Elsie Inglis was a pioneer in a number of ways - most of them associated with the study and practice of medicine. Born in India, she studied medicine at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin, became a general practitioner in Edinburgh, and in 1901 inaugurated a maternity hospice, staffed entirely by women, at Edinburgh Bruntsfield Hospital.
In 1906 Elsie Inglis founded the Scottish Women's Suffrage Federation, from which sprang, at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the organisation of Scottish Women's Hospitals. In the following year she joined this organisation's Serbian unit, and worked in the war-torn Balkans. In a particularly famous episode, she and her colleagues remained at their posts at Krushevac in the face of a German invasion of the area. She also served in Russia and Romania, and her humanitarian work was remembered with gratitude long afterwards in the Balkans.
In Edinburgh her name was commemorated for many years in one of the city's maternity hospitals, but the Elsie Inglis Hospital is now closed.