ADDENDUM: Really exciting news – this book has been shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish History Book Prize which will be announced on Friday 30 November 2012. Link to the prize here.
The Women of Moray project began with a book, Women of Moray, which tells of the lives of over seventy women connected with Moray. The book will be published on 8 March 2012. The project now looks set to become a model for similar collections all over the country, creating not only a published resource but also a website where others can add information about their relatives. In addition, the Women of Moray project has involved both the local and academic communities through a series of events. Schools will receive copies of the book and storytelling events and art exhibitions are planned. A conference will be held on 10 March to mark the publication (details here).
For me this is a very special occasion because the book includes my grandmother, Olga Margaret Byatt. Indeed, when I first saw the website, I was delighted to see her photo on the front page! My aunt, Mary Byatt, has been closely involved in the project and has written the article on Olga.
For more details of Olga’s role in the Women’s Hospital Corps in Paris and then in running the hospital in Endell Street, London, please look at the entry in this blog for November 2008 when a plaque was unveiled to mark the site of the hospital (now demolished). It was the only hospital then staffed entirely by women, and by the time it closed in 1919 it had treated more than 24,000 soldiers. Their motto, fittingly, was “Deeds not Words” (adopted from Mrs Pankhurst’s organisation, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU)). There is more interesting info on this forum, as well as a photo and map showing the location of the hospital.