Gray, Tina

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Gray, Tina

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Tina Gray was born in Helensburgh on March 20th 1884, one of seven children of Norah Neilson, daughter of a Falkirk auctioneer, and George Gray, a Glasgow shipbroker. Tina enjoyed an affluent childhood, but the family were to lose much of their wealth during a depression in the shipping industry after the First World War. Gray's upbringing and home-schooling put her in good stead however, and after the family relocated to the West End of Glasgow in 1901, Tina and her sister Norah enrolled to study at The Glasgow School of Art. From 1901 to 1903 Tina attended the School as a full-time student of drawing and painting. Her sister Norah Neilson Gray continued to study at GSA, eventually becoming a teacher of fashion plate, as well as enjoying great prestige and international recognition for her work as a 'Glasgow Girl' until her tragically early death from cancer in 1931. There is little record of Tina's activities in the following years, but at the outbreak of war in 1914, like many other middle class women of her generation, Tina volunteered her services to the British Red Cross. Unlike her sister Norah, who was an orderly with the suffragist-affiliated Scottish Women's Hospitals, Tina volunteered as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. Based at the 25th stationary hospital in Rouen, a British military hospital for infectious diseases, Tina was inspired by her war-time experiences to pursue a career in medicine. In 1920, after receiving a scholarship from the Red Cross entitled to all VADs to pursue studies in health-related professions, she enrolled to study at the University of Glasgow. After graduating in 1925, Tina worked as a resident house surgeon and pathologist before being appointed as assistant surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. During the Second World War she was also appointed as a surgeon at Dunfermline and Stonehouse hospitals. At one stage she was said to be one of only two women senior surgeons in Scotland. She retired from Glasgow Royal Infirmary in 1946, and remained at Stonehouse until late 1947. Gray was a member of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Lady Artists' Society (elected 1939). She died in 1985, aged 100.

Sources: Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; British Medical Journal Vol. 289 pg 773: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1442793/?page=2; Arthur, Liz, Glasgow Girls: Artists and Designers 1890-1930.

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