01 November 2010
For Queen and Country, The White Bear theatre

Mary Seacole - Image courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica Mary Seacole - Image courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica

It's time to set the record straight! After her death in 1881, Mary Seacole has returned to find out HERstory has been forgotten from contemporary history books.

Mary Seacole (1805 – 14 May 1881) was a Jamaican nurse, confident in her knowledge of tropical medicine. After hearing of poor medical provisions for wounded soldiers at the frontline of the Crimean War, she travelled to London to volunteer as a nurse.

She applied to the War Office and asked to be sent as an army assistant to the Crimea. She was refused, mainly because of prejudice. She got there anyway.

When the conflict ended in 1856, Mary, ill, alone and wounded returned to England. The media publicized her situation, and financial help was gained through a variety of organisations, and she was award several medals for her work in the Crimea.

However, after her death Mary was forgotten for almost a century. In 2008 an artist selection panel, chaired by Baroness Amos and featuring some of the country's leading cultural experts, undertook the task to select an artist to design and erect a memorial that will bring the achievements of this remarkable woman to light.

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd committed its support for construction, The Guys and St.Thomas' Hospital NHS Foundation Trust donated the site for the memorial and other supporters include the Jamaican High Commission, The Mayor of London, The Royal College of Nursing and a number of army units.

"To realise this wonderful opportunity, to celebrate our past and inspire future generations, we need your help. We need to raise £500,000," says the panel spokesperson.

With already £50,000 received in donations and a further £50,000 guaranteed by Autumn 2010, 'the appeal' needs to secure the remaining £400,000.

For Queen and Country? presented by Theatre of the Oppressed, a new and exciting theatre company that combines grassroots theatre with engaging, fun forum style interactive workshops, is a fundraiser.

This powerful, one woman performance is based on the life and achievements of one of the most iconic Black figures of the twentieth century.

27 Oct – 29 Oct
Time: 7pm
Address: Albany Theatre, Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG
Info: 0207 793 9193

1 Nov
Time: 8pm
Address: The White Bear theatre, 138 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ
Info: 0207 793 9193

Related Links

Opportunity to get involved in For Queen and Country
Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal

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