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Florence Nightingale leaves England, along with other trained volunteer nurses, to assist with caring for injured soldiers engaged in the Crimean War.

The ‘founder of modern nursing’, social reformer Nightingale – who comes to be known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ because of her night-time rounds of wounded soldiers – leaves England in 1854, along with other trained nurses, to assist with caring for injured soldiers engaged in the Crimean War.

Despite Mary Seacole’s application to join the nursing effort being rejected by the War Office, she also travels to the Crimea, independently. Once there, she assists with treating the wounded and establishes the British Hotel behind the battle lines. She describes British House as “a mess table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers”.

The legacy of the pioneering work done by these two women lives on. The Nightingale Pledge is taken by newly-qualified nurses today, while the Florence Nightingale Medal is the highest international distinction that a nurse can achieve. International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12 – Nightingale’s birthday.

In 1991, Seacole is posthumously award the Jamaican Oder of Merit, while in 2004 she is voted the ‘greatest black Briton’. In June 2016 a statue of Seacole is erected at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.