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Where she joined the Girton and Newnham unit as an orderly unit January 1918.
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. Ruby was raised by her parents, James and Martha Abbott.In 1901 she was living with her mother in St Mary in the Castle, Sussex. In May of 1917 she joined the Scottish women’s Hospitals and headed to Salonika.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.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.
War had broken the tranquil and peaceful ambiance of the 13th century cistercian abbey.
Royaumont Abbey north of Paris, France became during WW1 an all women hospital run by the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and by the end of the war had saved and aided thousands of lives.
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.
Perhaps the most challenging time at Salonika was in the summer of 1916.