Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Louisa Aldrich-Blake (15 August 1865 – 28 December 1925) was a pioneering surgeon and one of the first British women to make significant contributions to the field of modern medicine.

Born in Chingford, Essex, she was the eldest daughter of a curate. Louisa Aldrich-Blake graduated in medicine from the Royal Free Hospital in 1893. She furthered her education by obtaining a Master of Surgery degree, and by 1910, she had become a lead surgeon. During the First World War, Louisa volunteered for military medical service and was among the first to perform surgery on rectal and cervical cancers. Her dedication and achievements led to the erection of a statue in her honor in Tavistock Square, London, near her alma mater.

Early Life

In her early life, Louisa Aldrich-Blake’s family moved to Welsh Bicknor in Herefordshire. She remained associated with the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital throughout her career and rose to the position of senior surgeon by 1910.

Aldrich-Blake passed away on 28 December 1925 due to cancer at her home in Welsh Bicknor. Her funeral was held at St Pancras Church in London, and her ashes were returned to her hometown.


Her legacy lives on through the Dame Louisa Brandreth Aldrich-Blake Collection, housed in the Royal Free Hospital’s Archives Centre. A statue in Tavistock Square commemorates her contributions. Her remarkable career, especially her wartime efforts, was showcased in a 2015 exhibit highlighting her surgical work on the front lines and her advocacy for women in the medical field.

In 2019, on the 154th anniversary of her birth, a Google Doodle honored Dame Louisa Brandreth Aldrich-Blake in several countries. Her contributions were also recognized when she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1925 New Year Honours, a year before her passing. Her groundbreaking work and dedication continue to inspire and influence the field of medicine.

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