THE descendants of a pioneering Scottish doctor and war hero marked the centenary of her death with a gathering at her grave in Edinburgh.

Dr Elsie Inglis was one of Scotland’s first female doctors, and formed the Scottish Women’s Hospitals (SWH) to treat soldiers in the First World War after her offer to help on the frontline was turned down.

Health Minister Shona Robison and Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross were among those to pay tribute to Inglis’s achievements at the capital’s Dean Cemetery yesterday, which included the laying of a wreath.

One of the main reasons for the remembrance was the work of Alan Cumming, who has helped bring Inglis into the public eye since discovering a plaque dedicated to her during a trip to Serbia.

Captain Slobodan Novakovic, who was representing the Serbian embassy in London, was in attendance at the service of commemoration.

Cumming said: “It’s fantastic that the Scottish government organised these events, and they need to be credited for that. This has been a long time coming.

“Anything that promotes this story has to be a good thing. Awareness is increasing all the time, and the more attention this gets the more people look into it.

“We all share a connection to Dr Elsie — with her achievements and with her work to promote equality. I think that’s something that resonates with us all.”

A thanksgiving service on Wednesday at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh will be attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Princess Anne, a hundred years to the day since her funeral there brought Edinburgh to a stand-still.

Her achievements are being marked as part of The Scottish Commemorations Panel’s WW100 Scotland, having been appointed by the Scottish Government to recommend a programme of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Professor Norman Drummond, chair of the Scottish Commemorations Panel, said: “Dr Elsie Inglis was a remarkable and inspirational woman. This tribute is very fitting, and I’m sure she would have been incredibly proud of the multi-generational audience at the ceremony, and particularly the very many young women attending.”

There were 17 Scottish Women’s Hospitals set up across France, Corsica, Greece, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. Of almost 1500 personnel, only 20 were men.

SWH served the war effort from 1914 until 1919 and only formally disbanded in 1925. Inglis died in 1917, the day after she returned to Britain.

As a committed campaigner of votes for women, Inglis believed the SWH could help demonstrate the capabilities of women while helping those in need.

She had offered her help to the Allies after the UK’s War Office turned her away, saying: “Good lady, go home and sit still.”

Inglis had already pioneered medical work with women and babies in the slums of Edinburgh, saving lives despite there being scant medical resources for the poor.

Yesterday’s tribute was part of Scotland’s History Festival, which held an Afternoon with Elsie Inglis yesterday as part of events.

The speakers included Tony Waterston and Hugh Maddox, relatives of Inglis, and Dr Jo Hockley, who spoke about the lasting effect the Scot has had.

Other speakers were Ailsa Clarke, Zvezdana Popovic and Louise Miller.