Updated: Oct 24
Mary Seacole is now known for her medical work in the Crimean war, and as a brilliant woman who combated the racial prejudice she experienced in her lifetime.
On the 14th October 2016, Google Doodle celebrated Mary Seacole, the Jamaican/Scottish nurse widely known to the British Army as “Mother Seacole.” She learned the ways of herbal medicine from her mother, a “doctress” well-versed in traditional Caribbean and African herbal remedies.
Despite the challenges she faced as a woman of mixed race in the 1850s, she began experimenting with medicine under her mother’s guidance at one of the best facilities in Kingston, Jamaica. She moved to Gorgona, where she briefly ran a women’s-only hotel before she set off on a journey that would cement her place in history.
When the Crimean War broke out, Mary’s application to assist was refused despite her nursing experience. Determined to help, she used her own limited resources to travel and set up a hotel behind the lines in Crimea. Here, she tirelessly tended to the curing and comforting of wounded soldiers coming off the battlefield and people from all walks in need: “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.”
Here’s to Mary’s legacy as an empowered healer and humanitarian, which will continue to live on and inspire.