Norfolk war heroine Edith Cavell remembered with commemorative £5 coin

Edith Cavell.; Source: Library Edith Cavell.; Source: Library

Monday, July 7, 2014
5:20 PM

The life and actions of a Norfolk heroine will be remembered on a commemorative coin issued by The Royal Mint.

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Great War nurse Edith Cavell will be honoured with a £5 coin as part of a collection marking the outbreak of the First World War.

A campaign for Miss Cavell to be recognised on a coin was backed by the EDP in May and more than 100,000 signed a petition to parliament.

Miss Cavell, a vicar’s daughter from Swardeston, near Norwich, saved the lives of soldiers from both sides of the conflict and helped 200 Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium.

This led to her arrest and execution for treason by German forces.

Sioned-Mair Richards, who organised the petition, said she was delighted by the result.

She said: “I am thrilled that we have won a worthy commemoration for Edith Cavell.

“I think her story has really struck a chord which is why over 110,000 people joined the campaign for a Cavell coin.

“She was a woman who saved countless lives and in the end died for her principles.

“I am glad that we will be remembering someone who made a difference to the lives of many, regardless of nationality and recognise that service during war time takes many different forms. Her form of service was the one which inspired me.”

Miss Cavell becomes only the second non-Royal woman to appear on a commemorative coin, the other being Florence Nightingale.

The coin features Miss Cavell’s famous quote “patriotism is not enough”.

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.”

Born in 1865 Miss Cavell trained as a nurse and worked in a number of English hospitals before moving to Belgium where she became a training nurse at three hospitals.

She was executed by firing squad on October 12, 1915.

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