TWO nurses from Gobowen's orthopaedic hospital have visited Westminster Abbey to commemorate the birthday of a historic health hero.

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) nurses attended a special service that remembered Florence Nightingale and also marked the centenary of the funeral of Edith Cavell – a British nurse who helped over 200 Allied troops escape German-occupied Belgium.

Karin Evans, practice development sister, and Hayley Jones, staff nurse were selected to represent the RJAH at the service titled 'A Commemoration Service of the Life and Legacy of Edith Cavell and Florence Nightingale'.

Karin described the 'moving' and 'emotional' event, which was organised by the Florence Nightingale Foundation and Cavell Nurses' Trust, as being up there as one of the best days of her life.

She said: "The whole event made me feel extremely proud to be a nurse and I came away feeling inspired.

"I'm extremely grateful that I was chosen to represent the hospital. It was such a privilege."

The service included the Florence Nightingale Lamp being carried through the Abbey which comes from her being called 'The Lady with the Lamp' – as she would visit soldiers at night with a small lantern in her hand during the Crimean War.

HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy and Patron of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, also attended the event which was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.

Sarah Bloomfield, interim director of nursing at the RJAH, was delighted to be able to send the two nurses representing the Trust to the special event.

She said: "It was fantastic to be able to send two of our amazing nurses to attend the service at Westminster Abbey.

"Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell are such prominent and significant figures to nurses worldwide and I can only imagine how moving the service was to honour both their lives.

"I’m so pleased Karin and Hayley were able to represent the Trust – they both live our values every day."

And Hayley, who works in the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries, added:"I really enjoyed the service at Westminster Abbey – it was so beautiful.

"I'd like to thank RJAH for choosing me to represent the Trust. It was such an honour and will forever be a highlight of my nursing career."