Another First


Perthshire in Scotland is one of my most favourite places to visit. It doesn’t matter what time of year I visit, the hills, rivers, quaint towns and villages capture my heart.

    Many of the towns and villages are reminiscent of a scene from the old movie, Brigadoon and sitting in a cafe, or park on a summers day a writers imagination can run riot.

    I personally try to imagine what it was like to be a woman living there a hundred years or so ago. Education would have had to done at home and opportunities to be anything other than a mother and a homemaker were limited.

    On my travels I’m always on the lookout for female role models who didn’t allow their sex to hold them back and recently I found someone who really did do it for the girls in the early twentieth century. Her name was, Victoria Drummond, born in Perthshire in 1894.

    The god-daughter of Queen Victoria was like other girls at that time and was educated at home, however, she did show an interest in marine engineering and went onto college to study in this.

    The First World war opened up opportunities for women and by 1920 Victoria was at sea. She travelled the World, but life wasn’t always plain sailing and her attempts to become the first woman marine engineer in the UK were constantly thwarted.

    A determined Victoria never gave up and finally after 37 attempts she passed her chief engineers examination. Times were hard during the depression and it wasn’t until after the Second World War that Victoria found herself back at sea.

    Her ship the SS. Bonita came under attack in the mid-Atlantic in the 1940’s and Victoria’s bravery was recognised. She received both an MBE and Lloyd’s War Medal for bravery at sea.

    Not bad for a wee Scottish lassie.