Mary Seacole Facts
Mary Seacole - Jamaican nurse
- Mary Seacole was a nurse in the Crimean war who gained a great reputation for helping injured British soldiers.
- During her lifetime, her renown rivalled Florence Nightingale, but, after her death, she was largely overshadowed by her illustrious fellow nurse.
- She was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805
- Her father was Scottish and an officer in the British army. Her mother was a free Jamaican lady, making her of mixed race.
- On hearing of a call for nurses to travel to the Crimea, she was initially refused. She went on her own initiative and using her own funds.
- Mary Seacole often visited soldiers on the front line to offer food, drinks and medicine. She was known as Mother Seacole amongst the troops.
- Shortly after 7 September 1855, Seacole fulfilled a bet, and became the first woman to enter Sevastopol after it fell
- Florence Nightingale was a contemporary of Mary Seacole. But, Florence did not offer much praise for her work and in some later letters cast doubts over her character.
- When she returned to London bankrupt and ill, a charity gala was held for her over four nights attended by more than 80,000 people.
- A campaign to erect a statue of Seacole in London was launched on 24 November 2003, chaired by MP Clive Soley, Baron Soley .
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