Legacies: Nurse leaders and activists

From Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, nurses have been changing healthcare for the better (with many featuring in our #Nightingale2020 exhibition). The same is true of military nurses. Two nurses who have created lasting legacies for those who serve after them , even when leaving in difficult circumstances themselves, are Lt Elaine Chambers and PO Keith Malcolm.

After dismissal from the Army in 1987, Elaine would co-found Rank Outsiders, the campaign group that ultimately overturned the ban on LGBTQ+ people in the British armed forces in 2000, finally allowing future personnel to serve openly.

Following an injury sustained in Iraq, Keith was invalided out of the Royal Navy. Having created the role, he then became the first Armed Forces Covenant Lead Nurse in the NHS – there are now almost 30 across the country – supporting veteran staff and patients to ensure nobody’s service is forgotten.

British Military Nursing in Peace and War