Louisa Garrett Anderson

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Louisa Garrett Anderson
Louisa Anderson.jpg
Born(1873-07-28)28 July 1873
Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England
Died15 November 1943(1943-11-15) (aged 70)
EducationSt Leonards School
London School of Medicine for Women
Known forMilitary hospitals
Campaigning for women's rights and social reform
RelativesFlora Murray (partner)
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (mother)
Alan Garrett Anderson (brother)
Millicent Fawcett (maternal aunt)
Medical career

Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson, CBE (28 July 1873 – 15 November 1943) was a medical pioneer, a member of the Women's Social and Political Union, a suffragette, and social reformer. She was the daughter of the founding medical pioneer Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, whom she wrote a biography of in 1939. Louisa was the Chief Surgeon of the Women's Hospital Corps (WHC) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. Her aunt, Dame Millicent Fawcett, was a British suffragist. Louisa Garrett Anderson never married.

Early life and education[edit]

She was one of the three children of James George Skelton Anderson of the Orient Steamship Company co-owned by his uncle Arthur Anderson, and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson who was the first woman to qualify as a doctor, co-founder of the London School of Medicine for Women and Britain's first elected woman Mayor (of Aldeburgh). She was educated at St Leonards School in St. Andrews, Fife and at the London School of Medicine for Women located at the Royal Free Hospital, where she worked as a doctor in private practice and hospitals.

Suffragette activity[edit]

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Louisa Garrett Anderson, Alfred Caldecott and another in 1910 on the day they went to see the Prime Minister

In 1910 she made up a deputation with her mother Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Alfred Caldecott , Hertha Ayrton, Mrs Elmy, Mrs Hilda Brackenbury and Pricess Sophia Duleep Singh who were allowed to join Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst put forward the case, for women to have the vote, to the Prime Minister, supported by 300 banner carrying women, which later suffered police violence in the melee after no progress made.[1] In 1912, she was imprisoned in Holloway, briefly, for her suffragette activities which included breaking a window by throwing a brick. In 1914 Garrett Anderson joined the new group of men and women in United Suffragists which had branches in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh.[1]

Medicine – WW1[edit]

In the First World War she served in France with the Women's Hospital Corps. Along with her friend and colleague Dr. Flora Murray, she established military hospitals for the French Army in Paris and Wimereux. Their proposals were at first rejected by the British authorities, but eventually the WHC became established at the military hospital, Endell Street Military Hospital, Holborn, London staffed entirely by women, from chief surgeon to orderlies.[citation needed] She wrote many medical articles.


She is buried at the Holy Trinity Church with her partner and colleague, Dr. Flora Murray near to their home in Penn, Buckinghamshire. The inscription on her grave stone reads "Louisa Garrett Anderson, C.B.E., M.D., Chief Surgeon Women's Hospital Corps 1914–1919. Daughter of James George Skelton Anderson and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson of Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Born 28th. July 1873, died November 15. 1943. We have been gloriously happy."[2]


The archives of Louisa Garrett Anderson are held at The Women's Library at the Library of the London School of Economics, ref 7LGA.

Posthumous recognition[edit]

Her name and picture (and those of 58 other women's suffrage supporters) are on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, London, unveiled in 2018.[3][4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Diane,, Atkinson, (2018). Rise up, women! : the remarkable lives of the suffragettes. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 222, 453. ISBN 9781408844045. OCLC 1016848621.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ Iain MacFarlaine (21 June 2002). "Louisa Garret Anderson". Medical Pioneer, Social Reformer. Find a Grave. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Historic statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett unveiled in Parliament Square". Gov.uk. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4. ^ Topping, Alexandra (24 April 2018). "First statue of a woman in Parliament Square unveiled". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Millicent Fawcett statue unveiling: the women and men whose names will be on the plinth". iNews. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

Other sources[edit]

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