In her autobiography Miracles and Adventures (1935) Mabel Stobart recounts the events of a remarkable life. Mother of two, widowed and remarried, she spent portions of her life in the African veldt and in British Columbia. In 1907, in the midst of a war scare in London she came to the conclusion that women were poorly prepared in the event of an invasion and would achieve the vote only if they could demonstrate their ability to aid in the national defense. To that end, she founded the Women’s Sick and Wounded Convoy Corps, intended to serve near the field of battle as an emergency medical facility. It and Mrs Stobart saw their first service in the Balkan War in 1912 over the objections of the British Red Cross. She returned to the field in 1914, when she went to Belgium to set up a field hospital; caught in the German invasion, she narrowly escaped being shot as a spy. Nevertheless, she promptly returned to Belgium at the request of the Belgian Red Cross to establish a hospital wholly staffed by women. When this was successfully in place, Mabel Stobart went back to the Balkans once more, where she served as a commissioned major in charge of a hospital column during the three-month retreat on the Balkan Front. She was fifty-three at the time, spending eighteen hours a day on horseback in the mountains in winter. After her return from the Balkans, she wrote accounts of her adventures and engaged in an extensive series of lectures both in Britain and in the United States. In her later years, she became an ardent Spiritualist.
KeywordsNational Defence Field Hospital Woman Doctor Garden Suburb Suffrage Movement
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