement from ASH Scotland. She died in 2010.