Display No. 20
This print shows wounded troops recovering after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Indian Mutiny. Nightingale had just returned to England from the Crimean War, and news of this conflict sparked a lifelong desire to improve conditions for people in India.
At this time, Nightingale became aware that both soldiers and Indian civilians were dying due to a lack of clean water and poor sanitation. She campaigned for a Royal Commission into the state of the army in India. She gathered facts and analysed the data.
When the final report was published in her book ‘Observations on the sanitary state of the army in India’, she mobilised support for reform. She argued that
“sanitary reform must be generally introduced into India for the civil as well as the military portion of the population”.
‘Observations on the sanitary state of the army in India’ by Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale Museum Collection
Indian Mutiny: wounded soldiers convalescing at Dagshai, India. Tinted lithograph by T. Picken, 1859, after G.F. Atkinson. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0