Mary Seacole was born in Jamaica in 1805. She came to England in the hope of serving as a nurse in the Crimean War. This was a huge ambition and, as she was soon to find out, getting to the battle front was easier said than done. Through sheer confidence in her ability and a determination to succeed, she eventually left England on the steamer Hollander for the Crimea with a letter of introduction from an English doctor to Florence Nightingale. After reading this 'letter,' Ms. Nightingale said she would be 'very happy' to do all she could to help. Amidst daily dangers, and against all odds, this unknown Jamaican nurse won deserved praise for devoted service to the British soldiers she 'mothered' during the Crimean campaign. After Sebastopol was taken, she wrote 'a great work was accomplished.' She returned to England to great acclaim and her autobiography The Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole was an instant bestseller.
Ron Ramdin is the author of several published books including Reimaging Britain: 500 Years of Black and Asian History, The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain, Paul Robeson: The Man and His Mission and the the Lifex of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Haus) He has lectured internationally and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Historical Society and is serving on the Mayor's Commission on African and Asian Heritage.