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Jamaica - $30 - Mary Seacole - 200th Anniversary
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No: 183   Contributor: Campbell McCracken   Year: 2005   Country: Jamaica
Jamaica - $30 - Mary Seacole - 200th Anniversary

Jamaica - $30 - Mary Seacole - 200th Anniversary.

Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born British nurse best known for her involvement in the Crimean War. Confident that her knowledge of tropical medicine could be useful, and after hearing of poor medical provisions for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, she travelled to London to volunteer as a nurse. She applied to the War Office and asked to be sent as an army assistant to the Crimea. She was refused, mainly because of prejudice against women's involvement in medicine at the time. The British Government later decided to permit women to travel to the affected area, but she was not included in the party of 38 nurses chosen by Florence Nightingale. Instead, she borrowed money to make the 4,000-mile (about 6500 km) journey by herself. She distinguished herself treating battlefield wounded, often nursing wounded soldiers from both sides while under fire. When the conflict ended in 1856 she found herself stranded and almost destitute.

Seacole was lauded in her lifetime, alongside Florence Nightingale, but after her death she was forgotten for almost a century. Today, she is noted for her bravery and medical skills and as "a woman who succeeded despite the racial prejudice of influential sections of Victorian society".
Picture added on 21 August 2009 at 15:39
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