British Base Hospital


Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was named after the city of Florence, Italy where she was born on May 12, 1820. She grew up in a wealthy family however defined she defied her father expectations for her future to pursue Nursing. Florence followed what was she saw as her God-given calling to pursue nursing. However, this also defied the expectations for women during that time period. Florence along with a team of nurses to improve the living conditions of British base hospital. There work and policies greatly reduced the death count of the soldiers that were in the hospital. Her works and writings sparked a change worldwide that caused health care reform. In 1860 she established the St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Florence completely changed the way we handle health care, she died on August 13, 1910, in London.


Nightingale parents were part of an affluent British clan that belonged to an elite social circle. Her mother was Frances Nightingale and was from a family of merchants. Frances took pride in socializing with people of elite prominent standing. Florence would often butted heads with her mother and viewed her mother as overly controlling. Florence’s father was a wealthy landowner named William Edward Nightingale. Being a wealthy landowner he owned two estates with one being Lea Hurst, Derbyshire and the other at Embly, Hampshire. He provided her with an education that included studies in mathematics along with studies in three languages. He had her learn German, French, and Italian.


Russia started expanding into Danube region causing them to go to war with Turkey in October 1853. Fearing Russian expansion Britain, France, Turkey, and Sardinia made an alliance against Russia. The battles took place on the Crimean peninsula and on the Black Sea. However, the war was supposed to take place on the Danubian it was fought on the Crimean peninsula, and also on the Black Sea. It was supposed to play out in Moldavia and Walachia. Do to the Turkish military action and the political pressure from Britain, France, and Austria Russia withdrew. France and Britain sought to destroy Russian naval power in the Black Sea. There were three main battles that took place: the battle of the Alma on 20 September 1854, the battle of Balaclava on 24 October, and a major Russian attack at the Inkerman, in November.

The war ended in September 1855 when Russia evacuated Sevastopol fling from the vital Malakhov bastion by French troops. Russia gave in and moved to make peace. The Treaty of Paris was signed on 30 March 1856. Part of the treaty was that Russia must decommission their naval base in order to reduce their power in the black sea. This never took place do to France and Britain losing the military strength to make it happen. However, tensions were still high with Turkey and Russia. In 1877 they went back into war with each other, But without the help of Britain and France.

Nurse Career

Florence received a letter to organize a corp of nurses to tend to the fallen soldiers in the Crimean War written by Secretary of sidney Herbert in 1854. They gave Florence full control of recruiting and operating the organization. She created a team of thirty-eight nurses that came from a variety of religious background. Their service in the Crimean War (1853–56), in which Great Britain, France, and Sardinia fought against Russian expansion in Europe. They went to Crimea after she and her team was fully recruited. They were told about the poor conditions there however Florence and her nurses were still unprepared for what they had seen when they arrived at the Scutari, the British base hospital in Constantinople. The Hospital was the location of a cesspool that had contaminated water and the building the wounded stayed in. would laid in their own filth in stretcher that filled the hallways with rodents and bugs scurried past them. Communion supplies for survival like bandages and soap were increasingly growing scarce and the number of wounded or ill increased steadily. Soldiers would end up dying more from infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera than from the injuries that incurred in battle

Refusing to let these condition get her down she went to work addressing all the issues within the facility.She influenced the least infirm patient to help scrub the inside of the hospital from floor to ceiling. She would spend all her time caring for the wounded soldiers. She would even make her rounds ministering from patient to patient. The soldiers that became touched and comforted by her endless compassion ended up nicknamingher "the Lady with the Lamp" or "the Angel of the Crimea."

Florence improving the sanitary conditions of the hospital in Crimea instituting a kitchen with food that was appealing but also had special dietary requirements for the soldiers. Florence implemented a laundry system in order to provide wounded soldier with clean linens. She even established a library for the soldiers to have a form of entertainment to pass the time. All of this ended up reducing the death rate at the hospital by two-thirds.