A 19th-century Catholic convert who earlier in her life cared for British soldiers has been commemorated by Google in its daily Doodle.
Jamaican-born Mary Seacole (1805-81) set up a “hotel” for wounded soldiers in Balaclava during the Crimean War. She had applied to the War Office to help as a nurse in Crimea, but when she was turned down four times she decided to go there independently.
In her memoir, she wrote: “The grateful words and smiles which rewarded me for binding up a wound or giving a cooling drink was a pleasure worth risking life for at any time.”
Seacole converted to Catholicism late in life, and is buried in St Mary’s Catholic cemetery, Kensal Green, London.
Seacole’s reputation has been much debated by historians and others. In 2004 she was voted the greatest black Briton of all time in an online poll.
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