The Florence Nightingale Story – Thursday 11th February 2021

The Company of Nurses were delighted to welcome Major (Retd) Paul Whittle TD to deliver his talk on “The Lady with the Lamp” The Florence Nightingale Story. We had 54 Company members present and we are very grateful to Ali Thorne for organising this for us. This was the third virtual talk via Zoom and they are proving very popular with Freemen.

Paul took us on a wonderful journey from Florence, Italy to Embley Park, Hampshire outlining all the main places that Florence Nightingale visited or lived in. We heard about her family background and her initial interests in nursing and how she came to be in the Crimea. There was fascinating information around the military conflicts and Florence’s contributions to the health and wellbeing of the soldiers. It was amazing to learn how many more soldiers died due to unsanitary conditions and illness rather than from their wounds in battle. Her pioneering use of statistics enabled her to have persuasive arguments and evidence about conditions and her meeting with Queen Victoria was instrumental in helping to set up of the Army Medical College in Chatham.

Paul also reminded us about the Florence Nightingale Museum in St Thomas’ Hospital, and he had some really interesting photographs of the exhibition.

Paul delivers over 100 talks a year on a diverse range of topics of historical and military interest and further information can be accessed at

Paul has kindly donated his fee for this event to charity.

Nicola Neale