A tribute to a Norfolk heroine as it is revealed nurse Edith Cavell to feature on new £5 coin

PUBLISHED: 07:33 06 July 2014

Library picture of Edith Cavell.

Library picture of Edith Cavell.


A nursing heroine from Norfolk is to be featured on a new commemorative £5 coin.

Edith Cavell, the British nurse executed by the Germans during the First World War, will appear on the new coin which will form part of a commemorative set to be issued next year.

It is by the Royal Mint to mark the centenary of the war.

Cavell, a vicar’s daughter, was born at Swardeston, near Norwich, in 1865.

The Swardeston-born nurse helped about 200 soldiers escape from occupied Belgium during the First World War, a selfless display of duty which led to her execution by a German firing squad on October 12, 1915.

Thousands of people lined the city’s streets for her funeral procession before she was buried at Norwich Cathedral.

Treasury minister Nicky Morgan said: “She showed true bravery by helping injured soldiers, regardless of their nationality, and it is right that she should be honoured as a British hero.

“She risked her life to help Allied forces escape and in doing so paid the ultimate price. It is important that we remember the sacrifices made by so many people in different ways during the war.”

We had backed an online petition launched calling for Cavell to be commemorated on a new £2 coin.

More than 30,000 people have already signed up to the campaign, which was launched after the announcement that former war secretary Lord Kitchener would feature on a coin.

The petition was started by Sheffield City Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, who said: “Lord Kitchener represents all that I have always loathed about the First World War – the jingoism, the sheer waste of men, the ‘lions led by donkeys’ mentality.

“And then I thought of Edith Cavell, a heroine of my early childhood. The woman who is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers in Brussels from all sides without distinction.

“In the year in which we commemorate the First World War she should be honoured by her country as a woman who was one of the best.”

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