They were among the heroes of the World Wars, who sacrificed their lives while trying to ease the suffering of others.
But now, the nurses who died while serving in the British Armed Forces are to be officially recognised in a Roll of Honour for the first time.
The tribute, which contains the names of the 1000 women lost during the conflicts, are being presented to the Royal College of Nursing in London.
It is the first time that the contribution of nurses serving the Allied Forces has been quantified.
For the past ten years historian and former nurse Yvonne McEwen has been compiling the Roll of Honour using archives from the Royal College of Nursing, Imperial War Museum and the Red Cross.
Yvonne McEwen, a Research Fellow of the University's Centre for the Study of The Two World Wars, said the research is a major step in portraying the full picture of the nursing profession’s contribution to the two world wars.
The Rolls uncover a history of fortitude, valour, self-sacrifice and dedication.The nature of the deaths tells us a lot about the kind of women who were preparedto sacrifice their lives in pursuit of humanity and their profession. We are hoping that more organisations will come forward so we can continue to build this picture of this contribution to both the First and Second World Wars.”
The Rolls were given to the Royal College of Nursing at a special event in London attended by Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley MP and Director Army Nursing Services and Matron-in-Chief (Army) Colonel Wendy Spencer.
As part of the event, a video was shown of Ethel Lote, 89, who worked as a nurse during World War II at Burntwood Energy Military Hospital, talking about her wartime experiences.
The University is joining fellow city universities to host its annual Remembrance Day service.
Sunday 14 November 2010, 10.10am - 11.20am McEwan Hall, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG
Remembrance Day Service