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Write your own story – Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole, a Jamaican-born women, volunteered to help the wounded British soldiers of the Crimean war. She traveled to the Crimea and started The British Hotel which she called “a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers.” Seacole had her hotel built out of driftwood, packing cases, iron sheets and anything else she could find. The grateful soldiers nicknamed her ‘Mother Seacole’. Write a story from the point of view of a solider or a nurse in Mary Seacole’s hotel…

⊕ Go through the steps below to create your story...

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1. A new guest has just arrived at Mary Seacole's British Hotel on the Balaclava road. Choose a character:

  • Colonel Flash (from the 11th Hussars)
  • Sergeant Stone (from the 93rd Highlanders)
  • Captain Dash (a horse rider)
  • Major Gun (artillery officer)
  • Laurant (French officer)
  • Lady Helena (a young lady from London who wants to help)
  • Ginger (a stray cat)

2. Mary Seacole talks to her new visitor and finds out that they have just come from...

  • The Battle of Balaclava
  • The Siege of Sevastopol
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade
  • HMS Tiger (a warship that caught fire)
  • London

The Charge of the Light Brigade was made famous by Lord Tennyson's poem. Soldiers on horseback charged against a Russian gun battery! It was brave but mad - the result of a mix up with orders.

3. Choose two things for your story...

  • a wound from a sabre (sword)
  • a wound from a lance (long spear used by soldiers on horseback)
  • cholera (a terrible disease)
  • yellow fever
  • dirty water
  • food
  • medicine
  • bandages
  • a nasty burn
  • a medal
  • an explosion
  • an important message

4. Your character is telling their story to Mary Seacole... Start with... "What happened to you?" asked Mother Seacole.

If you are working with a partner - write one line each.