Nurse Tina Gray

Biography of Nurse Tina Gray

Tina Gray was born in Helensburgh in 1884; her father, George William, was a ship broker. She went to school in Helensburgh and had an interest in writing and art.

Upon the outbreak of war she volunteered as a nurse, working for thirteen months in an army infectious diseases hospital near Rouen. The hospital was under canvas and conditions were trying; over winter it is said that is was so cold that the Seine froze over and diseases such as cerebrospinal meningitis were difficult to treat. Yet Tina enjoyed the independence that the work offered her and the opportunities it would create, only reluctantly returning to Scotland because of family obligations. At the end of the war she was one of only thirteen VADs to use the training scholarships offered by the Red Cross Society to attend medical school.

In 1920 Tina came to the University of Glasgow to study Medicine and was a very successful student, winning prizes every year. She won first class certificates in: Practical Chemistry, Anatomy, Practical Anatomy, ENT and Clinical Medicine. In Botony, Physiology and Insanity she gained second class certificates. She received honours for her studies in Zoology and won a medal in Practical Pathology. She also won the Asher Medal and the Herkless Prize. On 30th April 1925 Tina Gray graduated MBChB.

Following her graduation she served as a resident house surgeon, then worked in pathology, before being appointed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Her career was trailblazing, being one of only two female senior surgeons in Scotland at the time. During her career she also worked in Dunfermline and Stonehouse. Her surgical practice included pelvic fractures, childhood intestinal problems, bone infections and burns. For the latter she was challenged in a medical journal and made public data on the treatments she applied, presumably to prove the efficacy of the treatment.

During retirement Tina lived on the shores of Loch Long, remaining alert until her death aged one hundred in 1984.


Nurse Tina Gray
Rank: Nurse
Regiment: Voluntary Aid Detachment
Degree: MBChB 1925
Note/Press Clipping:
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Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory, and the First World War in Britain; By Janet S. K. Watson; p.268

British Medical Journal Obituary, Vol 289, 22nd September 1984, p.773.

British Red Cross VAD cards, Miss Tina Gray

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