Armed Forces Day

Today, is Armed Forces Day.  It is an opportunity to remember the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces.  Therefore we thought this was a good time to remind people why Project Florence is happening.
Project Florence aims to highlight to the local community the excavation at Barrow Clump on Salisbury Plain Training Area.  This excavation is being run as part of Operation Nightingale, a rehabilitation programme for soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.
Operation Nightingale resulted from a conversation between Richard Osgood, Senior Historic Advisor within the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) of the Ministry of Defence and Sergeant Diarmaid Walshe of the 1st Battalion The Rifles. 

315 Phil Harding with participants of Operation Nightingale

Sergeant Diarmaid Walshe is responsible for the medical care and treatment of soldiers, including injured personnel returned from operations overseas.  He identified a growing need for some form of occupational therapy and rehabilitation. As an archaeologist, he recognised that archaeology has many elements that could help address some of the complex needs of these soldiers and their ailments.
In summer 2011, they jointly developed a project to utilise both the technical and social aspects of field archaeology to help rehabilitation of soldiers injured in Afghanistan.  In a nod to one of the most famous figures in military medicine, it was codenamed “Operation Nightingale”.
Several organisations and universities have worked with Operation Nightingale to provide fieldwork opportunities. Since autumn 2011, Wessex Archaeology has collaborated with Operation Nightingale on several projects, including work placements within our organisation. 
Return to main blog and project website, click here.


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