Westminster Abbey Commemoration Service for Florence Nightingale
The Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service is held annually at Westminster Abbey.
Important Update: Sadly due to COVID-19 restrictions we will be unable to invite our supporters, scholars, alumni and friends to book tickets for the annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service to be held on 12th May 2021 at Westminster Abbey.
The service this year will be one of remembrance and thanks to the nurses and midwives who have looked after our loved ones. Guests in attendance have been invited as representatives of nursing and midwifery as well as ambassadors of the Foundation.
We hope to stream the service online and these details will follow shortly.
Thank you for your understanding.
During the ceremony, a number of significant processions take place. Scholars of the Foundation process the Lamp to signify the knowledge of nursing and are escorted by student nurses signifying the transfer of knowledge to future generations.
The Chelsea pensioners process in memory of, and gratitude to, Florence Nightingale for her care and troops – who were their predecessors – during the Crimean Campaign.
The final procession is of the Nurses’ Roll of Honour which was complied by the British Commonwealth Nurses War Memorial Fund and is also kept in the Florence Nightingale Chapel at the Abbey. It is carried to honour those killed in conflict and to underpin the links with military nursing and nurses who have lost their lives in the service of others.
During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale was known for carrying a lamp at night around the wards to visit wounded soldiers. The soldiers would see her lamp and feel that they had been given hope for survival. The Lamp has since become an international symbol of nursing.
Central to the memorial service is the Lamp which was given to the Foundation by Sir Dan Mason OBE in 1968 in memory of his mother Kathleen Dampier-Bennett, a Trustee and supporter of the Foundation. It was agreed the Lamp will be carried by a Florence Nightingale Foundation scholar during the ceremony and is housed within the Florence Nightingale Chapel at Westminster Abbey.