Saturday, 18 April 2015

Florence Stoney (1870 - 1932) and her sister Edith Stoney (1869 - 1938)

With many thanks to Dorothy Clare for bringing these two inspirational women to my attention.

The sisters, who were born in Dublin, studied medicine in London.  In 1899 Edith lectured on physics at the London School of Medicine for Women and in 1901 Florence became a medical electrician at the Royal Free Hospital in London. 

Many women rushed to offer their help at the outbreak the First World War, among them Florence and her sister who offered their services to the Red Cross but were turned down because they were women.  Nothing daunted, Florence set up her own ex-ray unit with the Women's Imperial Service League, and went to work in Belgium while Edith organised things in London and served on the League's Committee.  Florence's unit was mainly staffed by women, apart from two part-time male chauffeurs and a technical assistant.

The unit was extremely successful and was ordered to go to Serbia where medical assistance was urgently required.

Both sisters received recognition and medals for their bravery and work during WW1.

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