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Anne Watkins
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The Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service

The 58th Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service took place on 16 May at St Paul’s Cathedral.

This year there was a change in the venue from Westminster Abbey to St Paul’s due to the coronation of King Charles III. Click here to read our blog about the event and see some of the photographs taken on the day.

The 59th Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service will take place on 15 May 2024 at Westminster Abbey.

Invitations for the Commemoration Service will start going out at the beginning of March and details about the limited number of tickets available to members of the public will be shared mid-March.

 

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.

Click here to find out what to expect and what makes this such a special event.

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The Service

A scholar of the Foundation carries the Lamp with two escorts as it is processed in the Abbey. Student nurses follow, signifying the transfer of knowledge to future generations of nurses and midwives.

A procession of the Nurses’ Roll of Honour is carried and escorted by the Military Matrons in Chief. It was compiled by the British Commonwealth Nurses War Memorial Fund. It is to honour Commonwealth Nurses killed during the Second World War.  Between services it is kept in the Florence Nightingale and Nurses Chapel in the Abbey. 

In 2022, an additional Roll of Honour was processed to remember nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare support workers who died during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can see photos from previous services below:

2023 Service

2022 Service

2021 Service