Royal Free’s Dr Flora Murray is featured on a Scottish banknote

Published:
16:07 5 April 2022



A medical pioneer and suffragette who trained as a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital has been chosen to feature on a new banknote.

Dr Flora Murray CBE will appear on the Bank of Scotland’s £100 polymer note when it comes into circulation on May 9.

Caroline Clarke, chief executive of the Royal Free London (RFL) NHS Foundation Trust, said RFL was the first institution in Britain to train women in medicine.

“We are extremely proud that the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Free Charity have worked together to give Flora her rightful place in the pantheon of British medical history,” she said.

Born in Dumfries, Dr Murray trained at the RFH School of Medicine for Women.

She obtained her medical degree in 1905 and worked as a doctor and anesthesiologist.

In 1912, with her lifelong partner, Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson, she founded the Women’s Hospital for Children, Harrow Road, to provide health care for working-class children.

A member of the Women’s Social and Political Union, she supported suffragettes recovering from hunger strikes and wounds acquired during demonstrations.

With the start of World War I in 1914, the two doctors founded the Women’s Hospital Corps and opened two military hospitals in France, staffed entirely by suffragettes.

After an invitation from the British War Office, the two women set up Endell Street Military Hospital, Covent Garden, the UK’s first women’s hospital for returning soldiers.

The hospital treated more than 26,000 seriously injured soldiers.

In 1917 they were appointed CBE for their work and medical efforts during the war.

A portrait of Dr Murray, painted by Francis Dodd in 1921, appears on the reverse of the banknote which includes an image of female stretcher-bearers outside Endell Street Hospital.

Ms Clark added: “Nearly a century after her death, Flora’s story is a reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude we owe those early agitators who refused to accept the limitations imposed by a society that did not believe that women could or should be doctors, physicians and surgeons.

“Yesterday and today, we embrace trailblazers, innovators and game changers.”

Philip Grant, chairman of the Scottish Executive Committee of Bank of Scotland, said the bank was “proud” to commemorate “the remarkable work of Dr Flora Murray who, as well as being a medical pioneer, spent her adult life to fight for women’s rights as a suffragette”. ”.

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