|The Nightingale Society|
|Newsletter||10 February 2014|
Dear Nightingale Society member
Mayor Boris Johnson sent me a friendly response to my letter to him (I wrote on my own university stationery, not for the Nightingale Society). In his book, Johnson’s Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World, he described attending a school event where his daughter performed as Queen Victoria, pinning medals on both Nightingale and Mary Seacole—making the two out to be equal partners in winning the Crimean War! Mayor Johnson realized that the scene was fictional, but one wonders why a school sees fit to make children enact fake historical scenes (Canonbury School, in Islington).
I had also complained about his mis-representation of Nightingale (he actually made some good points about her, too), in his book. He thought that Nightingale was against all use of alcohol, and credited Mary Seacole (among many other things) with having a better attitude to alcohol. Nightingale was concerned rather with excessive use—remember, soldiers got 5 oz of rum a day as part of their rations.
Today’s nurses may be interested to know the rules for Crimean War nurses. Rule IX: “Each nurse will be allowed 1 pint of porter or ale at dinner; half a pint of porter, or a wine glass of wine, or 1 oz of brandy (as she likes best) for supper. In case of constant attendance on cholera or infectious fever, the supt may allow an extra quantity at her discretion.” C.E. Pollock, in Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 15,4 (October 1910):388. (Porter is a strong beer.)
I have been persuaded to make YouTubes. Herewith a link to the series, with seven videos currently online. Comments welcome.