Another GGS treasure from the School Archives

How did a letter written by Florence Nightingale, the most famous nurse in history, find its way to the school archives? It was donated by Daisy Clifton in memory of her brother Ralph Clifton (OG 1907), who was killed in France during World War One. In the letter, written in pencil, Florence commiserates with Sister Clifton, Ralph and Daisy’s aunt, on the death of the two nurses’ mutual friend, Sister Edith Snodgrass.

Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) is widely considered to be the founder of modern nursing, based on techniques she developed while nursing soldiers during the Crimean War. Under her influence, sanitation in hospitals was drastically improved and public health practices, such as handwashing and prioritising hygiene and good nutrition, were adopted. A competent mathematician, she also collected statistical data to help inform improved patient outcomes. Much of the successful response to the current Covid-19 pandemic can be attributed to Florence Nightingale’s medical innovations.