Nursing in the Crimean War 1853-56

During the Crimean War between what is now Turkey and Russia, Florence Nightingale and her 38 nurses arrived at Scutari Hospital. She could be considered the first British military nurse, having been sent by the War Office, although when they arrived to help the doctors were at first sceptical. Despite this, Nightingale and her nurses went onto save hundreds of lives in Crimea and change nursing, military and civilian, for centuries.

British-Jamaican doctress Mary Seacole travelled far across the sea to join the efforts in the Crimean War, establishing the British Hotel close to the front lines. She provided housing, good food and medicines to the officers and soldiers who came to stay, and became known as ‘Mother Seacole’.

These two icons are regarded as the originators of military nursing, and though practice has changed, they are respected and admired still today.