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Wartime Volunteers' Memories

In memory of Scottish matrons (1912 – 1918)

Serbian soldiers are still appreciative to those wonderful and dedicated Scottish women – matrons and nurses, not only because they cured them observantly, but also because of their emotional relationship that turned into love to Serbia and its people. They manifested it through many acts. So, doctor Elsie Ingless refused English conslul’s call to retreat her hospital from the town of Krusevac, under the incoming aggressors. She did something else – she stayed waiting for the Germans standing by the wounded Serbian’s beds. She has been there for the next three months living in occupation, and although living in hard and poor conditions, she managed to finish her mission. She was deported to the prisoners camp somewhere in Europe. Even then she continued fighting for the Serbs and Serbia.

Mrs Stobar stayed with some small units of Allied soldiers, living through Albanian scenario (when Serbs had to retreat through the mountains of Albania, running from the Germans’ incoming, because they needed to arrive in Greece, to receive medications and to have some rest). She also received orders to retreat using the safe road and to take her hospital with herself. There was a risk for equipment to be destroyed (although that didn’t happen), English donators criticized her and later on she was dismissed from her function of hospital’s director.

The unprecedented curiosity was seen in the case of Mrs Flora Senz, once gracious lady living in the highest London social class. As she didn’t want to leave wounded Serbian soldiers (her medic unit was withdrawn) she decided to change her medic uniform for the soldiers’ one and she was determined to continue with Serbian army’s withdrawal through Albania. On the Thesalonika front she was charging at the Bulgarian occupators’ trenches and she was wounded few times.

No one could write some more emotional memories of the Serbian warriors as those wonderful women did. Here are some extractions :

Doctor Wakefield: “Serbs are great nation – firm, strong, persistent, even they become ill, they don’t complain. They are ideal patients. They now how to live, but they also now how to die. We really loved them.”

Thanks to Milan Koricanac for sending in this translation.

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