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Westminster Abbey welcomes nurses

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More than 2,000 nurses celebrated International Nurses Day this year at the annual service to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale in Westminster Abbey. 

The service was attended by more than 2,100 nurses, midwives and people with links to the professions, making it the largest single event in the country to celebrate International Nurses Day.

Florence Nightingale scholar Joanne McCormack carried the lamp, which was escorted this year for the first time by student nurses from Northern Ireland – namely Queen’s and Ulster Universities, Belfast, and the Open University.

The nurses’ roll of honour – which records the names of British nurses who have died in conflict since the start of World War II – was carried by Corporal Anthony Williams from the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps.

He is one a small band of nurses injured while providing care at the frontline in recent and current theatres of war including Iraq and Afghanistan.

HRH Princess Alexandra, a patron of the foundation also attended the service, as did health minister Anne Milton and former health minister Ann Keen.   

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