Mary Seacole Statue
The decision to locate a statue to Mary Seacole in the garden of St Thomas’ Hospital was made several years ago by the then hospital board. The location was very much about a reflection of the local population served by the hospital and many of its staff. Also, being directly opposite the Palace of Westminster as a reminder of the democracy of the UK which has enabled people of all races and creeds to succeed in their endeavours.
The Nightingale Fellowship, alongside the current hospital Board and many other nursing and army organisations, agree that this is a celebration of a strong, black woman’s struggle to do what she felt was right, and bring comfort to soldiers in the Crimea.
This in no way detracts from what Florence Nightingale achieved both in the Crimea and, importantly, afterwards in progressing professionalism in nursing, pioneering public health and hospital design, and as a tireless lobbyist for improvements in health for all.
Sue Sheridan and Gillian Prager (recent past and present Presidents of the Fellowship) were proud to be invited to attend the unveiling ceremony of the statue, which was dignified and moving. The statue itself is realistic and impressive.