Nursing      

(Material for this page is continually being researched and the page revised.  Latest revision, 6 June, 2005.)

        In the next few minutes, you will read about some remarkable women who sacrificed themselves, often placing themselves in harms way, in order to comfort and tend to the soldiers around them.  In today's modern world, exploits of dedicated women have become commonplace.  We are not surprised to find women in leading roles, standing toe-to-toe with men.  

        However, in the 1850s, women were expected to remain in their "places".  Nursing was considered a second rate vocation, and in fact, Florence Nightingale's parents were appalled by her wish to enter this field.  To travel half way around the world, and to visit and remain in battle areas, were not something that the average Victorian woman  contemplated in 1855.  The fact that the women of whom you are about to read did these things, make them heroines to us now, but raised many an eyelid in Victorian England.  

        While the culture in Russia was somewhat different, Praskovya Ivanovna Grafova too confronted an atmosphere of suspicion.  Additionally, the Sisters of Mercy of Kinsale, Ireland left the safety of their convent and they too served mankind in its time of need.  Information on Praskovya Ivanovna Grafova and  the Sisters of Mercy will be added to this page as soon as the research has been completed.

        God bless all of them for what they did.

     The Catholic Sisters of Mercy, Kinsale, Ireland
(This section is still being researched)

         In December 1854, fifteen nuns from Kinsale, Ireland arrived in Scutari, the across the Bosporus from Constantinople, to nurse the sick and wounded British soldiers who were fighting to the east on the Crimean Peninsula.  The leader of these nuns was Mother M. Francis Bridgeman.  Mother Bridgeman, and two other nuns, recorded their experiences, the  conditions under which they traveled to the Crimea, and the state of the hospitals in which they worked.  

        By the time that the sisters arrived in the Turkey, Florence Nightingale had begun to increase her reputation by the work she and her assistants were carrying out in the hospitals.  Bridgeman and Nightingale were both strong personalities who were unwilling to concede authority and control to the other.  A number of disagreements developed between the two women.

        For more on these amazing women, go to http://www.four-courts-press.ie/, and search for The Crimean journals of the Sisters of Mercy, 1854-56, by Maria Luddy, ISBN 1-85182-756-0.