FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE’S RETURN HOME AFTER THE CRIMEAN WAR
All the films made and books written about Florence Nightingale’s return home from the Crimea highlight her legendary lone walk from Whatstandwell Station along Cromford Canal to Lea Hurst, her home in in Derbyshire, carrying a heavy valise .
Research by John and Nancy Slaney have proved this to be a myth, in fact the Derby Mercury of August 1856 simply said “Miss Nightingale was met and greeted at the station (obviously Ambergate) by Lady Auckland”.
Nobody knew she had been picked up in a carriage and nobody seemed be alive to the fact that Lady Auckland was her next door neighbour. After over 150 years it was only last year that the final piece of the jigsaw as to her journey home was found – fixing the exact time of her arrival as 7.50pm on 7th August 1856.
Earlier this year a chance became available to do a photo shoot at Lea Hurst on 7th August at 7.50pm, recreating this historic moment.The setting is exactly the same, even to the sky, the pillars off the drive and the front door to Lea Hurst.
We were very pleased to be able to provide the costume for this historic recreation.
John Slaney who organised this and who did a considerable amount of research had this to say:
“I must say that the photo event caused quite a stir in these parts. When the ‘model’ stepped out of the house wearing the full costume it was extremely dramatic and the video of her walking through the gates to Lea Hurst, her Derbyshire home, and up the drive to the front door (replicating the final few steps of her epic journey from the Crimea) was eerie. Everyone present was captivated by the moment.”