Mitchison (née Haldane) was a Scottish novelist and poet, writing more than 90 books. She was appointed CBE in 1981.
Born in 1897, Mitchison had little formal education beyond the age of 12. She went on to take classes in first aid and nursing. By the summer of 1915, she had passed her nursing exams and nagged her parents to let her join the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD).
She became an auxiliary nurse at St Thomas’s Hospital, in London. Her initial tasks were routine and domestic, but Mitchison later came into direct contact with patients. She died in 1999, aged 101.