Edith Cavell: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Edith Cavell.

  • Edith Cavell was born on 4th December 1865 in Swardeston, Norfolk.
  • She trained as a nurse and was made matron at a nursing school in Brussels.

  • In 1910 she founded the Belgium nursing journal L’infimiere.
  • Edith Cavell was visiting her family in Norfolk when World War 1 started. She returned to Brussels and discovered that the Red Cross was using her hospital.
  • By November 1914, German forces had occupied Belgium. Along with several others, Edith Cavell helped British and French soldiers, and French and Belgians of military age flee German-occupied Brussels.

Edith Cavell

  • She was arrested by the German military police on 3rd August 1915. She was found guilty of helping Allied soldiers escape to Britain, a country at war with Germany, and she was sentenced to death by firing squad.
  • On the night before her death, Edith Cavell said to the Reverend Stirling Gahan: Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.
  • On 12th October 1915 at 7:00 am Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad.
  • She was buried next to St Giles Prison in Brussels. When World War 1 was over, her body was taken to Westminster Abbey for a memorial service, and then to Life’s Green in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, her final resting place.
  • Memorials to Edith Cavell can be found all over the world, in countries such as: England, France, Australia, Belgium and the United States.
  • In 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the Edith Cavell memorial in Paris to be destroyed.
  • Many schools, streets and medical buildings have been named after Edith Cavell.

What next? Discover more facts about World War 1.