Isabel Emslie Hutton’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

Intro British doctor
Was Doctor 
From United Kingdom 
Type Healthcare 
Gender female
Birth 1 January 1887
Death 1 January 1960
(aged 73 years)

Lady Isabel Galloway Emslie Hutton CBE (née Isabel Galloway Emslie; 1887–1960) was a Scottish medical doctor who specialised in mental health and social work. She was married to British military officer Thomas Jacomb Hutton.


She was born Isabel Galloway Emslie in Edinburgh in 1887, the eldest daughter of James Emslie, advocate and deputy keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland, and attended Edinburgh Ladies’ College. She enrolled to the Edinburgh University and trained in the women’s medical school, spending her hospital residence years at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. She graduated in 1910 with a degree in medicine and in 1912, was awarded her MD with a thesis on the Wasserman reaction to the test for syphilis in the blood and cerebro-spinal fluid of the insane. While completing her thesis, she worked as a pathologist at the Stirling District Asylum and then moved to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children before becoming the first woman to be appointed in charge of the women’s side of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

In 1915 she joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals Organisation and served in France (Domaine de Chanteloup, Sainte-Savine, near Troyes) and then with the Armee d’Orient in Salonika, distinguishing herself by leading the unit which accompanied the Serbian army during the First World War. In 2015 a stamp was launched in Serbia to honour her work during the war.

Following the closure of the Serbian hospital where she worked, she took over Lady Muriel Paget’s mission in Crimea. In this role, she brought several orphaned children to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and organised relief for Russian refugees. In 1928 she published ‘With a Woman’s Unit in Serbia, Salonika and Sebastopol’, an account of these years.

For her work during this period she was awarded the Serbian orders of the White Eagle and St. Sava, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Order of St. Anne of Russia.

On her return to Edinburgh in 1920, she was reinstated to her former post at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital but resigned the position after her marriage the following year.

She then moved to London, obtaining research work at the Maudsley Hospital which led to a research paper with Sir Frederick Mott and honorary consultancies at the Maudsley and the West End Hospital for Nervous Disease. In 1940 she published ‘Mental Disorders in Modern Life’, drawing on her experience from these roles.

She moved to India in 1938 and undertook charity work, broadcasting and dispatches for the external affairs department, taking up the role of director of the Indian Red Cross welfare service, before returning to England in 1946, where she was awarded a CBE in 1948.

After becoming senior consultant psychiatrist at the British Hospital, she was elected fellow of the Royal School of Medicine and became a member of the Royal Medico-Physical Association.

Her autobiography, ‘Memoirs of a Doctor in War and Peace’ was published in 1960.