Nurse Millicent Sutherland

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Date:1914 - 1918 (c.)

Description:Photograph of Millicent signed Millicent Hawes, Millicent Sutherland Ambulance 1914- 1918, the Great War.

Millicent Fanny St. Clair Erskine was born in 1867 in Fife. In 1884 she married Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower and after the death of his father in 1892 she became Millicent Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland.

Known to her many friends and correspondents as Millie, Duchess Millicent was a very successful London hostess who had literary aspirations, writing both fiction and drama. However, she was also a serious activist for social reform. She started the North Staffordshire Cripples’ Aid Society, and assisted in founding a technical school at Golspie in Sutherland. During her marriage to the Duke of Sutherland she gave birth to two daughters and two sons. The eldest daughter, Victoria, unfortunately died before she was three, leaving her two sons George and Alastair, and a daughter Rosemary.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, Millie was amongst the first to establish a Red Cross Ambulance Unit in Belgium. Her unit developed into a British Red Cross Hospital Unit in France. She was awarded the Belgian Royal Red Cross, the French Croix de Guerre and the British Red Cross for her efforts during the conflict. She died in 1955.

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Donor ref:D6578/15/189/24 (201/28388)

Source: Staffordshire County Record Office

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