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Name: Natasha Stoyce

PhD: English

Thesis Title: Theatres of War: The Experiences of the Serbian Units of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the Great War.


Thesis Description:

This thesis is the first to explore the Scottish Women’s Hospitals’ Serbian Unit’s (SWHSU) gendered and medical experiences during the Great War. Active on the Balkan and Eastern Fronts between January 1915 and March 1919, the SWHSU were unique because they were the first and only all-female medical unit to have maintained functional hospitals on the frontlines of war. They were operational in Serbia from December 1914, during this country's worst typhus epidemic, whilst the organisation's last members left Serbia in April 1920. Though still commemorated and greatly admired in Serbia, beyond this Balkan state history has overlooked them. 

Through an exploration of memoirs, diaries and letters this study intends to recover the SWHSU’s legacy to Britain’s Great War memory. I will examine these women’s works in relation to their theatres of war - a deliberate plurality that exists because, as female medics, they performed not only in physical operating theatres, but in gender performative arenas that, due to the front’s shifting boundaries, were constantly in flux. 


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Dr Claire Brock - University of Leicester

Dr Victoria Stewart - University of Leicester


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:





    • March 2019:
      Memorial Service for Women in Foreign Medical Missions - Presentation to public at Bishop Nikolaj Community Centre, London.
      "Lest we Forget: Forgotten Female Soldiers of the Balkan Front" 
    • March 2019:
      Victorian Studies Spring Seminar Series - Presentation.
      "Where ‘women can help […]’:  the early work of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in Serbia during the Great War (1914-1916)."

    • May 2019:
      Private audience with His Excellency, Denis Keefe, the British Ambassador to Serbia at His residence in Belgrade, Serbia. 

    • May 2019:
      Meeting with Her Excellency, Kati Csaba, the Canadian Ambassador to Serbia in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Other Research Interests:

  • Women; First World War; Gender; Medical Humanities; Military Medicine; History of Medicine.



University email address:


Twitter: @NatashaStoyce

Other Social Media: 

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