Florence Nightingale

Routes to the War Zone

The Nightingale party came by rail across France as indicated. Troops would have come by ship through the Straits of Gibraltar.

The year that FN spent in the area of the Black Sea was the worst winter in 100 years. The climax was on November 14th when a hurricane almost totally wiped out the British and French naval fleets. The Nightingale party was 38 nurses made up of secular hospital nurses in a brown uniform designed by Nightingale (one size fits all) and hats that some of the nurses came to hate, and religious order nuns, one group in black habits and one group in white habits, plus her rich, reformer friends Selina "Sigma" and Charles Bracebridge, who went as chaperones to the 34 year old FN. It seems that there also was a courier and perhaps a translator.

The boat they caught for the trip through the Mediterranean was the Vectis, a converted mail carrier considered unseaworthy. It was a steam-powered vessel. The trip was rough, the galley was torn off and things had to be jettisoned during terrible rough seas. FN suffered sea sickness and never came up topside during the voyage. Many others of the party were terribly seasick.

The Bosphorus is 17 miles long but only 700 yards wide at some points. It serves as the sole trade connection between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and is a vital passage for migrating fish and other marine creatures.

Jason supposedly led his Argonauts through it during their epic search for the Golden Fleece, and in 513 B.C. the Persian emperor Darius had a bridge built across it so he could lead his army toward Greece. It is lined with forts and palaces.

Hear some Turkish military music.

Hear some contemporary music by the late Baris Manco, the Turkish Country Joe.
Requires RealAudio.

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