Introducing Elsie Inglis

Did you know Edinburgh has more statues in tribute to animals than to women?

Girlguiding Edinburgh is delighted to be part of a dedicated group of enthusiastic individuals who believe that Dr Elsie Inglis deserves a statue. We are working hard fundraising to create a fitting memorial to Elsie here in Edinburgh.

Our Elsie Inglis Challenge Pack and accompanying badge were designed by young members of Girlguiding Edinburgh based on what they learned about the life of Elsie Inglis from a local living historian.

Elsie Inglis was a dedicated, determined, inspirational individual who challenged herself and enjoyed adventure, just like members of Girlguiding. She was one of the first women to study medicine in Scotland and, once qualified, devoted herself to improving women's medical treatment.

In 1894, she established an Edinburgh maternity hospital staffed entirely by women, and at the outbreak of the First World War organised all-women ambulance units. Inglis made an offer to the British War Office to create a medical unit staffed entirely by women, but was rejected; she was told to 'go home and sit still'. She refused, and in 1915 Elsie went to Serbia, where she set up three military hospitals.

Elsie Inglis was an active member of the Scottish Federation of Women's Suffrage Societies, fighting not only for votes for women but for equal rights for education and medical careers.

Similarly, in Girlguiding, we empower members to learn about the world, form their own opinions, speak out for the change they want to see, and fight for issues they care about—just as Elsie did.

Inglis's characteristics and achievements make her an incredible role model for young people. Just as we try to do in guiding, her life and work can inspire the next generation to realise that they can do anything they put their mind to.

We hope you enjoy trying the challenge pack and learning more about Elsie Inglis. It's up to you and your leaders how many activities you complete to earn your badge.