By: Laura E. Richards (1850-1943)
One evening, some time after the great Crimean War of 1854-55, a company of military and naval officers met at dinner in London. They were talking over the war, as soldiers and sailors love to do, and somebody said: "Who, of all the workers in the Crimea, will be longest remembered?"
Each guest was asked to give his opinion on this point, and each one wrote a name on a slip of paper. There were many slips, but when they came to be examined there was only one name, for every single man had written "Florence Nightingale." Every English boy and girl knows the beautiful story of Miss Nightingale's life. Indeed, hers is perhaps the best-loved name in England since good Queen Victoria died. It will be a great pleasure to me to tell this story to our own boys and girls in this country; and it shall begin, as all proper stories do, at the beginning.