Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Helen M. Nightingale, Australian nurse, poet and librettist

I am trying to find biographical details of Helen M. Nightingale who is featured in Simon McNeill-Ritchie's lovely commemorative WW1 anthology "Great Ward Poetry".   The anthology features poems written by both staff and patients of the 3rd London General Hospital, which in peace time had been The Royal Victoria Patriotic School on Wandsworth Common - an orphanage for the daughters of service personnel killed while on duty.

Helen was from Australia and several of her poems were originally published in the 3rd London General Hospital "Gazette" magazine and are reproduced in "Great Ward Poetry".  There is also a photo of Helen on page 12 of the anthology, which also includes photographs and some delightful drawings done by some of the members of the Chelsea Arts Club who were volunteer helpers at the Hospital during WW1 - see page x.

"Great Ward Poetry" is edited by Simon McNeill-Ritchie and published by Hamilton Laird Publishing, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire in 2014.  The anthology, which has a Foreword by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, is sold in aid of SSAFA - the charity which takes care of the families of serving military personnel.  SSAFA is one of the few charities that was operational during WW1 still going strong today.

SSAFA's PR Manager, Michael Ivatt, has informed me that the book will be available via "on line bookshops" shortly.

For further information about SSAFA, or if you know someone who may need their help, please contact:

Queen Elizabeth House
4 St Dunstan's Hill

Tel. 0207 463 9320
Fax. 020 7403 8815
SSAFA is a Registered Charity No. 210760 Est. 1885 Registered Charity (Scotland) No. SC038056