Hampshire & Isle of Wight

UK Storms: Damage to Florence Nightingale Wellow grave

Damage to Florence Nightingale grave Image copyright Brian scott
Image caption The tree moved the Nightingale family memorial off its plinth

Admirers of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale have pledged to help repair her tomb after it was damaged in the St Valentine's Day storms.

A tree fell on the 10ft (3m) high memorial at St Margaret's Church, East Wellow, Hampshire during high winds.

Natasha McEnroe, curator of the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, described it as a "real shame".

She said the museum would support the church in repairing the grave when the full extent of the damage was assessed.

"It's very upsetting as it's a site of pilgrimage for Florence Nightingale's many admirers," said Ms McEnroe.

'Sad news'

Upper parts of the monument have been broken by the fallen tree and it also appears to have been moved off its plinth.

Vicar of St Margaret's Church, Revd Chris Pettet said: "Obviously it's very sad news given the affection Florence Nightingale is held in the community, country and internationally and we're working to ensure it is restored to its former state as soon as possible."

He said the tree was still in place and a full assessment will be made when it is removed.

Hundreds of visitors from around the world, along with school parties, visit the church to see the Nightingale family grave each year.

Nightingale, born in 1820, was a pioneer of nursing and health care reform. She was renowned for her work during the Crimean War.

Her family lived at Embley Park, near Romsey. She was buried at St Margaret's Church after her death in 1910.

Image copyright Brian scott
Image caption The tree came down during the St Valentine's Day storms

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