Lamp Day, Friday, May 12th. Buy a Lamp on Lamp Day for Women's Service in War Time


This World War I poster, published in London in 1916, advertises Lamp Day, May 12, when citizens were asked to purchase a lamp for women's service in war time. The poster depicts a lamp of the type used by Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS). The text also appeals for volunteers to “help to sell the lamps. Apply 58 Victoria Street, S.W.” The TFNS was established in 1908 under the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907 for the purpose of providing nurses to military hospitals in the event of war. TFNS nurses staffed 23 territorial force hospitals in towns and cities throughout Great Britain, each with planned accommodation for 520 patients. TFNS nurses also served at military hospitals and casualty clearing stations in France, Malta, Salonika, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and East Africa. The association between lamps and nursing goes back to Florence Nightingale (1820–1910), the pioneer of modern nursing, who was called the "The Lady with the Lamp" for her practice of making the rounds at night while serving as a nurse in the Crimean War.

Last updated: February 10, 2014