December 4, 1865–October 12, 1915
Edith Cavell was born to a vicar in rural England. She took a post in Brussels with a family as their governess. She returned to care for her ailing father and then took a position studying nursing in London.
After some work in London she went back to Brussels and took up a post as head of a nursing school. Cavell became a great leader and made the school famous within Belgium. When World War I began her hospital was taken over by the Red Cross. She refused to return to England and safety, saying that she was needed in Belgium. The nurses were charged with caring for all wounded, friends or enemies.
As the Germans pushed the English and French troops back many lost soldiers were drawn to the hospital. Cavell became involved in sending troops home, out of the war zone. She knew the deadly consequences of being caught so she kept it a secret from all of her nurses. She was eventually caught due to a Belgian collaborator.
Cavell was sentenced to death by firing squad. Despite protests from around the world she was shot. She forgave her killers beforehand and maintained that she had done the right thing in helping those who needed it. Her death served as a rallying call in England and beyond. The anger among the common citizens towards the enemy could not have been provoked by politicians.