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Florence Nightingale

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Florence Nightingale OM RRC

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910).

British Upper Class carpet-muncher who appalled her parents by going off to learn nursing and organisation in Imperial Germany.

Once trained she took a hand-picked group of nurses over to sort out the Hospital Barracks at Scutari during the Crimean War.

Scourge of bone-idle quartermasters and quack surgeons, she cleaned up the mess (the barracks was built over a giant cesspit). Once done, went home to pen a scathing report for a Royal Commission which revolutionised both military and civvy medical and nursing practice.

Possibly suffering from PTSD, she then retired to her bed but continued to direct, nag and bully anyone who got in her way of upping the standards. In 1883 she was awarded the Royal Red Cross and in 1907 the Order of Merit - the first woman to be awarded this prestigious and exclusive honour. She was once featured on the UK £10 banknote.