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The truth about Mary; views.

PETE Dunn (Letters, January 18) writes that Mary Seacole did more for the wounded than Florence Nightingale did. This is untrue.

Florence Nightingale ran the largest military hospital for Crimean wounded. On her return to Britain she founded the Nightingale Training School at St Thomas' Hospital, wrote Notes on Nursing and many other works, was instrumental in improving sanitary conditions for thousands of soldiers and hospital patients and was the first woman to be elected to the Royal Statistical Society.

Unlike Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole did work in the Crimea. But not as a nurse. She never trained as a nurse, was never employed as a nurse and never claimed to be a nurse. She ran a restaurant and food store called the British Hotel. When not busy with that, she gave out her herbal remedies to sick and wounded soldiers. Mary Seacole also never claimed to be black. She was 3/4 white and described herself as 'yellow'.

As Pete Dunn says, black people have made a great contribution to the history of our country. If he wants to hold up particular examples for black people to emulate, he would do well to get his facts straight and do it without denigrating a white heroine.

Keith Anderson, by email
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 23, 2013
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