- Cavell, Edith
- (1866-1915)The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Edith Cavell was born in Swardeston, Norfolk, England. Sent to Brussels to perfect her knowledge of French, she was employed as a governess. In 1895, she returned to England to study nursing and, in 1906, she was appointed director of a clinic in Manchester. She left for Brussels in 1907 on the invitation of Doctor Antoine Depage to care for a sick child and stayed to become the director of a nursing institute that he founded. Cavell was nursing director of three hospitals at the outbreak of World War I. Recruited to provide nursing care and shelter for Allied soldiers in transit to the neutral Netherlands, she extended aid at her nursing institute on rue de la Culture (now rue Franz Merjoy) and at other safe houses in Brussels.German authorities infiltrated the resistance network operated by the prince and princess de Croy, with whom Cavell worked, and she was arrested with other members of her cell on 5 August 1915. Held at Saint-Gilles prison, she was condemned to death on 8 October and shot by firing squad on the grounds of the national firing range on the morning of 12 October. Her death aroused a wave of indignation around the world. In 1919, Cavell's remains were transferred to Britain and she was honored with a national service in Westminster Abbey. She is interred in Norwich Cathedral. A simple monument to her is found at the Institut Edith Cavell-Marie Depage in Uccle, where a street is named for her.See also Baucq, Philippe.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.