Black and white print of Florence Nightingale attending to patients

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Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service 2024

The 59th Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service will be taking place on Wednesday 15th May in Westminster Abbey from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm.


The Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service is held annually at Westminster Abbey.

Florence Nightingale was known as “The Lady with The Lamp” as she made her rounds at night tending to the soldiers wounded in the Crimean War.

Central to the commemoration service is the Lamp. The Lamp was purchased in memory of Mrs Kathleen Dampier-Bennett, a supporter (committee member) of the Foundation from 1951 – 1968. The Lamp is inscribed in her memory and was dedicated by the Dean of Westminster at the service on 12 May 1970, the 150th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. It has been used at every service since.

During this service, a burning lamp will be carried through the Abbey by a chosen FNF Scholar. It will be placed on the altar to represent ‘the undying spirit of the service displayed by Florence Nightingale’, demonstrated by nurses and midwives today. The current lamp was first used for the service in 1970, the 150th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The Lamp Carrier, Emily Pimm, Social Care Deputy Manager, St Monica Trust will be followed by two Lamp Escorts, Bev Summerhayes, Deputy Head of Nursing, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Matt Brayford, Mental Health Leadership & Succession Programme Manager, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW). They will lead a procession of other esteemed Scholars of the Foundation, followed by student nurses and midwives. This signifies the transfer of nursing and midwifery knowledge to future nurses and midwives.

Interior of Westminster Abbey

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