Dorothea Chalmers Smith 1872-1944

Dorothea Chalmers SmithDorothea was a pioneer doctor and militant suffragette. She was among the first cohort of medical students at Queen Margaret Medical School. she graduated in 1894 worked at the Glasgow Samaritan Hospital for Women.

In 1899 she married William Chalmers Smith a minister.

Dorothea and her sister Jane developed an active interest in the suffrage campaign. They joined the WSPU in 1912. On 24 July 1913 Dorothea and Ethel Moorhead were caught with fire lighting equipment in a mansion house. They were arrested and went on hunger strike. They were released after five days under cat and mouse act. They did not return.

Dorothea was found at Tighnabruich. At their subsequent trial the women said that they would defend themselves. they were found guilty and got eight months imprisonment. Ahain they went on hunger strike. they were released after five days and failed to return again. Dorothea's house was put under 24hour watch but she escaped and was never apprehended again.

All of this was too much for the Kirk who demanded that the Minister either control or divorce his wife. He was not supportive and Dorothea left him. They divorced and she was forbidden to see her sons.

She resumed her career as a doctor and was highly regarded in the community.

© 2009 Tiana@WEA Women's Forum