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Belfast City Hall tribute: Great War nurses remembered

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Unveiling: Heather Thompson, RCN Northern Ireland History of Nursing Network and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey

Unveiling: Heather Thompson, RCN Northern Ireland History of Nursing Network and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey

Unveiling: Heather Thompson, RCN Northern Ireland History of Nursing Network and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey

Nurses from Ireland who served during the First World War have been honoured with a memorial plaque at Belfast City Hall.

It comes after research discovered more than 100 names of those who served in battlefields across Europe, Africa and the Middle East between 1914 and 1918.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Ireland History of Nursing Network previously produced a book telling their stories. The group has now successfully applied to the council for a plaque to be installed at City Hall.

Attending the unveiling on behalf of the History of Nursing Network, Heather Thompson said: "It was a privilege to attend Belfast City Hall for the unveiling of this important plaque by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Frank McCoubrey.

"The plaque is dedicated to all nurses who came from our island and served in World War One. It has been such a worthwhile and enjoyable project for all our group to be involved in and the plaque is a perfect way to bring our project to a close."

Pat Cullen, director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, said it was important the nurses' efforts were properly recognised.

She added: "This is a fitting tribute to the many nurses who sadly lost their lives serving in World War One.

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"Some died from war injuries while other drowned following the sinking of ships. There are fascinating stories which our History of Nursing Network discovered through their research but what is certain is that these were courageous nurses who were trailblazers of modern nursing.

"It is fitting that this plaque has been unveiled this year during which we have all seen the bravery and courage displayed by nurses today as they battle through the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Sincere congratulations to all of those involved but in particular Margaret Graham, chair of the Network, and Heather Thompson, who led the work on World War One.

"It is so important that we remember the lives of those who have gone before us."


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