History of the Fellowship

THE NIGHTINGALE FELLOWSHIP

The Nightingale Fellowship was founded by Miss Lloyd Still in 1928 after she had been Superintendent for 15 years.  The Nightingale badge had been designed and first presented in 1925. Such a society to bind together past and present members of the Nightingale School had long been in her mind. “It is said that we are late in forming our Fellowship. To that criticism we must submit. But it must be remembered that during those terrible years of the Great War there was no question of division of labour or of interest. The war absorbed our entire energies, then came the inevitable aftermath of clearing away the old, of drawing up and developing new schemes”.

The Nightingale Fellowship was established to embrace all qualified Nightingales. Its first commemorative service was held on 12th May 1929 with a dinner and first Annual General Meeting the following day. Here it was decided to inaugurate and publish the Fellowship Journal during the same year. The gatherings of the Fellowship in the hospital twice a year were always a source of much pleasure both to her and to the members, while the Journal brought the news of the School twice a year to the members far and wide and was specially appreciated by the Nightingales away from England.

A Nightingale Fellowship Benevolent Fund to help members of the School was also launched through the generosity of a former Nightingale and has proved of infinite value

It was a source of intense satisfaction to Miss Lloyd Still that she had accomplished the founding of the Fellowship. “I think founding the Nightingale Fellowship and Journal gave her one of the greatest joys of her life” writes an old friend in Lucy Seymer’s memoir (1953).

NIGHTINGALE FELLOWSHIP PRESIDENTS

Dame Alicia Lloyd Still   1928-1947

Miss M J Smyth              1947-1955

Miss T Turner                 1955-1965

Miss E Adamson            1965-1971

Miss Sheila Garrett        1971-1975

Miss M Laurence           1975-1986

Miss Janice Cackett       1986-1988

Miss Natalie Tiddy         1988-2001

Mrs Elizabeth Jenkins    2001-2008

Mrs Susan Sheridan      2008-2016

Mrs Gillian Prager          2016 to present day

THE NIGHTINGALE BADGE

(The following is reproduced from a leaflet found inside a book about the history of St Thomas’ Hospital)

The design of the badge is taken from the “White Eight-pointed Cross” of the Knights Crusaders of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Blue has been chosen for the Nightingale School Badge as being the colour of the ribbon of the Order of Merit of Miss Nightingale.

The Cross has been linked with St Thomas’s Hospital and its traditions by the inclusion in its design of the Coat of Arms of the Hospital which is Tudor rose, fleur de lys and shield with the sword of St Paul.

The centre of the design portrays the head of Miss Nightingale in relief, and the words “Scola Sancti Thomas” on the reverse is the owner’s name with the date of her certificate.

The Prayer of the Knights Crusaders for all who wear the White Eight-pointed Cross is the following:-

“Let us pray God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that as we wear the sign of our Redemption, so we may ever remember in our lives that its four arms symbolise the Christian virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude; that its points represent the eight Beatitudes which spring from the practice of these virtues; and that its whiteness is the emblem of that purity of life required in those who fight for the defence of the Christian faith and live for the service of the poor and suffering. Amen