A plaque commemorating healthcare workers who have put themselves at risk to care for people caught up in conflict and natural disasters was unveiled by Sir Hugh Taylor, Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, on Friday afternoon (December 8th).
Guests were welcomed by Trevor Sterling, Chair of the Mary Seacole Trust, and by Sir Hugh Taylor in the Main Hall of St Thomas’ Hospital. Colonel Marie Richter, Commanding Officer 256 Field Hospital, spoke in praise of the selflessness and courage of healthcare professionals in difficult and dangerous situations. Deputy High Commissioner for Jamaica Mrs Angella Rose-Howell’s address celebrated Mary’s grounding in nursing in Jamaica.
All then moved outside to the hospital’s Millennium Gardens where Sir Hugh performed the unveiling ceremony on a bright but chilly afternoon.
The Reverend Mia Hilborn, Head of Spiritual Health Care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, blessed and dedicated the plaque. The dedication was followed by a one-minute silence during which guests reflected on the sacrifices healthcare workers have made and continue to make. Wreaths were laid by representatives of the Chelsea Pensioners and Dawn Hill, Trustee and President of the Mary Seacole Trust. A guard of honour was formed by the 256 (City of London) Field Hospital and the Army Cadet Force of Greater London.
The unveiling was followed by a reception held in the hospital’s Main Hall.
Guests included representatives from the defence medical services, nursing, local government, politics and the Jamaican High Commission. The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London Mrs Colleen Harris MVO DL and the Mayor of Lambeth.
The Mary Seacole Trust is very grateful for the unstinting help and support of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and to Moore Blatch LLP for sponsoring the event. The beautiful plaque was created by Chichester Stoneworks Ltd.
Photographs: David Kilburn, Elite Photography