Helping to tell the story of Edith Cavell

Edith (2nd row from the front, 4th from the left) at the nurse training school she ran in Brussels around 1912
Edith Cavell, the First World War nurse executed for her role in helping over 200 allied troops escape Belgium, was an inspiration at the time of her death in 1915. Her story continues to touch people across the world today.

A research project , funded by HLF,  is now making sure people can explore the many stories surrounding her incredible life and death. 

Cavell was one of the first professional nurses of the 20th century. She worked in a hospital in Brussels that was taken over by the Red Cross during the First World War. Even before her death she was well-known for her kind and equal treatment of all soldiers, regardless of their nationality. She was arrested for helping over 200 allied soldiers escape into neutral Holland and shot by firing squad on 12 October 1915.

[quote=Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF]"Edith Cavell was and continues to be an inspiration across the world"[/quote]

People taking part in the research project will explore Cavell’s story, including how her death was used as propaganda to drive allied recruitment. The campaign was a huge success and the number of soldiers who signed-up doubled in the two months after her death. 

In time for the centenary of her death in 2016, her grave at Norwich Cathedral will also be restored with up to £50,000 from the Government.  

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “Edith Cavell was and continues to be an inspiration across the world. The Centenary of the First World War provides a moment not only to explore the incredible bravery she demonstrated in order to help others but also her outstanding professional achievements and the legacy she has left for modern day nursing.”

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