Prime Minister David Cameron, PC, MP
May 8, 2016
Dear Mr Cameron
We write with concern about the use of a £240,000 grant for a Mary Seacole statue at St Thomas’ Hospital. We do not object to Seacole being celebrated, but for the false description of her as a “Pioneer Nurse” and location of the statue at the hospital where Nightingale pioneered nurse training and professional nursing for the whole world.
Mrs Seacole was an enterprising and kind businesswoman, who ran a (for-profit) club for officers. Champagne, fine wines and catering for their dinner parties should not be confused with nursing care and improved nutrition for ordinary soldiers, Nightingale’s work.
Further, a Seacole statue should not face the Houses of Parliament, for it was Nightingale who wrote briefs and pressed MPs and Cabinet ministers for reforms in nursing, hospitals and health care.
We urge you to make the grant contingent on the use of an appropriate site for the Seacole statue, such as Forum Magnum Square, by the County Hall.
Copy: Caroline, Nokes, MP, Romsey and Southampton North
(also signed by numerous persons attending a Nightingale Memorial)