Florence Nightingale to be honoured with her own chapel in Westminster Abbey

Posted By: Staff
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London, May 1(ANI): Florence Nightingale, historically an English nurse, writer and statistician is to be commemorated alongside saints, kings and poets to become the first commoner to have a chapel named after her in Westminster Abbey in London.

The Nurses' Chapel, dedicated to the memory of more than 3,000 nurses who died in the Second World War, will be renamed the Nightingale Chapel with a simple prayer of dedication on May 12, the anniversary of the nurse's birth.

The 16th-century chapel overlooks the tombs of Edward the Confessor, Richard II and Henry V, and it will be the first time that a chapel is named after an individual who is not a saint or member of the Royal Family.

Nightingale is also the only nurse and one of relatively few women to be commemorated at the Abbey.

"This is the centenary of her death and she is remembered as one of the great iconic figures of nursing. But she has also been given her own day in the Christian calendar and is remembered for her sanctity of life and Christian commitment," The Times Online quoted Dr. John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, as saying.

"It is entirely appropriate, then, for her to have a chapel named in her honour," he added.

Nightingale came to prominence during the 1850s' Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, and was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night to tend injured soldiers.

She laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas's Hospital in London in 1860, the first secular nursing school in the world.

The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday. (ANI)

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