Women have struggled a lot in getting an education in the past. During that time an educated woman was a slap on the face of patriarchal society. One such woman in the field of Veterinary Medicine is Aleen Isobel Cust, the world’s first female veterinary surgeon.
Aleen I. Cust fourth of six children, born to Sir Leopold Cust and Charlotte Sobieske Isabel in 1868 in County Tipperary, United Kingdom. Once during her childhood asked about her future and she said “A vet was my reply ever and always”. Begin her training as a nurse at London Hospital, but later gave up to become a Veterinary Surgeon. She enrolled and completed her studies in Veterinary, from the University of Edinburg winning a gold medal in zoology, but denied to sit for the final examination and was not admitted as a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), and also lost in the court.
Nevertheless, she went on to practice with William Byrne in County Roscommon. Later, Cust was appointed as a Veterinary Inspector by Galway County Council under the Diseases of Animals Acts, but this appointment was denied due to a lack of professional recognition by RCVS. During the rise of World War One, Aleen left for Ireland to volunteer to aid in the treatment and care of the Horses, soon appointed to a army bacteriology lab that was associated with a veterinary hospital and was listed as a member of Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps and after the war, this aided into her acceptance into the RCVS.
This led to the removal of the Sex Disqualification Act 1919, and after three years she was awarded her diploma and became the first woman.
After this, she practiced veterinary for two more years and retired in 1924, moved to the village of Plaitford, Hampshire, England. She died in 1934 of a Heart Attack, in Jamaica when visiting her friends.
“Each time a women stands up for herself, she stands up for all women”
THE GEEK VETERINARIAN