She was the forgotten heroine of the Crimean War, a black nurse from Jamaica who tended the wounds of injured and dying soldiers and whose reputation at the time rivalled that of Florence Nightingale.So now the kiddiewinks have been suitably re-educated, what’s next?
But while Britain's collective memory of the "Lady the lamp" has endured for more than 150 years, Mary Seacole was only a historical footnote. Her real status was revealed only after her story was included in the national curriculum and taught to primary-school children to give them a better understanding of racial attitudes and the contributions made by ethnic minority women to British society.
In 2005 – the same year that she was voted the greatest black Briton – a campaign was launched to ensure her place in history was secure by erecting a permanent memorial to her in the grounds of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, on the south bank of the Thames.Oh, dear.
Now, five years down the line, the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal is still struggling for money. The fundraising total is £50,000, a long way short of the estimated £400,000 it will cost to complete the project.
Organisers have so far relied on small donations from individuals and schools, but are now looking at ways of raising much larger sums.Luckily, they are going down the concert route rather than holding out their hands for taxpayer’s money.
But it does beg the question, just how much of an icon can she be, if people won’t stump up the money for this..?
Funniest bit of this story? The Greater Smirking Tit eagerly jumped on this as an example of 'Indy' journalists sending coded messages to welcome their new (possible) overlord.
Quite why even left-wing journalists would be so dim as to suppose pinning a 'Kick Me (Out of My Job)' sign on their own backs was a good idea in the event Liddle does get the job is a mystery...