When we went into the Museum there was a lady who was dressed up as Florence Nightingale who told us all about her home life – how she lived in a big house, about her pet owl called Athena and how her parents didn’t want her to become a nurse so she had to study at night whilst they were asleep.
We learnt that she went to Turkey to work in the hospital for wounded soldiers. The conditions were really bad as patients were lying on the floor in puddles of blood and maggots and there was a putrid smell. There was even an open stream in the hospital with a dead horse lying in it and the soldiers had to drink water from the same stream.
Florence Nightingale improved things for the soldiers so they would not get infected. She cleaned them up and got sheets, bandages and medicines sent out from London. She got better food for them as well as beds. She made the hospital clean and got rid of the dead horse. At night time she would go down to the hospital ward carrying a lamp and would sit with the soldiers and comfort them.
After the lady had finished talking to us we did lots of different activities: we had to pack a bag for a soldier to take to war, we did some drawings, we had to compare hospitals from that time to how they are today and we put headphones on to listen to Mary Nightingale speaking.
Some days later, we wrote in our books about our visit, what we learnt and how we liked it. We had a lovely trip – we saw lots of London sights, we learnt a lot about Florence Nightingale and how she changed things and saved soldiers’ lives.
Kimi and Yasmina