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Commemorative Plaques Record Details

Margaret Myles (1892 - 1988)

Picture of the Palque

Location : Aberdeen Maternity Hospital

Area : Central Aberdeen

Plaque Type : Yellow

About Margaret Myles : Margaret (Maggie) Fraser Myles (née Findlay) was born at 52 Spital, Aberdeen, on 30 December 1892. She was a midwife and educator, who was revered in Scotland and respected internationally. Myles emigrated to Canada soon after leaving school and became engaged to a Canadian farmer. While he fought in France during the First World War, she trained as a nurse in Saskatchewan. They married in 1919 but he died soon after and Myles returned to Aberdeen to raise their child. She trained as a midwife, working in Alford, Aberdeenshire, but her son died of pneumonia in 1924 and she moved to Edinburgh to further her training at the Royal Infirmary there.

Aware that infant mortality was a significant problem, she saw the importance of formal midwifery training and was determined to pass on her skills to others. She studied education at McGill University, Montreal, and subsequently worked in Detroit and Philadelphia. She returned to Scotland and, in 1939, took the position of midwifery tutor in the new Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion in Edinburgh.

She wrote for a number of professional journals, but Myles is best known for her ground-breaking book Textbook for Midwives, which achieved extraordinary success. The first edition appeared in 1953, the year before she retired. She produced nine further editions, each kept up-to-date with the latest developments and best practice. The book was translated into many languages and remains in print, now in its sixteenth edition (2014). Myles travelled extensively to promote her cause.

In 1978 Myles was made an honorary fellow of the Edinburgh Obstetrical Society, an award which very few midwives achieved. She died in Banchory on 15 February 1988 and her funeral was held at Aberdeen Crematorium.

Sponsor : Aberdeen Women's Alliance