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New memorial to nurses in conflict and disaster zones

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A new memorial is to be unveiled to honour nurses and all other healthcare workers who have dedicated themselves to helping others in times of war, conflict and disaster.

Commissioned by the Mary Seacole Trust, the plaque is set in the Millennium Garden of St Thomas’ Hospital, the hospital where Florence Nightingale established her first nursing school in 1859.

“This is an opportunity to express our gratitude as a society”

Trevor Sterling

The memorial is situated just yards away from the statue of Jamaican-born Crimean War nursing pioneer Mary Seacole, which was erected last year after a campaign to honour her memory and many achievements and is the first to a named black woman in the UK.

Both the statue and plaque have been funded by £240,000 set aside by the then chancellor George Osborne from the Libor banking fines.

Trevor Sterling, chair of the Mary Seacole Trust, said the location was fitting for a memorial to the many healthcare workers throughout history who had put their own lives at risk to save others.

Mary Seacole Trust

Launch of Mary Seacole Trust

Trevor Sterling and trustees

“We are delighted that the memorial has found a home in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital where Mary Seacole’s statue is based and where there is such a strong connection to Florence Nightingale,” he said.

“Health professionals, like Nightingale and Seacole, have, throughout history, provided the care people need in times of conflict and disaster,” he said. “This is an opportunity to express our gratitude as a society for all the sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, on our behalf.”

The plaque will be officially unveiled at a ceremony on 8 December, which is to attended by representatives from the military and defence medical services.

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