Edith Cavell centenary commemorations begin with Norwich rose planting

Planting of the Edith Cavell rose at St Stephen's Church, Norwich. The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Judith Lubbock planting one of the roses.

Planting of the Edith Cavell rose at St Stephen's Church, Norwich. The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Judith Lubbock planting one of the roses. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

She is one of Norfolk’s most famous daughters and yesterday Edith Cavell’s life was commemorated at a rose-planting ceremony at St Stephen’s Church in Norwich.

Events across Norfolk to celebrate Edith Cavell’s life

May 9 - The Dean and chapter of Norwich Cathedral will walk/cycle to Swardeston with representatives from the village.

June 30-July 2 - Norwich School play on Edith Cavell

September - “The Passion of Edith Cavell” art exhibition by Brian Whelan at Norwich Cathedral

October - Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital exhibition and events

October 3-4 - Swardeston’s Cavell Centenary Festival

October 2 to 18 - St Stephen’s Church quilting exhibition

October 10 – graveside service with the Bishop of Norwich and Belgian Embassy

October 12-16 - commemorative assemblies across Norfolk schools

The Lord Mayor of Norwich Judith Lubbock and Simon Knighton, chair of trustees at the Cavell Nurses’ Trust - a charity set up in the nurse’s memory to provide help and support to UK nurses - led the proceedings, which will begin a serious of similar events around the country.

Both braved the rain to plant seven roses in the church’s grounds to mark the centenary year since the nurse was executed by a firing squad in Germany for helping the escape of 200 allied soldiers during the First World War.

“Norwich has always been a centre for Cavell activities,” said Mr Knighton. “And this is the first in a major planting scheme across the country in hospitals as part of the celebration to mark the 100 years since her death.”

The roses are called Miss Edith Cavell and were introduced in 1917 - with Attleborough-based company, Peter Beales, producing the plant. The company are not selling them this year to allow the Cavell Trust to sell the plant with proceeds going to the charity.

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

The National Garden Scheme has also granted the charity £50,000 to aid in the nationwide planting scheme.

Mrs Lubbock said she was privileged to play a part in commemorating the Swardeston-born nurses’ life.

She said: “It is good we’re making the most of it with the trust, National Garden Scheme and Peter Beale all coming together to plant the roses in the churchyard.

“It’s a privilege to be here to celebrate the work Edith Cavell did and what she stood for is a tribute to all nurses and their dedication.”

The trust, which gives £500,000-worth of grants a year to help 500 nurses, is aiming to double these numbers over the next year.

“We aim to get Edith Cavell back on a national level and the main way is to use the centenary to launch a major fundraising campaign,” said Mr Knighton.

“I’m proud to be here doing this fantastic activity so close to where she was born. She is such a role model for nurses across the world.”

For more information about the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, visit

Are you holding a commemorative event for Edith Cavell? Email

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press