Edith Louisa Cavell (4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse, humanitarian and spy. She is celebrated for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I, for which she was arrested. She was court-martialled, found guilty of treason and executed.
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- I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved.
- As quoted in "Edith Cavell" by Helen Judson in The American Journal of Nursing (July 1941), p. 871
- Someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful, something for people. They are, most of them, so helpless, so hurt and so unhappy.
- As quoted in The Economist (15 October 2010), p. 107
Last statements (1915)
- Last statements prior to her execution (11 October 1915), as reported in an account by Reverend H. Stirling Gahan, in Source Records of the Great War (1923), edited by Charles F. Horne, Vol. III
- I thank God for this ten weeks' quiet before the end... Life has always been hurried and full of difficulty... This time of rest has been a great mercy.
- They have all been very kind to me here. But this I would say, standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.
- Though said the night before her execution this statement has often been presented as having been her last. Variants of these words have sometimes been misattributed to Florence Nightingale. The variant "Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone" is inscribed beneath Cavell's statue at St. Martin's Place in London.
Quotes about Cavell
- It was a pity that Miss Cavell had to be executed, but it was necessary. She was judged justly. We hope it will not be necessary to have any more executions.
- German Secretary for Foreign Affairs Arthur Zimmermann, as quoted in Source Records of the Great War (1923), edited by Charles F. Horne, Vol. III
- Brief biography at FirstWorldWar.com
- Works by or about Edith Cavell at the Internet Archive]
- "The Heroine who humbled me": extract from the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown's book Courage Eight Portraits
- Guardian report about the release of foreign office memos relating to her arrest and death
- About the Brussels hospital (also in English language)
- Find A Grave - about the Brussels memorial
- Find A Grave - about the grave in Norwich
- A German soldier executed for allegedly refusing to fire at Edith Cavell's execution
- Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum-Edith Cavell
- British Pathe Film - 1915 Unveiling of Edith Cavell Memorial in London by Queen Alexandra