Leaving behind their close knit island communities, these intrepid women undertook the long journey by sea and rail to the mainland of Scotland to train as nurses and midwives. The majority carried out Queen’s district nurse training and maintained that it ‘prepared them to go to the desert to work’ if necessary. Most of them eventually returned to the islands, to work in a role that required strength of body and mind.
District nurses worked long hours and were always available when called, regardless of hour, weather conditions or remoteness. Here they describe in their own words their everyday lives, giving us an insight into the challenges they faced and revealing the resilience and strength of character required to do the job. These women were true Hebridean heroines, regularly going beyond the call of duty without thought for their own comfort, yet maintaining that ‘I was only doing my job, which I loved’. These stories are their legacy.