Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Edith Louisa Cavell

Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865-1915), British nurse, born in Swardeston, England. After studying nursing in London, she was invited in 1907 to become matron of a large training center for nurses in Brussels. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, this school became a Red Cross hospital, and she attended many wounded German and Allied soldiers there. On August 5, 1915, during the German occupation of Brussels, she was arrested by the Germans for having sheltered 200 British, French, and Belgian soldiers in her house and for having helped them to escape from Belgium. Unsuccessful appeals for postponement of her execution were made by the American and Spanish ministers to Germany; she was shot by a firing squad on October 12, 1915. The execution aroused widespread indignation. Vast multitudes attended her memorial service at Westminster Abbey, and a commemorative statue was erected in Saint Martin's Place, Trafalgar Square, London.

"Cavell, Edith Louisa" Microsoft(R) Encarta.
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