Date: August 24, 2013

Author: admin


No Comments »


Gandhiji wrote the following article on Florence Nightingale, which was published in Indian Opinion on September 9th, 1915.

“Fifty years ago, the various facilities for nursing the wounded which are available today did not exist, People did not come out to render aid in large number as they do now. Surgery was not as efficacious then as it is today. There were in those days very few men who considered it an act of mercy and merit to succour the wounded. It was at such a time that this lady, Florence Nightingale came upon the scene and did good work worthy of an angel descended from heaven. She was heart-stricken to learn of the sufferings of the soldiers.

Born of a noble and rich family, she gave up her life of ease and comfort to nurse the wounded and the ailing, followed by many other ladies. She left her home on October 21, 1854. She rendered strenuous service in the battle of Inkerman. At that time there were neither beds nor other amenities for the wounded. There were 10,000 wounded under the charge of this single woman. The death rate among the wounded which was 42 percent, before she arrived, immediately came down to 31 percent, and ultimately to five percent. This was miraculous, but can be easily visualized. If bleeding could be stopped, the wounds bandaged and the requisite diet given, the lives of many thousands would doubtless be saved. The only thing necessary was kindness and nursing, which Miss Nightingale provided.

“It is said that she did an amount of work which big and strong men were unable to do. She used to work nearly twenty hours, day and night. When the women working under her went to sleep, she, lamp in hand, went out alone at midnight to the patient’s bedside, comforted them, and herself gave them whatever food and other things were necessary. She was not afraid of going even to the battle-front, and did not know what fear was. She feared only God. Knowing that one has to die some day or other, she readily bore whatever hardships were necessary in order to alleviate the sufferings of others.”

“This lady remained single all her life, which she spent in good work. It is said that, when she died, thousands of soldiers wept bitterly like little children, as though they had lost their own mother.

No wonder that a country where such women are born is prosperous. That England rules over a wide empire is due, not to the country’s military strength, but to the meritorious deeds of such men and women.”

To express her personal appreciation for all Miss Nightingale had done for the troops, Queen Victoria sent her a brooch that Prince Albert himself had designed.
The brooch featured St. George’s cross – on which was written “Blessed are the Merciful” and “Crimea”

On the back of the Medal was written:” “To miss Florence Nightingale, as a mark of esteem and gratitude for her devotion towards the Queen’s brave soldier’s – from Victoria R. 1855”.

Comments are closed.