Anne Watkins

The Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service

Procession of the lamp

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.

You can view a live stream of the 57th annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service below until 11 June.

Officers and Trustees
Annual Reports

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.

The service this year took place on Wednesday 11 May at 6.30pm. It was a beautiful occasion and we so loved seeing our members, organisations, special guests and alumni. You can read our reflections on the day itself on our homepage and enjoy pictures from the event below. 

2022 Service

2021 Service