Murray, Flora

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Murray, Flora Gender: F
born on 8 May 1869 at 23:08 (= 11:08 PM )
Place Dalton, Scotland, 55n0311, 3w2316
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 18°20' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 17°17 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 23°03'

Flora Murray (1914)


Scottish medical pioneer, and a member of the Women's Social and Political Union suffragettes. From 1914 to the end of her life, she lived with her partner and fellow doctor Louisa Garrett Anderson.

One of her earliest involvements in the medical field was attending the London Hospital in Whitechapel in 1890. She attended as a probationer nurse, for a six-month course. Murray decided on her career in medicine and went on to study in the London School of Medicine for Women in 1897.

Murray attended school in Germany and London before going on to study to be a doctor at the London School of Medicine for Women. She then proceeded to work as a Medical assistant for 18 months at an asylum at the Crichton Royal Institution in Dumfriesshire. This experience was crucial in her writing of her MD thesis called 'Asylum Organization and Management' (1905). She completed her medical education at Durham University, receiving her MB BSc in 1903, and MD in 1905. She received a Diploma in Public Health from the University of Cambridge in 1906.

During her time in Scotland, Murray lived in Edinburgh with Dr Elsie Inglis, founder of the Scottish Women's Hospitals movement. Historians such as Emily Hamer and Rebecca Jennings have argued that Murray had her "first serious lesbian relationship" with Elsie Inglis.

In 1905 Murray was a medical officer at the Belgrave Hospital for Children in London and then an anaesthetist at the Chelsea Hospital for Women. In 1905 The Lancet published an article that she authored on the use of anaesthetic in children, titled "Ethyl chloride as an anaesthetic for children."

Murray's hand in women's suffrage first started when she became a participant and activist of Millicent Fawcett's National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. She then continued her work in women's suffrage as a supporter of Women's Social and Political Union. She also became a consistent participant in the militant movement, offering her services as a practitioner including at the Pembroke Gardens nursing home for suffragettes recovering from force-feeding, run by Nurses Catherine Pine and Gertrude Townend.

She took a leadership role and showed her value as an activist by speaking at public gatherings, becoming a member in the 1911 census protest, and using her medical knowledge and skill to treat her fellow suffragettes who experienced injuries through their work as activists. She looked after Emmeline Pankhurst and other hunger-strikers after their release from prison and campaigned with other doctors against the forcible feeding of prisoners.

In 1912 she founded the Women's Hospital for Children at 688 Harrow Road with Louisa Garrett Anderson. It provided health care for working-class children of the area, and gave women doctors their only opportunity to gain clinical experience in paediatrics in London; the hospital's motto was "Deeds not Words."

When the First World War broke out, Murray and her partner Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson founded the Women's Hospital Corps (WHC), and recruited women to staff it. Believing that the British War Office would reject their offer of help, and knowing that the French were in need of medical assistance, they offered their assistance to the French Red Cross. The French accepted their offer and provided them the space of a newly built hotel in Paris as their hospital. Flora Murray was appointed Médecin-en-Chef (chief physician) and Anderson became the chief surgeon.

In January 1915, casualties began to be evacuated to England for treatment. The War Office invited Murray and Anderson to return to London to run a large hospital, the Endell Street Military Hospital (ESMH), under the Royal Army Medical Corps. ESMH treated almost 50,000 soldiers between May 1915 and September 1919 when it closed.

After the war ended, Murray returned to Harrow Road hospital which was renamed Roll of Honour Hospital, where she continued her work as a private practitioner. Her diary about her experiences of the War became a book, Women as Army Surgeons: Being the History of the Women's Hospital Corps in Paris (1920). The book's dedication reads, "To Louisa Garrett Anderson / Bold, cautious, true and my loving companion."

Lack of funding eventually led to the closure of the Roll of Honour Hospital, and also the retirement of both Murray and Anderson. They moved to a cottage in Paul End, in Penn, Buckinghamshire.

Murray suffered from cancer and died on 28 July 1923, aged 54. Her death occurred shortly after her surgery in a nursing home in Hampstead, London. Her lifelong partner was by her side. Murray left everything to Anderson in her will.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • (has as) other hierarchical relationship with Pankhurst, Emmeline (born 15 July 1858). Notes: Doctor/ patient


  • Death by Disease 28 July 1923 (Cancer, surgery, age 54)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield downloaded Birth entry in Civil registry, National Records of Scotland; copy on file [1]. Her birth place of Murraythwaite is near Dalton.


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (MB BSc, MD)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Fourth of six)
  • Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted (Louisa Garrett Anderson)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Louisa Garrett Anderson)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Studied in Germany, worked in France)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Lesbian
  • Vocation : Medical : Nurse/ Nurse's Aids
  • Vocation : Medical : Physician
  • Vocation : Medical : Technician (Anaesthetist)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ social (Suffragette)
  • Vocation : Politics : Labor unions (Suffragette)
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (Medical pioneer)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Women's Hospital for Children)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Women's Hospital Corps)