Hebridean Heroines by author Catherine Morrison is the latest book published by the Islands Book Trust.
The book gives us a fascinating insight into the lives of women from the Western Isles who worked as district nurses in the mid-twentieth century.
Leaving behind their close knit Island communities, these intrepid women undertook the 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 nurse worked long hours and were always available when called, regardless of hour, weather conditions or remoteness.
Here they described 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 beyong the call of duty without through for their own comfort, yet maintaining that ‘I was only doing my job, which I loved’.
These stories are their legacy.
Catherine Morrison completed her General Nurse training in Glasgow and subsequently worked as a staff nurse in the Southern General Hospital before training as a midwife in Renfrewshire and then carrying out Queen’s training in Edinburgh.
She spent six years working in Canada before returning to Glasgow to take up a ward sister’s post.
After some years in Glasgow she took up a post as district nurse in Bernera, Lewis.
Cathering continued working as a community nurse, becoming community manager and latterly a teaching fellow at Stirling University Campus for nurses in Stornoway.
In 2008 she won the Royal College of Nursing’s UK Community Nurse award for initiating an overnight nursing service.
Published by the Islands Book Trust and available from January 31st, Hebridean Heroines (Paperback) is priced £12.99.
To order contact: www.islandsbooktrust.org or call 01851 830316.