Nursing Major Wins Top Award

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Local News

Major Janet PilgrimDubbed a modern day Florence Nightingale, Major Janet Pilgrim who is currently based in Glasgow, has received one of the highest honours in military nursing. She goes to Buckingham Palace later in the year to collect the Royal Red Cross.

This rare honour was introduced by Queen Victoria and recipients include Florence Nightingale. Major Pilgrim (41) is also in the running for the title of Ultimate Heroine in a competition run by Cosmopolitan magazine to celebrate inspirational women.

A very modest woman, Major Pilrim told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘The magazine heard my story and I’ve been short listed. It’s a fairly spectacular thing and lovely to be nominated.’

As a member of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Major Pilgrim was under constant enemy fire while leading the team of 109 staff in Basra’s air base hospital between May and September last year. She said: ‘The insurgents were firing missiles while we worked, just to let us know they were there. I was responsible for patients from the front door to getting them back to the UK.’

The hospital, the busiest military field hospital since the Falklands War, was a fifty bed unit with an emergency department, theatres and laboratories. In one incident the place was left with an entire department destroyed and without power and water. Twenty soldiers died and Major Pilgrim insisted in personally leading the team who prepared each body for repatriation. Her Royal Red Cross award was awarded for her courage and devotion. She will find out on November 5 if she will be crowned Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Heroine. Meanwhile she is quietly working in Glasgow within the Army’s Human Resources Department.