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Woodlands Junior Homework History Victorians Midnight


Florence Nightingale was a truly inspirational nurse.

Florence Nightingale is famous for her nursing work during the Crimean War (1854 - 56). She changed the face of nursing from a mostly untrained profession to a highly skilled and well-respected medical profession with very important responsibilities.

Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on 12 May 1820. Her father was a wealthy landowner. She was brought up in Derbyshire (where she spent her summers) and Hampshire ( where she spent her winters).

Florence was named after the place of her birth

Rich English girls such as Florence were expected to do - almost nothing.
.At the time when Florence was born, many girls did not receive any type of education. Florence was very lucky because her father, William Nightingale, believed that all women should receive an education. He taught Florence and her sister a variety of subjects ranging from science and mathematics to history and philosophy.

As Florence grew up she developed an interest in helping others. She cared for sick pets and servants whenever she had the chance.

Florence Nightingale felt called by God to become a nurse.
At seventeen years of age, she believed she was called into service by God “to do something toward lifting the load of suffering from the helpless and miserable.”

At first her parents refused to allow her to become a nurse because, at that time, it was not thought to be a suitable profession for a well educated woman. But Florence did not give up. Eventually in 1851 her father gave his permission and Florence went to Germany to train as a nurse.

In 1853 was running a hospital in London.

1849 - traveled to Europe to study the European hospital system.
1850 - traveled to Alexandria, Egypt and began studying nursing at the Institute of Saint Vincent de Paul.
1851 - aged thirty-one, went to Germany to train to become a nurse.
1853 - became superintendent of the Hospital for Gentlewomen in London.
1854 - the Crimean War broke out.

In 1854 Florence Nightingale was asked to go to Turkey to manage the nursing of British soldiers wounded in the Crimean War (1854 - 56). She traveled to Scutari (the location where the wounded and ill soldiers of the Crimean War were taken) to help the wounded soldiers.

She found the hospital conditions to be in a very poor state. Many of the wounded were unwashed and were sleeping in overcrowded, dirty rooms without blankets or decent food. In these conditions diseases such as typhus, cholera and dysentery spread quickly. As a result, the death rate amongst wounded soldiers was very high. Most soldiers died from infections and disease. (Only one in six died from their war wounds; the other five in six died from infections and disease.)

Florence and her nurses changed these conditions. They set up a kitchen, fed the wounded from their own supplies, dug latrines for sanitation, and asked for help from the wives of the wounded. They were then able to properly care for the ill and wounded and the death rate among the soldiers dropped.

Florence was very dedicated to her job. She would often visit the soldiers at night when every one was asleep just to make sure they were ok. She was then referred to as “The Lady of the Lamp” because she hardly took time off to sleep. Florence became a true hero to the soldiers and everyone back home in England.

BBC Florence Nightingale - An online story book about her life

Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910 )

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale was the daughter of a well-to-do family in England. During the Crimean War, she was put in charge of nursing. She carried a lamp as she walked the halls of the battlefield hospital and became known as the "lady with the lamp".

Father Christmas is our version of Santa Claus. He is an old jolly man with white hair, a beard and a moustache. He is dressed in a red* suit outlined in white. Father Christmas and his elves make all the toys for Christmas in his home in the North Pole. © copyright of

*The red coat is 'new'. Images of Father Christmas prior to about 1880 most pictures showed him with a green coat. The red became the most popular colour after the US introduction by Coca Cola during the 1930s.

We owe much about what we know about the Father Christmas today to the Americans of the 19th Century. In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore described what he imagined Father Christmas to look like in a poem.

The poem is often referred to as 'The Night Before Christmas', but originally it was titled 'A Visit from St Nicholas'.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his sack.
His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump,--a right jolly old elf--
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

Written by Clement C. Moore in 1822 as a Christmas present to his children.

In 1866, Thomas Nast, a cartoon artist for the Harper's Illustrated Weekly, made a montage entitled, "Santa Claus His Works" and for the first time established 'Santa' as a maker of toys

George P. Webster (Walker) made five of Nast's drawings into coloured pictures (lithographs) to illustrate a poem he wrote in Nast's book Santa Claus and His Works (circa 1869). Santa is portrayed as an overly fat, happy, white bearded elf, wearing a spotted red-brown, skin-tight suit, the base of the jacket trimmed in white fur lined with spots or attachments just below a red sash. The poem identified the North Pole as Santa's home.

Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, normally dressed in green, a sign of the returning spring. He was known as 'Sir Christmas', 'Old Father Christmas' or Old Winter'. © copyright of

In this earliest form, Father Christmas was not the bringer of gifts for small children, nor did he come down the chimney. He simply wandered around from home to home, knocking on doors and feasting with families before moving on to the next house. © copyright of

The Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) is based on Father Christmas. He is described as a large man with a red beard and fur-lined green robe.

Images of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) dressed in red started appearing on Christmas cards in the late Victorian times (see evidence).

In shops or at children's parties, someone dresses up as Father Christmas and gives small presents to children and ask them what gifts they want for Christmas. © copyright of

Children write letters to Father Christmas to tell him what they would like for Christmas. Some children will send their letters by post or e-mail but the more traditional way is to throw the letters into the back of the fireplace. The draught then carries the letters up the chimney to Father Christmas. © copyright of

On Christmas eve Father Christmas piles all of the toys onto his sleigh and rides across the sky with his reindeers. The most famous one is Rudolf, the reindeer at the front who leads the way with his red nose. © copyright of

He enters our houses down the chimney at midnight and places presents for the children in stockings (large socks) or bags by their beds or in front of the family Christmas tree.

Santa Claus is based on a real person, St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas, or Sinter Klaas in Dutch, was a very shy man and wanted to give money to poor people without them knowing about it. It is said that one day, he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney. It landed in the stocking which a girl had put to dry by the fire! This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children's stockings. © copyright of

When the Dutch introduced Sinter Klaas to the Americans they called him Santa Claus.

Father Christmas is called different names around the world. The most popular name now-a-days is Santa Claus.

Austria: Christkind ("Christ child")

Belgium: Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) and De Kerstman ("Father Christmas")

Canada: Santa Claus; Père Noël ("Father Christmas")

Denmark: Julemanden

Estonia: Jõuluvana

Finland: Joulupukki

France: Père Noël ("Father Christmas");

Germany: Weihnachtsmann ("Christmas Man"); Christkind in southern Germany

Hungary: Mikulás ("Nicholas"); Jézuska or Kis Jézus ("child Jesus")

Italy: Babbo Natale ("Father Christmas"); La Befana

Netherlands & Flanders: Sinterklaas

Norway: Julenissen

Poland: Swiety Mikolaj

Portugal: Pai Natal ("Father Christmas")

Russia: Ded Moroz, "Grandfather Frost

Spain: Papa Noel

Sweden: Jultomten

Switzerland: Samichlaus

United Kingdom: Father Christmas; Santa Claus

United States: Santa Claus

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