Edith Cavell

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Edith Cavell
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Statue in memory of Edith Cavell, opposite the National Portrait Gallery, London
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A propaganda image of Edith Cavell

Edith Louisa Cavell (December 4, 1865 - October 12, 1915) is one of the few famous heroines of World War I.

Edith Cavell was born at Swardeston in Norfolk, where her father was rector, in 1865; she trained as a nurse. In 1907, she was appointed matron of the Berkendael Institute in Brussels in Belgium. When World War I broke out, the hospital was taken over by the Red Cross. Nurse Cavell is alleged to have helped hundreds of soldiers from the allied forces to escape from occupied Belgium to the Netherlands, in violation of military law. In 1915, she was arrested and court-martialled by the Germans for this offence. She made no defence and was shot at dawn on October 12, becoming a popular martyr and entering British history as a heroine. Her case became an important article of British propaganda throughout the war [1] (http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/edith_cavell.htm).

The night before her execution she told the English chaplain, who had been allowed to see her, "I realise that patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." These words are inscribed on her statue in St. Martin's Place, near Trafalgar Square in London.

After the war Edith Cavell was reburied in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral.

In 1916, Mount Edith Cavell in the Canadian Rockies was named in her honour.

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