Our latest set of comprehension worksheets look at the lives and work of two very famous women, Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale. Both helped to save many lives during the Crimean War, but with very different approaches. We have written the worksheets at three different ability levels to make it easy to provide material for a range of reading abilities and ages.
Mary Seacole grew up in Jamaica and learned how to administer herbal remedies from her mother. She became well respected for her treatment of cholera victims in the 1850’s and numerous people sought her help. She treated rich and poor alike: she nursed the poor free of charge and the rich paid for their treatment. Her treatments included some interesting substances which we consider as poisons today! In 1854 Mary went out to help the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. She set up an hotel and provided food and medication. Mary was often seen near the battlefields helping wounded soldiers and it is said that she treated soldiers from both sides. She was a kindly figure who offered comfort to the wounded and dying. The British Army called her ‘Mother Seacole’.
Florence Nightingale was born into a wealthy English family and studied nursing in London. In 1854 she was asked to take a team of nurses out to Scutari to nurse the wounded soldiers from the Crimean War after newspapers reported that many soldiers were dying there due to lack of equipment, doctors, nurses and medical supplies. She was met with horrific conditions when she arrived at the hospital and Florence made it her mission to clean and organise the wards. Her intervention led to a massive reduction in death rates and she was given the nickname ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ because she used to go on her rounds of the hospital each night alone, carrying a lamp. Florence spent the rest of her life campaigning for social reform and transforming hospitals and nursing. Today she is probably one of the most famous and revered women in the world.