New £5 coin celebrates the life of Norfolk heroine Edith Cavell

As the world continues to remember the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, The Royal M

As the world continues to remember the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, The Royal Mint has chosen to honour Edith Cavell on a new coin. - Credit: Archant

A new commemorative £5 coin featuring a nursing heroine from Norfolk is available to order from today.

Edith Cavell centenary project. Pictured: Edith Cavell. Picture: Imperial War Museums

Edith Cavell centenary project. Pictured: Edith Cavell. Picture: Imperial War Museums - Credit: Imperial War Museums

Edith Cavell, the British nurse executed by the Germans during the First World War, now appears on the coin which is part of a commemorative set by the Royal Mint to mark the centenary of the war.

Miss Cavell was a vicar's daughter, who was born at Swardeston, near Norwich, in 1865. She 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.

The £5 coin depicts a scene with Miss Cavell tending to a wounded soldier, with a portrait-style design of the nurse in her uniform as the background.


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Inspired by the words of Laurence Binyon's moving poem, Edith Cavell, the coin's inscription reads: She faced them gentle and bold.

To celebrate the release, Miss Cavell's relative Emma Cavell and her 10-month-old daughter Edith, visited The Royal Mint to strike one of the special edition coins in her honour.

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Dr Cavell said: 'It is fantastic to know that her bravery and courage is being recognised in this way, and to have the opportunity to strike and accept one of these special coins on behalf of my family.

'I look forward to telling my daughter about her famous namesake one day, and am sure that she will treasure this coin which honours her relative.'

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

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

Shane Bissett, The Royal Mint's director of commemorative coin and medals, said: 'Edith Cavell was devoted to her faith, and her humanitarian work was based on her belief that she should help any man without distinction, and we wanted to recognise the important part that she played in the conflict and the ultimate sacrifice she made for others.'

It is available to order from today. Visit www.royalmintbullion.com.

Do you have a story about your family's heritage? Write to newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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