Born the fourth of nine children in a very poor Dundee family, she lived in a two-room house. Her mother was a music teacher. At the age of ten she gained a bursary to Harris Academy. In 1892 universities opened to women; Elizabeth’s mother went down to Harris Academy and insisted that girls as well as boys be taught mathematics and Latin, in order to qualify for entrance to medical studies. In 1896 Elizabeth went to St Andrews University where she took a first in English before she was nineteen. She then entered the Bute Medical School there, graduating in 1905, MD 1907, and was given one of the first Carnegie Research Scholarships. Principal Yule McKay described her as ‘one of the most brilliant and capable students I have ever known.’

By this time she was living in a seven-room upstairs flat in Tay Square. Here she was a neighbour and later a good friend of Drs Thomson and Moorhead (Plaque 6), for whom she did a month’s locum work on graduating.

Concerned at how surgery was creeping into childbirth, she decided to specialise in non-surgical gynaecology, but could neither get a hospital appointment nor afford to start her own practice, so she went to New Zealand. In 1918 she married Dr Robert Bryson. In 1925 she returned briefly to Edinburgh. She was active in the League of Mothers and the Workers’ Educational Association and ran a special class for retarded children in New Zealand, where she was also president of the Federation of University Women. After war work 1939-1945 in Britain she returned to New Zealand, and retired in 1953. By 1965 she was again in Dundee. She died four years later but, if she died in Dundee, there is no local obituary for her.