Mary Seacole was born in Jamaica in 1805 to a Jamaican mother and a Scottish father, who was a soldier. Mary’s mother taught her how to care for sick and injured soldiers using herbal medicine and traditional African and Jamaican remedies. In 1854 Mary travelled to Britain and asked to be sent as an army nurse to the Crimean War. The British War Office refused to send Mary to help the soldiers in the Crimea, and she wasn’t chosen to join Florence Nightingale. So Mary borrowed money to make her own way there and set up the British Hotel two miles away from the conflict and nursed injured soldiers there. She was known as ‘Mother Seacole’. After the war she returned to England in ill health in 1857. A benefit festival was organised to raise money for her after the press had brought attention to what she had done. She passed away in 1881.