Summerhayes Dr Grace Maria Linton

Summerhayes Dr Grace Maria Linton

Female 1894 - 1993

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  • Born  4 Nov 1894  Amberley, Glos. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Female 
    Died  1993  Edge, Glos. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I9  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  28 Aug 2013 

    Father  Summerhayes Rev Henry,   b. 1862, Ealing, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1947, Park House, Minchinhampton, Glos. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Blenkin Emily Susan,   b. 11 Jul 1863, Boston, Lincs Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1950, Park House, Minchinhampton, Glos Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  14 Apr 1891 
    Family ID  F48  Group Sheet

    Family  MacRae Alexander Murray,   b. 27th Jan 1895, Dornoch, Sutherland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1969, Edge, Glos. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    >1. MacRae Alison Grace Susannah,   b. 1932, Edinburgh Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2010, Limpsfield, Surrey Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. MacRae Sir Christopher
    Last Modified  23 Nov 2012 
    Family ID  F2  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 4 Nov 1894 - Amberley, Glos. Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1993 - Edge, Glos. Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos

    » Slide Show
    The famous 'Summerhayes Seven' laughing
    The Summerhayes Seven brothers and sisters all led extraordinary lives, and were a very close-knit family (At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.)
    a young Grace Summerhayes
    a young Grace Summerhayes
    A photo taken by Grace of wounded soldiers being unloaded from ambulances at Royaumont Abbey, near the front lines north of Paris, where she served as a nurse in 1917 during Wolrd War 1.
    A photo taken by Grace of wounded soldiers being unloaded from ambulances at Royaumont Abbey, near the front lines north of Paris, where she served as a nurse in 1917 during Wolrd War 1.
    a sprig of white heather, saved by Grace from her wedding day in 1931.
    a sprig of white heather, saved by Grace from her wedding day in 1931.
    Grace with the staff of the Maternity Hospital she started at Korle Bu, Ghana
    Grace with the staff of the Maternity Hospital she started at Korle Bu, Ghana
    Grace with some of her grandchildren in Scotland 1969
    Grace with some of her grandchildren in Scotland 1969

  • Notes 
    • Grace was a wise and loving grandmother, and she led an extraodinary life in extraordinary times. She grew up in a large loving family, and remained close to her brothers and sisters throughout her long life. She became a surgeon despite having lost the sight of one of her eyes as a child when standing too close to her brother Christopher as he swung a golf club - remarkable now, doubly remarkable then in a world of few women doctors.

      When a grandson asked her in her final years why she believed in God she replied 'because it's harder not to', reflecting the simple straight-forward Christian faith of her family. You get a good sense of Grace from the memoir she wrote of her husband Alastair MacRae, which you can find in his notes.

      The following is her obituary from the BMJ, written by one of her grandsons who followed her into medicine.

      'Grace MacRae, who died in her 100th year, was one of the last of a remarkable generation of women doctors.

      Initially a teacher in Colchester, she wanted to be near her brother Christopher who was in the trenches during WW1. The British Army didn't let female nurses near the front, so she joined the Scottish Womens Hospital, which served under rhe Fench flag, and was an orderly at Royaumont field hospital between December 1917 and August 1918. She remembered the different nationalities by how heavy they were to carry on stretchers and how polite they were (the Germans scored lowly on both counts).

      She then qualified as a Doctor at the Royal Free, and started along the conventional path to senior hospital posts in Britain, but her adventurous spirit led her to accept the job of setting up the first maternity hospital and nurses' training school in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) at Korle Bu. She rememebered how going out to the villages and talking to the witch doctors so they'd bring in the young women with complications was the only way to get it going.

      She overcame enormous difficulties to achieve this, and her work laid the foundations for Ghana's current -obstetric services. She aimed to provide training for her staff the equal of any in the world. She also undertook research into anaemia of pregnancy in Africa, which was both early and valuable, as well as research into malaria and other diseases of the tropics.

      She remained in Ghana with her husband Alastair, a senior surgeon who she met and married out there, until the second world war. On returning to Gloucestershire where her aging parents lived, she took on general practice.

      After the war she remained in Gloucestershire and continued to work in child health. Her conviction that housing was vital to health led her to become an independent district councillor, and she gave her enormous energies to many medical organisations.

      She remained active and lived independently throughout her old age, retiring as president of the local cancer research campaign at 90 and visiting hospitals in Nigeria at 98.

      Source: Obituary in the BMJ

      +++++++

      1901 Census:
      Henry Summerhayes, age 38, Clergyman C of E, born Boston, Lincolnshire, lives at the Rectory in Amberley. His wife is Emily Susan Summerhayes, age 37, also born in Boston, Lincs.
      Children; Mercy B age 8, Grace M L age 6, Christopher H age 5, Eirene May age 3, and Mary age 9 months. they also have 4 domestic servants living with them.


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