This is my heroine of the week: the redoubtable – and diminuative (she was only 4ft and 10 ins) – Dame Sarah Ann Swift, the founder of the Royal College of Nursing.
Dame Sarah Ann Swift (1854-1937) by Herbert James Draper
Born in 1854, Sarah Swift had had a long and successful career in nursing and proved herself to be an excellent organizer. She had not long retired when war broke out but she immediately offered her services to the government. They accepted and she found herself responsible for the placement of 6000 trained nurses, and VAD nurses, in various war zones. It was 1916, and World War I was about to enter its most bloody stage; the Battle of the Somme, where over one million soldiers were killed.
20 Cavendish Square, home of the Royal College of Nursing
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