Newspapers

The Independent

Coverage in The Independent is rife with errors, from the wild claim that Seacole, after being rejected in London, went on her own and “set up the British Hotel near Balaclava to nurse, feed and house soldiers recovering from war injuries,” when she did not nurse, feed or house soldiers and never claimed to. Nor did she often visit “the front line of the battlefield--sometimes under enemy fire--carrying baskets of medicines which she used to tend the wounded,” although she did take baskets of food and wine for sale to spectators, with occasional forays to tend the wounded. The article also claims mistakenly that Seacole was awarded “four medals including the Crimean Medal and the Legion d’Honneur, in recognition of her courage.” Chris Green, “Memorial to Crimea’s black nurse in danger,” The Independent 25 January 2010.

The Guardian

A Guardian online story has the unusual error of placing Seacole’s British Hotel in Turkey (it was in the Crimea), but repeats the usual errors in crediting her with providing “food and care to British soldiers close to battle lines,” and being “awarded several medals for bravery.”

Tim Campbell, “A hero of the Crimean war,” The Guardian 12 October 2008 online. Guardian story has Seacole, after being rejected four times, getting to Turkey, where she “set up the British Hotel at her own cost,” although she had a business partner, and it was in Crimea.

Church Times

A Church Times review of a Seacole book by a nurse/priest entirely omits the business side of Seacole’s life, to have her working only heroically, seeing needs and going out to meet them: She tended the wounded “under fire,” regardless of danger. She makes Seacole out to be a black single mother, discriminated against, including by Nightingale, but that did not deter her! Sarah Mullaly, ‘Mary Seacole,’ review, Church Times 2 November 2006.

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