© Young Mary was born in Kingston on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, some time in 1805. She also visited the Caribbean islands of New Providence, Haiti, and Cuba. Wikimedia CommonsFlorence Nightingale, the European nurse that treated hundreds of soldiers during the Crimean War. After her death, Mary Seacole was almost forgotten. One evening, her brother dined with a Spanish friend of his. Her reputation rivalled that of Florence Nightingale. After the Battle of Alma, the British government called for a number of female nurses to be sent to the peninsula to lend their services. Mary Seacole will be remembered for her heroism, in the face of great adversity and racial prejudice. The statue of Mary Seacole is unveiled in London in June 2016. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Although it faced significant opposition from Nightingale supporters, it still sits there today, engraved with the words, “I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead.” It is the first public statue of a named black woman in the United Kingdom. Mary Seacole (1805 – 1881) was a Jamaican nurse who became well known in the Victorian period for her nursing efforts during the Crimean War. In 1836, she married Edwin Horatio Seacole, but he had a propensity for sickness and died just eight years later. After the war, Nightingale met a hero’s welcome back in England. Mary Seacole, or “Mother Seacole” … Then, read about Gisella Perl, the doctor who saved lives inside Auschwitz. Wikimedia CommonsThe statue of Mary Seacole outside of St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. Read more. Though she was much respected by officers whom she treated during the war, after her death, her fame diminished, though … Queen Victoria awarded her with an engraved brooch and prize of 250,000 pounds, which she used to establish the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. In 1836, Mary married Edwin Seacole but the marriage was short-lived as he died in 1844. National Portrait Gallery/Wikimedia CommonsMary Seacole, painted by Albert Charles Challen in 1869. She had spent all of her funds on efforts toward the war, coming back with next to nothing. Wikimedia CommonsMary Seacole, the Jamaican doctress that treated hundreds of soldiers during the Crimean War. After her stint in Cruces, she bounced around to Cuba and then back to Jamaica, just in time for a yellow fever epidemic there. … Within the first year of their involvement, thousands of British soldiers died — most by disease, not combat wounds. The Kingdom of Sardinia followed suit in 1855. The doctress often returned to Kingston, where she was loved and honored. A nurse, businesswoman, and war hero, Mary Seacole was born in 1805 in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Scottish father and Jamaican mother. With mustard emetics, warm fomentations, and mustard plasters, she saved her first cholera victim, and then many more. Jamaican Doctress Mary Seacole Was As Heroic As Florence Nightingale. Upon returning home, the Spaniard fell ill and — “after a short period of intense suffering,” Seacole later recounted — he died. With the hospitals full to the brink, it also became a place for soldiers to seek medical help from the Jamaican doctress. Seacole and Day brought in expensive supplies, expecting the negotiations to continue longer than they did. After the war she returned to England destitute and in ill health. Mary Seacole, painted by Albert Charles Challen in 1869. The Treaty of Paris was at last signed on March 30, 1856, and Seacole returned to London. With the hospitals full to the brink, it also became a place for soldiers to seek medical help from the Jamaican doctress. “War, I know, is a serious game, but sometimes very humble actors are of great use in it,” wrote Mary Seacole. This shop became known as the British Hotel and it was a place that soldiers could go for fresh food and rest. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty ImagesA battle during the Crimean War. At 19, she traveled to England for the first time and lived there on and off for the rest of her life. And although both women did incredible work during the war, Nightingale’s name lives on, while Seacole’s does not. Seacole herself destroyed cases of red wine rather than let it fall into the hands of the Russians. Mary Seacole, née Mary Jane Grant, (born 1805, Kingston, Jamaica—died May 14, 1881, London, England), Jamaican businesswoman who provided sustenance and care for British soldiers at the battlefront during the Crimean War. Circa 1855. Injured British soldiers during the Crimean War. “Every step I take in the crowded London streets may bring me in contact with some friend, forgotten by me, perhaps, but who soon reminds me of our old life before Sebastopol; it seems very long ago now, when I was of use to him and he to me,” she wrote, “Now, would all this have happened if I had returned to England a rich woman? During the Crimean War, she was asked by the British Secretary of War to organize a corps of nurses to take along to the war zone to treat the soldiers. This shop became known as the British Hotel and it was a place that soldiers could go for fresh food and rest. Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother, who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers. Mary Seacole, 1869 She was refused. “I made up my mind that if the army wanted nurses, they would be glad of me….If the authorities had allowed me, I would willingly have given them my services as a nurse; but as they declined them, should I not open an hotel for invalids in the Crimea in my own way?”. Her achievements stayed unrecognized in the Western world for over a century — though she was memorialized in Jamaica, where significant buildings were named after her in the 1950s. Seacole was one of the last people in Crimea and took part in the local peacemaking. In 1854, Seacole travelled to England again, and approached the War Office, asking to be sent as an army nurse to the Crimea where there was known to be poor medical facilities for wounded soldiers. While Nightingale is often acknowledged as the pioneer of modern nursing, Seacole had been practicing herbal remedies and hygiene decades before the European woman. 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