William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

A PATRON SAINT FOR RNS AND MEDICS

The first nurse was an Army Nurse, born in Florence Italy.
Her wealthy father named her after the city of her birth.
She was buried in England in 1910 one hundred years ago:
She was carried to her gravesite by six Army Sergeants.

Florence raised money to buy medical supplies for the Crimea.
The wounded had no ward care and many died of infections.
She arrived in the field hospital at Scutari in the Crimea.
The Russians attacked the Turks, at the time, England’s ally.

Florence took 20 RC Nuns and 20 Anglican Ladies with her.
They cleaned up the hospitals and cut disease to a minimum.
Nurses were not permitted in the wards at night.
Florence, herself, with a lantern checked the nightshift wards.

The lady with the lamp also cleaned up the wards at Balaclava.
She saved hundreds of lives, of the wounded, who adored her.
After her team arrived the mortality rate dropped from 42% to 2%.
When the last wounded soldier left for home, so did she.

Florence received the Order of Merit from King Edward VII.
She was the first woman ever, to receive this high honour.
I just saw the W5 programme about our hospital in Kandahar.
Army Nurses continue to save the lives of soldiers in the field.

Florence Nightingale: Born in 1820 - Died in 1910
Florence Nightingale: Born in 1820 - Died in 1910

Author’s Note: Into the Valley of Death rode the Gallant 600, and the survivors filled the wounded wards run by Ms. Nightingale: Bless them all.

Our Artillery Regiments still wear the white lanyard on the right side because they let the guns fall into Russian hands. British leadership was weak and they laid blame on the Gunners for their folly.

A hand knitted wool sock with a face hole cut into it was pulled over the head to keep ears and neck warm – I was issued a balaclava when I was a 17-year-old recruit. It kept the frost of the helmet away from the head whilst on winter warfare training, guard duty and fire piquet: a very handy piece of kit whilst pulling a toboggan on the tundra.