The Victorian History Detectives

Author(s): Nicole Winter

Theme: Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole

Main Curriculum Focus
Details of people in history. The oceans that were part of the voyage. Changes in nursing & Vic times.
Skills: ask perceptive questions, develop persuasive arguments, develop empathy and consider different points of view, weigh arguments
Understanding: The role and view of women and nursing has changed, the effect the deaths had on FN, the reason for most deaths.

Inquiry Question
"Historical - How has nursing has changed since the Crimean war and why? What role did Florence Nightingale play?
Social - Was it important that a woman was at the centre of the change that happened?
Ethical - Were there other healers that equally deserve to be remembered in the exhibition?
Social - How were the different women treated by others?
Moral - Is it acceptable to ignore rules if the outcome is to save lives?
Critical - Could the deaths in Scutari have been avoided?
Moral - Should Mary Seacole have helped the injured Russian soldiers, if it meant they could fight the British again?"

Expert Team: History Detectives

Client(s): St Thomas’s Hospital

To research Florence Nightingale’s role in the Crimean war in order to devise and create an eye catching permanent exhibition in St Thomas’s hospital accident and emergency waiting room that
• Educates and entertains hospital visitors about who they believe was the most important female nurse in the Crimean War.
• Shows how nursing has changed since Victorian times and shows Florence Nightingale’s role in this.
They are aware of the lack of focus on women in history and wish to redress the balance by focusing on Florence Nightingale. They are open to the possibility that the investigation might reveal others were also involved, but would want to approve any additions personally. Approvals would be based on compelling new evidence.


A team of history detectives, researching FN’s role in CW. They go into role as nurses on the journey and arriving at Scutari hospital to understand the role of the nurses.
Location: London - St Thomas’s hospital, nurse interview board and Crimea (battlefield and Scutari hospital)
Time: Just after FN departure, journey, arrival at Scutari, present day planning and creating exhibition.

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