2014 is a pretty interesting year for me, as it marks the Centenary of the start of the First World War. It wasn’t until I started researching my family history that I twigged that several of my ancestors and their siblings served, and in two cases died, in the war, and I’ve since become very interested in the war and its effect on the men who served and their families.
The upshot is that, alongside my usual drivel, I’m going to be posting about various notable events and commemorations coming up during 2014. The first of these is an exhibition at the Florence Nightingale Museum, honouring the nurses that served in the war.
Between March 13th and 26th October 2014, The Florence Nightingale Museum will mark the centenary of the First World War with a special exhibition honouring the inspirational work of nurses in war-torn France. The Hospital in the Oatfield: The Art of Nursing in the First World War centres on a series of ten remarkable paintings by Victor Tardieu of the field hospital run by the Society beauty, Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland. Never before displayed in public, the paintings capture a moment of tranquility and transformation amid the turmoil of the First World War. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the exhibition explores the crucial role played by women in the battlefields of France and Belgium and shows the incredible innovation displayed by nurses under challenging and dangerous conditions.
Natasha McEnroe, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, says:
“Nurses in the Great War experienced the true horrors of the battlefield at first hand, and we are delighted to tell the hidden story of these courageous women.”
Diane Lees, Director-General of Imperial War Museum, says
“We are all connected to the First World War, either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities, or because of its long term impact on society and the world we live in today. The role of women across the country was forever changed after the war and during the Centenary their story will be told through fascinating exhibitions such as the one at The Florence Nightingale Museum. Tardieu’s work provides a fascinating view into the activities of a field hospital, and these vivid, bright paintings, reminiscent of the French impressionists give an insight into the care administered by these brave women to their wounded French patients.”
The Florence Nightingale Museum is located at 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW and you can find out more about the exhibition on the museum’s website.