The celebrated first world war nurses ‘all but forgotten’

Reviving the story of Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, the most medalled women of the war

An author and a nurse historian are reviving the story of Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, the most medalled women of the war

A century ago, Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm were among the most celebrated women of the first world war. Nicknamed the Angels of Pervyse, they were lauded far and wide for their work helping to save the lives of soldiers on the Western Front.

Countless newspaper columns praised their activities and their bravery, and made was much of their unconventionality – both loved nothing more than tearing around on motorcycles, for example. They even attracted VIP visitors, including royalty, to their nursing station in Belgium.

‘They were the two most medalled women of the first world war and I


Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?